The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan
Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table

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As long as Ms. McMillan concentrates on what she actually saw and did, she has an interesting story to tell and she tells it well. Unfortunately, again and again, just as one settles into her persuasive personal testimony, she starts taking polemical potshots. Wal-Mart's routine use of house brands...
-WSJ online

Synopsis

Now in paperback, this New York Times bestselling work of undercover journalism offers “a compelling and cogent argument that eating healthily ought to be easier” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer).

When award-winning (and working-class) journalist Tracie McMillan saw foodies swooning over $9 organic tomatoes, she couldn’t help but wonder: What about the rest of us? Why do working Americans eat the way we do? And what can we do to change it? To find out, McMillan went undercover in three jobs that feed America, living and eating off her wages in each. Reporting from California fields, a Walmart produce aisle outside of Detroit, and the kitchen of a New York City Applebee’s, McMillan examines the reality of our country’s food industry in this “clear and essential” (The Boston Globe) work of reportage. Chronicling her own experience and that of the Mexican garlic crews, Midwestern produce managers, and Caribbean line cooks with whom she works, McMillan goes beyond the food on her plate to explore the national priorities that put it there.

Fearlessly reported and beautifully written, The American Way of Eating goes beyond statistics and culture wars to deliver a book that is fiercely honest, strikingly intelligent, and compulsively readable. In making the simple case that—city or country, rich or poor—everyone wants good food, McMillan guarantees that talking about dinner will never be the same again.
 

About Tracie McMillan

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A working-class transplant from rural Michigan, Brooklyn-based writer Tracie McMillan has written about food and class for a variety of publications including, The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Harper’s Magazine; Saveur; and Slate. After putting herself through New York University, she began reporting and from 2001 to 2005 she was the managing editor of the award-winning magazine City Limits. There, she won recognition from organizations ranging from the James Beard Foundation to World Hunger Year. Follow her at TracieMcMillan.com or @TMMcMillan.
 
Published February 21, 2012 by Scribner. 338 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Political & Social Sciences, Cooking, Science & Math, Business & Economics, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The American Way of Eating
All: 3 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Feb 20 2012

Ms. McMillan is an amiable writer, yet her book is lighted from within by anger at the poor food options many in this country face.

Read Full Review of The American Way of Eating: U... | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Below average
Reviewed by Aram Bakshian Jr. on Feb 28 2012

As long as Ms. McMillan concentrates on what she actually saw and did, she has an interesting story to tell and she tells it well. Unfortunately, again and again, just as one settles into her persuasive personal testimony, she starts taking polemical potshots. Wal-Mart's routine use of house brands...

Read Full Review of The American Way of Eating: U... | See more reviews from WSJ online

LA Times

Below average
Reviewed by Carolyn Kellogg on Feb 19 2012

What's just plain weird is how little we read of her own eating habits; what we see doesn't adhere to the healthful eating she advocates.

Read Full Review of The American Way of Eating: U... | See more reviews from LA Times

Reader Rating for The American Way of Eating
75%

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