The American Way of Eating

Katey Parker

Katey Parker › Katey's first food memory involves herself hands deep and covered in Gregg's famous chocolate cake, resulting ...


While many books have been written to expose the truth behind our food system, none have been as eye opening as Tracie McMillan’s new book, The American Way of Eating.

Why? She gets her hands dirty.

From picking peaches and garlic in 108 degree heat in Southern California, to stocking produce at Wal-Mart and expediting previously frozen food at one of America’s most successful fast food chains, McMillan seeks to expose the deep dark depths of the food industry by taking one low-wage job at a time.  Undercover and underpaid, she daringly throws herself into the overlooked lifestyles of those who know it best.

Engaging, insightful and incredibly honest, McMillan goes much deeper than her journalistic roots; she speaks from her soul and her intensely personal narrative brings the very human experience behind food production into the minds of her readers.

This book is timely in the sense that it not only questions the way we eat, but explores how we might improve it. She recognizes early on “that both private enterprise and government have failed Americans when it comes to providing us with good, healthy food,” yet there are ways we can begin to make a change. Cook more. Practice urban agriculture. Explore ways to make eating well affordable for everyone.

We have come to know there is a story behind what we put on our dinner plates, but it is thanks to authors like McMillan that the story comes to life. While she offers the well-researched facts, her biggest contributions are the portrayals she gives of her fellow coworkers, the real faces behind America’s food system whose personal stories of struggle and sacrifice give way to the bigger picture.

The bottom line is clear: everyone wants good food – but what is the price we pay for it?


Hardcover, published by Scribner

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