Spring Travel: Monroe, MI and Lake Placid, NY

I had a wonderfully busy April, enjoying visits with some amazing folks in my home state of Michigan and in the gorgeous Hudson Valley of New York.

First, as part of Monroe County’s One Book, One Community program, I met with journalism students at Monroe Community College; had a delicious dinner with faculty, staff and local library groups; and delivered a lecture at the beautiful La-Z-Boy auditorium. Special thanks to the Toledo Blade for letting folks know about the event; and my wonderful hosts in the English department, Cheryl Johnston and Carrie Nartker, who were incredibly gracious.

And then I took the inimitable Mark Richards up on an invitation to speak to students at Lake Placid’s stunning North Country School. The 4th-9th grade boarding school in New York’s Hudson Valley has a working farm, and work done there is a central part of their education; I even made it onto their daily photos blog here and here. Mark, the librarian, was so taken with my work and its relevance to their students that he designed youth-oriented curricula around it! I’m not sure there’s anything more flattering than that, but the two pieces in the local paper came close:

the calm after the storm: autumn 2013

I can often be a whiner. But right now I’m feeling silent on that front, because the fall has been pretty amazing. I have had the incredible luck to be overwhelmingly busy with work, including reporting for two features that I’m actually excited about — big news for any freelancer. (Keep your eyes out for my byline, fingers crossed, in the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic.)

But I’ve also been privileged enough to be traveling to talk about The American Way of Eating and why having a frank conversation about food and class is important in today’s America. Here’s a quick recap below, mostly to give a shout out to the wonderful, generous people who’ve been hosting my writerly self all across the country (and generously helping me cover living expenses in the process)!

Continue reading “the calm after the storm: autumn 2013”

#AWE a top summer reading pick

If you’re looking for some summer reading, #AWE got a couple nice shout-outs recently:

Molly at Word, the best little neighborhood bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, says “it’s a great investigative tale even if you’re not a sucker for The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Salt Sugar Fat.” Feel free to grab a copy of the book and see if you agree!

And Will Budiaman over at The Daily Meal put #AWE in the first slot for “10 Must Read Books for Home Cooks This Summer.” And called it “gritty undercover investigative reporting at its best and most riveting.”

wow: an awesome press photo #that never happens

Delighted to win the Food Politics and Environment category at James Beard Journalism Awards 2013. Photo by JuanCarlos-H.

If you follow my Twitter feed @TMMcMillan, you’ll already know that on May 3, 2013, I was honored to receive the James Beard Journalism Award for Food Politics and the Environment. The irony of swanning around in a party dress with a champagne flute for writing about farm workers sleeping in the field is not lost on me — and neither is the fact that I should enjoy such things when they come my way. Here’s hoping this means that America, in general, is a little more interested in talking about things like farm labor than before!


ECO Iowa City: Book discussion of “An American Way of Eating”

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. Continue reading “ECO Iowa City: Book discussion of “An American Way of Eating””

FERN Wins James Beard Award

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. Continue reading “FERN Wins James Beard Award”