TEDx Ohio State University

An Environmental Historian's Requiem for Recycling
April 9, 2019

In his first TEDx talk, Bartow Elmore explores how the solution to the current plastic waste problem lies in the history of one of the biggest enterprises in the world: the Coca-Cola industry. Bart Elmore studies the past in order to understand how we can live more sustainably on this planet.

National Public Radio

Going Plastic-less In The U.S.
All Sides with Ann Fisher
April 8, 2019

Plastic in the oceans. Plastic on the beaches, berms and ditches that line the roadways. On All Sides, Bart Elmore and fellow guests discuss the shift away from plastic and toward zero waste.

Elmore’s segment begins at 32:45.


Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University

Roundup from the Ground Up: The Buried History of Monsanto's World-Famous Herbicide
December 6, 2018

Bart Elmore’s lecture about Monsanto that was given for the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University.

Bart Elmore talks about the the human health threats posted by Monsanto’s Roundup, a herbicide sprayed on food crops throughout the country.


Cash Investigation

Plastique: La Grande Intox
Plastic: The Great Propaganda
Presenter: Elise Lucet
Director: Sandrine Rigaud
May 31, 2018

The French TV show Cash Investigation, in partnership with the weekly editorial Le Un 1, explores the masses of plastic being produced by big consumer brands. In this full-length documentary, Elise Lucet investigates the secret strategies of one of the world's soft drink giants and its failed sustainability promises.

Bart Elmore’s segment begins at 19:50. Video can be viewed in full here. Audio commentary is in French.

The Verge

Coke Claims to Give Back as Much Water as It Uses. An Investigation Shows It Isn’t Even Close.
Christine MacDonald
May 31, 2018

A year of reporting into Coca-Cola’s water program shows that the company is grossly exaggerating its water record, which suggests that its new “World Without Waste” recycling plan should also be viewed with skepticism.


What Does This Say About Us?
May 4, 2018

Bart Elmore’s interview with CSR BootIQ, a sustainability consulting firm located in Bucharest, Romania.

National Public Radio

Is Coca-Cola's Recycling Goal Feasible?
GPB News
Celeste Headlee & Sean Powers
January 23, 2018

Last week, the Coca-Cola Company unveiled an ambitious plan to recycle a bottle or can for every drink it sells by 2030. It is the latest move by the Atlanta-based soda giant to address environmental concerns tied to its production. Will this plan work?

Extra Crispy

What Coca-Cola for Breakfast Means to Arkansas
Whitney Friedlander
December 4, 2017

Author Whitney Friedlander begins to wonder why Coca-Cola is so interwoven in the fabric of Southern breakfast tables.

Time Crisis with Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend

Time Crisis, Episode 35
Apple Music Beats 1 Radio
February 2017

Bart Elmore speaks with Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig on Apple Music Beats 1 Radio. Segment begins at 22:50.

The Southern Story of Coca-Cola (Gravy podcast Episode 51)

Southern Foodways Alliance
Gravy Podcast with Tina Antolini
December 1, 2016

You might think of Coca-Cola as an iconic American brand… and you’d be right. But, it was born in the South. How did Coke’s Atlanta birthplace shape what the soft drink became? And how has Coke shaped the South? It’s a story that includes many surprising twists and turns, from Civil War wounds to temperance movements, racist fears to philanthropy, and small town soda jerks to Peruvian coca farmers.

Tina Antolini speaks with Bart Elmore about these topics and more in this episode of the Southern Foodways Alliance's Gravy podcast.

Time Magazine

The History of Recycling in America Is More Complicated Than You May Think
Olivia B. Waxman
November 15, 2016

Olivia Waxman interviews Bart Elmore about his argument that, even as environmentalism has become more mainstream, recycling advocacy efforts have failed in the last 25 years.

Coca-Cola Capitalism, Cornucopia, and Corpulence

Southern Foodways Alliance 2016 Fall Symposium: Corn as Symbol, Sustenance, and Problem
University of Mississippi, Oxford
October 14, 2016

Bart Elmore's talk at the Southern Foodways Alliance Fall Symposium about how Citizen Coke is a corn syrup-fueled global phenomenon.

Wisconsin Public Radio

To the Best of Our Knowledge
Big Soda Series
Coca-Cola Capitalism
February 7, 2016

In To The Best of Our Knowledge's series on Big Soda, Bart Elmore talks about how the Coca-Cola Company became such a powerhouse. In a sidebar, Elmore answers the age-old question of whether there was ever actual cocaine in Coca-Cola products.

International Society of Sustainability Professionals

Is It the Real Thing? What History Can Tell Us About the Sustainability of the Coca-Cola Company And Why That Matters to Your Business
December 10, 2015 - 11 AM PST / 2 PM EST

In this webinar, environmental historian Bart Elmore will discuss the long history of Coke's packaging technology and explain how and why the company (and the beverage industry as a whole) abandoned the returnable container in the United States. He'll explain that this was not an inevitable outcome and discuss how other countries took different paths that have yielded better results in terms of reducing packaging waste.

Join us as Professor Elmore looks to the past to consider how companies might reimagine returning to returnable delivery systems that are good for business and for the environment.

American Historical Association

Perspectives on History
An Environmental History of the Real Thing
October 2015

As the main feature story in the official newsmagazine of the American Historical Association, Bart Elmore discusses his inspiration for writing Citizen Coke.

National Public Radio

Another Man's Treasure: A History of Trash
Cashing In
Aired May 1, 2015

Historian Bart Elmore explains how big business lies behind early efforts to encourage Americans to recycle.


Charlottesville, Virginia
April 22, 2014

Bart Elmore speaks with producer Miranda Bennett about how the environmental costs shed by Coke have fallen on the public at large.

The American Interest

Killer Coke
Nicholas Freudenberg
February 3, 2015

Nicholas Freudenberg writes that "Coke is indeed ‘the real thing’ if reality is about shrewdly offloading risk and responsibility in order to make loads of money," and argues that "Citizen Coke and Killer Coke are conjoined twins, each providing the other with essential life support."

Times Higher Education

Book of the Week: Citizen Coke
Isabelle Szmigin
February 12, 2015

Isabelle Szmigin writes about the not-so secret formula underpinning a highly profitable global model, and Karen Shook offers an in-depth profile of author Bart Elmore.

The Wall Street Journal

Coke's Formula for Success
Marc Levinson
November 21, 2014

In this Wall Street Journal book review of Citizen Coke, Marc Levinson proclaims that "[Elmore] examines an old story in a very new way, offering unaccustomed perspectives on a company whose leading product is a household name around the globe."

Financial Times

Coca-Cola: ‘Within arm’s reach of desire’
Michael Skapinker
February 27, 2015

David Butler, VP Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Coca-Cola, and an environmental historian, Bartow Elmore, put the case for and against Coke.

Management Today

Coca-Cola crushed: The real thing ain't what it used to be
Matthew Gwyther
February 23, 2015

Management Today's Matthew Gwyther explains how Citizen Coke shows "the dark side to Coke's global colonization process," and that "rather than being an engine of development and philanthropy, [Coca-Cola] was a manipulator of global sugar and caffeine markets and a parasite on public health and the planet."


Big Soda unmasked: It’s not as sweet as you think
Mal Warwick
January 22, 2015

Berkeleyside's 5-star review of Citizen Coke.

Daily Mail

The very first Coke? It was Bordeaux mixed with cocaine... and 23 other interesting facts about the world's best-known brand
January 14, 2015

The British daily extracts 24 little-known facts about Coca-Cola from Citizen Coke.

The Huffington Post

In the Battle Over Sugar Taxes, Does Big Soda Really Believe in Big Business?
Bartow J. Elmore
January 15, 2015

Bart Elmore's take on Berkeley, California's recent controversial decision to impose a tax on sugary soft drinks sold in the city.


Coke made us all obese: McDonald’s, high-fructose corn-syrup and the sick, super-sized strategy to make you fat
Bartow J. Elmore
January 4, 2015

The full excerpt of Chapter 9, "High-Fructose Corn Syrup", from Citizen Coke.

The New York Times

Sunday Book Review: Citizen Coke
Beth Macy
January 2, 2015

The New York Times Sunday Book Review of Bart Elmore's Citizen Coke.


Coca-Cola’s anti-American outsourcing scheme: How Big Soda gets the public to shoulder its costs
Lindsay Abrams
January 2, 2015

Historian Bartow Elmore talks to Salon about "Coca-Cola capitalism".

U.S. News & World Report

The Soft Drink that Conquered the World
Elaina Koros
December 18, 2014

Bart Elmore's recent interview with U.S. News & World Report about the sustainability and applicability of “Coca-Cola capitalism.”

Fortune Magazine

How Coca-Cola built a sugary empire, by outsourcing as much as possible
November 25, 2014

Bart Elmore discusses how Coca-Cola became incredibly adept at getting other businesses and local governments to bear the majority of the costs of producing and distributing its products.

Bloomberg Radio

The Bloomberg Advantage with Kathleen Hays & Vonnie Quinn
November 20, 2014

Bart Elmore talks about his book, Citizen Coke, on Bloomberg Radio. Segment begins at 14:10.

The Huffington Post

U.S. Coke Sales Have Dropped So It's Selling To Nations That Don't Have An Obesity Epidemic... Yet
Bartow J. Elmore
October 2, 2014

Bart Elmore's take on Coca-Cola's recently announced efforts to curb America's obesity problem and how these decisions will impact the rest of the world.

Redefining the Welcome Table: Inclusion and Exclusion in American Foodways

Keynote Speaker
University of Mississippi, Oxford
September 25, 2014

Bart Elmore's keynote talk at Redefining the Welcome Table, a conference hosted by the Southern Foodways Alliance and The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. The Southern Foodways Alliance is an Institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.

National Public Radio

America, Inc. - A History of Corporations
Coca-Cola Capitalism
Aired June 20, 2014

Host Brian Balogh talks to historian Bart Elmore about how the Coca-Cola corporation explored an unusual 'secret formula' for economic organization and success, radically different from other large companies of its age.


American History TV
History of the Coca-Cola Company
Organization of American Historians Annual Meeting
Atlanta, Georgia
Aired April 11, 2014