University of Iowa • May 15, 2013
Will Jennings, lecturer with the University of Iowa’s Rhetoric Department and Creative Campus Institute Fellow, will lead a discussion on the book, “The American Way of Eating” by Tracie McMillan. McMillan grew up with a regular diet of processed foods, but through the years became more interested in higher quality foods. …more…
Food and Environment Reporting Network • May 6, 2013
We are honored to report that Tracie McMillan’s story on the plight of farmworkers, “As Common As Dirt,” won a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award last week. The story, produced by the Food & Environment Reporting Network in collaboration with The American Prospect, appeared in the magazine’s September 2012 issue. Considered the Pulitzers of the food reporting world, the Beard Award was FERN’s first journalism prize, and also came within our first year of publishing. …more…
The Sidney Hillman Foundation • April 23, 2013
The Sidney Hillman Foundation announced today the winners of the 2013 Hillman Prizes, awarded to journalists whose work highlights important social and economic issues and helps bring about change for the better. …more…
GoErie.com • March 27, 2013
Awards season is in full bloom in the food world, which means it is time for the International Association of Culinary Professionals to announce the finalists for this year’s cookbook awards, based on new books from 2012. …more…
A lovely nod this weekend from the New Yorker’s Daniel Fromson, via his recommended readings:
Theft is also a major theme in “As Common As Dirt,” from last September’s American Prospect, a narrative that is worth revisiting in light of its nomination for a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award on Monday. Tracie McMillan, author of the well-received “The American Way of Eating”—a “Nickel and Dimed”-esque account of toiling in a Walmart produce department, an Applebee’s, and the fields of California—returns to the last of these places and introduces readers to the seventy-five-year-old Ignacio Villalobos, who is lovingly sketched down to the plastic bags with which he lines his leaky boots. But it’s McMillan’s willingness to dig into a little-discussed corner of agribusiness, and the straight-talking tone with which she lays out the facts, that makes the piece stand out. The article is about farm-labor contractors, who “give American produce growers what companies like China’s Foxconn offer to Apple: a way to outsource a costly and complicated part of the business”—often at the expense of workers like Mr. Villalobos, who are routinely paid less than what they’ve been promised.
I’m traveling for my fellowship (Istanbul! Pics to come) but wanted to make sure I let everyone know that The American Way of Eating is up for a James Beard Award–as is a feature I wrote on farm labor, “As Common As Dirt,” in The American Prospect In the event that you do not follow the food world, this is a big honor in those parts.
I’ve got enough of a punk in me to still feel conflicted about this; there’s a lot of money and pomp poured into a celebration of the monied and well-connected, and that’s not really my thing.
But here’s what IS cool:
It’s a recognition by somewhat powerful people that there is real value in writing, and thinking, about food as it works in the lives of our poor and working classes. It suggests that maybe, just maybe, there is the inkling of a change in the way we grape with food afoot, And I am all about that.
Many thanks to the endless list of people who’ve supported me in my work. I very literally popular not have done it without you
A very quick note of thanks and appreciation goes out this morning to theNational MS Society, Publisher’s Weekly and all the other folks who make the Books for a Better Life Awards Happen. I would have been happy to walk out of last night’s event with my free wine, snacks and talking to good people — and it’s a surprise and honor to have actually won the “Green” category.
When I first heard about the Books for a Better Life Award, I confess that — as an investigative journalist — I was a little leery; they sounded a bit fluffy. But when I really thought about it, I realized that I’m pretty fully on-board. …more…