CQ Researcher • Aug. 10, 2012
When investigative journalist Tracie McMillan spent a year working in the U.S. food system — cutting garlic in California fields, cleaning produce at Walmart and garnishing plates at a chain restaurant — she learned a hard truth: Healthy meals were barely affordable on wages of $8 per hour or less. Nutritious choices like fresh fruit and vegetables often were more expensive or less convenient than cheap processed op- tions. And the working-class areas where McMillan lived had fewer grocery stores than did affluent suburbs.
“We’re facing a dire public health problem related to poor diet,” she writes in her 2012 book, The American Way of Eating. “Is it really in America’s best interest to maintain a food system where eating well requires one to either be rich or to drive a total of thirty miles?”
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