Since 2001, I have produced award winning work, receiving recognition from the Sidney Hillman Foundation, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the James Beard Foundation, the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, the Harry Chapin Media Award, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, the Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism, and more.
For the past two summers, I had the privilege to be on assignment in China exploring the changes being wrought on that country’s food system,and the costs of benefits of those changes. Even better, the photographer on the piece is the inimitable George Steinmetz. Keep an eye out for both our work in February 2018.
Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz @feedtheplanet Much of China’s fertile land is difficult to cultivate or mechanize, like these terraces on the Loess Plateau in Ningxia Province. The terraces were cut by bull dozer, but most of the farming is still done by hand on small family run plots, which are typical in China where the government owns all the land. The wheat is golden in this aerial photo, and the ripening corn is green. #onassignment for @natgeo
New York Times
October 30, 2017
By Tracie McMillan
In 2010, I took a job at a New York City Applebee’s. I said I was considering culinary school and wanted to get some experience in a real kitchen, but I was actually there to write about the experience for a book. I had grand plans to take a genre steeped in machismo and tell a woman’s story instead.
I got what I was after, though not in the way I had hoped. My kitchen stint included sexual harassment so common that it became background noise, and a sexual assault, which did not. Continue reading “When the Kitchen Isn’t Safe for Women”
New York Times Sunday Review • July 9, 2017
Several years ago, during a harsh Detroit winter, I swallowed my pride and applied for food stamps. I wasn’t sure I’d qualify, but I knew three things. I had little money in the bank, little chance of quickly earning more and I needed to eat. So I tried my luck with the government. Continue reading “Who Do We Think Of as Poor?”
via Twitter • May 2, 2017
- Thrilled to have been in conversation w/ @UCBerkeleyIRP @Shane_Bauer @sukisworld @ailsachang @jamesjonestv at #LoganSymposium2017. But…
- Also wish we dug deeper about complexities re: race/gender w/ @UCBerkeleyIRP. Tagging some thoughts with #LoganSymposium2017.
- Typically, “undercover” = swashbuckling white dude (SWD) doing something dangerous. Is there a role for this kind of work? Sure.
- But SWD-as-default makes it seem like SWD=“authentic” truthteller. Both “white” and “dude” parts are crucial. Continue reading “Semi-Rant RE: Race, Gender and the Problem with “Undercover” Reporting”
New York Times Sunday Review • Dec. 18, 2016
Seven years ago, I joined the night shift at a Walmart in rural Michigan. For $8.10 an hour, I spent four or five nights a week filling shelves with the flour and sugar and marshmallow fluff that residents of the local county, which in 2008 voted for Barack Obama, needed to get through the holidays. Four years ago, the county went with President Obama a second time, though by a thinner margin. But this past November, the county, like the state, turned red.
One in seven American workers is employed in some segment of the food chain, from apple pickers to packing-house workers, truckdrivers to supermarket clerks to fast food counter staff. And many of them increasingly struggle to put food on their own tables, according to a report released Monday from the Food Chain Workers Alliance, an advocacy group founded in 2009, and the Solidarity Research Center. What’s more, the problem is worse among women and people of color.
“The Plate,” National Geographic • Nov. 1, 2016
Researchers angling to solve America’s food waste problem are taking cues from Instagram and developing an app to measure food waste from your food pictures.
Presented at the 2016 Southern Foodways Symposium
University of Mississipi
October 14, 2016
Mexico, where corn began, understands itself not only as a nation of corn-eaters, but as corn itself. One of that country’s best known idioms is Sin mais, no hay pais: Without corn, there is no country.
But as I look at what’s eaten in both Mexico and the U.S., I have to be honest: We eat an awful lot of Jiffy and Maseca.
“The Plate,” National Geographic • Oct. 7, 2016
The absolute last interview I did in China convinced me: The country has a burgeoning locavore movement, complete with farm-to-table fast(ish) food and home delivery of small-farm produce.