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:

Reporter digs out truth of food in US

Shanghai Daily • March 20, 2013

To report on food sourcing and access in the US, author Tracie McMillan went undercover, picking garlic in the fields in California and working at a Walmart in Michigan and an Applebee’s in New York. She published a book about what she learned from these experiences called “The American Way of Eating.” Knowledge@Wharton recently spoke with McMillan about what she experienced. Continue reading “Reporter digs out truth of food in US”

Book Club Pick: Tracie McMillan: Going Undercover in American Food Culture

Town Hall Seattle • Oct. 17, 2012

In 2009, award-winning journalist Tracie McMillan embarked on an undercover journey to see what it takes to eat well in America when price matters above all else. A project that embraced working and eating at every rung of the socio-economic ladder has culminated in McMillan’s The American Way of Eating, which goes beyond the food on her plate to examine the national priorities that put it there. Continue reading “Book Club Pick: Tracie McMillan: Going Undercover in American Food Culture”

Serious Reads: The American Way of Eating, by Tracie McMillan

Seriouseats.com • Aug. 5, 2012

It’s common knowledge that our food industry is dependent upon the cheap labor of scores of workers in all kinds of service jobs. But the stories of these workers are often untold. Even in a time when talk about food—what to eat, how to eat it, and where to get the best stuff—is pervasive in all forms of media, undocumented, underpaid workers are left out of the conversation. Continue reading “Serious Reads: The American Way of Eating, by Tracie McMillan”

‘The American Way of Eating’: What It’s Like Picking Fruit as a Laborer

The Atlantic • March 8, 2012

If my floor had been clean, I might have made it to the toilet.

This is the initial thought that comes to me here, crouched on the bathroom floor, my face centered over a toilet seat and inches from a wastebasket filled with dirty toilet paper. Saliva and bile dribble from my chin, and I can see, off to the side, where the initial wave of vomit and dusty mucus splattered down the side of the tub. Continue reading “‘The American Way of Eating’: What It’s Like Picking Fruit as a Laborer”

The American Way of Eating: The Book Foodies—and Rush Limbaugh—Are Fretting About

Time • March 7, 2012

I’ve often found myself, in this strange time we are living in, wishing I were Norwegian, and never more so than when engaging with the debate over American foodways. There are some unalterable facts about how the U.S. feeds itself today, or, as Tracie McMillan puts it in her fine new book, The American Way of Eating. One is that a lot of people are fat and unhealthy; another is that not enough people have enough nutritious food to eat; and a third is that the first two groups of people are generally to be found among the poor. Continue reading “The American Way of Eating: The Book Foodies—and Rush Limbaugh—Are Fretting About”