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The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table

By Paleo Runners


Paleo Runners • Feb. 28, 2012

Tracie McMillan spent 3yrs working undercover in the food industry.  She learned a lot about the industrial food system off which we subsist.  Her pursuits’ results are in her new book: “The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table”

Her nine debunked perceptions are summarized here:

Tracie McMillan spent 3yrs working undercover in the food industry.  She learned a lot about the industrial food system off which we subsist.  Her pursuits’ results are in her new book: “The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table”
1. Everybody Wants Good Food (85% of 1,500 low-income families surveyed said eating healthy food was a priority.)

2. Poor people spend more on food than the rich. (households earning $5k-35k year, spent 16-35% of their income on food. households earning $70,000 a year or more–spent 8 percent)

3. You can’t eat a balanced diet from food grown here (42% of the nation’s $18 billion in farm subsidies is spent on commodity crops, most of which are the grains that get turned into sweeteners, animal feed, and, grain–and just 5 percent on fruits and vegetables.)

4. Higher wages don’t mean unaffordable food (Farm workers get about 2% of  the cost of food, if we gave them a 40% raise it’d cost us $16 more/year on our grocery bills)

5. Hamburger Helper is expensive (the same ingredients made from scratch is 69% cheaper)

6. The biggest predictor of how much time a woman spends in the kitchen is whether or not she’s married (Women who go to work full-time spend 36 to 48 percent less time in the kitchen)

7. Walmart isn’t always cheaper (produce can be cheaper than you’d expect at a smaller store.)

8. Supermarkets were designed to sell us junk (Supermarkets create a ‘natural oligopoly,’and are explicitly designed to sell industrial food)

9. Eating like the French requires changing more than our meals (The French see food as a much highre priority- result is they spend 6% more than avg US household.  –note, their min wage is 66% higher.)

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