Wednesday, 2 January 2008

NY Times: Medicine Hunter

Image ©Jennifer Szymaszek/New York Times - All Rights Reserved

The New York Times seems to have recently enhanced its multimedia features available through its website. These appear to be better edited (except for some of its "fluff" travel slideshows) and are more interesting both visually and content-wise. Let's hope this continues since it provides creative opportunities and avenues to photojournalists and photographers.

A recent multimedia feature is on the efforts of an ethnobotanist who calls himself the Medicine Hunter and about his quest in Peru to study indigenous medicinal plants. His goal is for people to use safer medicine, and by that he means plant medicine.

In Peru, he is studying maca, a small root vegetable that grows in the country's central highlands. He describes it as “a turnip that packs a punch. It imparts energy, sex drive and stamina like nothing else.”

If this is true, the maca will catch like wildfire in the United States, where about 36% of all adults ingest some form of complementary and alternative medicine. The baby boomer generation will provide an enthusiastic target market for the enterprising companies that will make maca pills.

The photographs are by Jennifer Szymaszek, who also recorded the audio. Note to photographers: start learning (and start using) audio recording techniques as soon as you can, if you haven't done so already.

NY Times' Multimedia Feature: Medicine Hunter in Peru

NY Times' Article: On a Remote Path to Cures