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

THE AMERICAN WAY OF EATING

When award-winning (and working-class) journalist Tracie McMillan saw foodies swooning over $9 organic tomatoes, she couldn’t help but wonder: What about the rest of us? Why do working Americans eat the way we do? And what can we do to change it?

To find out, McMillan went undercover in three jobs that feed America, living and eating off her wages in each. Reporting from California fields, a Walmart produce aisle outside of Detroit, and the kitchen of a New York City Applebee’s, McMillan examines the reality of our country’s food industry. Chronicling her own experience and that of the Mexican garlic crews, Midwestern produce managers, and Caribbean line cooks, with whom she works, McMillan goes beyond the food on her plate to explore the national priorities that put it there.

Fearlessly reported and beautifully written, The American Way of Eating goes beyond statistics and culture wars to deliver a book that is fiercely honest, strikingly intelligent and compulsively readable. In making the simple case that—city or country, rich or poor—everyone wants good food, McMillan guarantees that talking about dinner will never be the same again.

PRAISE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY OF EATING

“A compelling and cogent argument that eating healthily ought to be easier.” Cleveland Plain Dealer


“Valiant…McMillan’s undercover work for
The American Way of Eating takes readers on an educational journey.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“The book Ms. McMillan’s most resembles is Barbara Ehrenreich’s bestsellerNickel and Dimed. Like Ms. Ehrenreich, Ms. McMillan goes undercover amid this country’s working poor…This is a voice the food world needs.” – Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“A vivid, compassionate portrait of the working class.”
Portland Oregonian

PODCAST

BOOK CLUB RECIPES

Jessica Jones hex headshotIn these winter months, there’s nothing like a good book and a cup of something hot to drink in your hands. Our resident recipe guru Jessica Jones weighs in with some tasty treats that’ll take your book club to the next level. Whether it’s you and your book on the couch or a whole crew of friends: it’s time to celebrate those shortened days with a warm glow from indoors. Check out Jessica’s blog and podcast, Food Heaven Made Easy, an online resource for delicious and nutritious plant-based living. Learn more about Jessica here.

Rosemary & Beet Roasted Pita Pizza

Serves 1
INGREDIENTS
  1. 1 medium beet, peeled and quartered
  2. 1 sprig of rosemary
  3. 4 garlic cloves
  4. 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  5. 1/2 lime
  6. 1/4 cup water
  7. 1 whole wheat pita
  8. 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  9. 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  10. 3 pitted black olives, halved
  11. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  12. Salt and black pepper to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F
  2. Place the beets and rosemary on a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap these ingredients with the foil
  3. Bake for 20 minutes
  4. Allow to cool, and in a blender, add the roasted beets, garlic, chickpeas, juice of lime, and water
  5. Blend until smooth and consistent
  6. Warm the pita bread in the oven or on the stovetop for a couple of minutes
  7. Spread the beet paste onto the warm pita
  8. Top with cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and the roasted rosemary
  9. Drizzle olive oil over the pita, and finish off with salt and black pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Sugar Pumpkin Green Tea soupSUGAR PUMPKIN GREEN TEA SOUP

From Food Heaven Made Easy
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
  1. 5 cups water
  2. 2 Lipton® Pure Green Tea bags
  3. 1/2 cup dried yellow split peas
  4. 1/4 onion, chopped
  5. 3 cloves garlic
  6. 1 cup cooked sugar pumpkin
  7. 1 teaspoon paprika
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  9. Salt and black pepper, to taste
  10. Optional: Garnish with sun dried tomatoes and/or sliced jalapeño
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Start by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot
  2. Then add the tea bags and steep for 3-4 minutes
  3. Remove the tea bags, and add the split peas
  4. Cook over medium heat with the cover on for 35-40 minutes, or until the peas are tender
  5. Allow the cooked peas to cool, and in a blender, add everything in the pot (peas + liquid), onion, garlic, and the cooked sugar pumpkin
  6. Blend until a smooth, creamy consistency has been reached
  7. Pour the blend back into the pot, add 1 cup of water, and also add paprika and cumin
  8. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes
  9. Add salt and black pepper, to taste

Kale Taco Salad with Black Beans & Soyrizo

Serves 2
INGREDIENTS
  1. 3 cups of kale
  2. 1 heart of romaine
  3. 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  4. A pinch of salt
  5. 10 olives
  6. 1 small bunch of cilantro
  7. 12 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  8. 1/2 avocado
  9. 1 cup of cooked black beans
  10. 1/2 cup of soyrizo
  11. 1/4 cup of salsa of your choice
  12. Juice of 1/2 lime
  13. Optional: 1/4 cup of shredded cheese
  14. Optional: Salad dressing of your choice (or you can keep it simple but just using the lime to flavor the greens, like we did)
  15. 10 chips
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Wash and chop the kale
  2. To soften kale, massage with 1 teaspoon of olive oil + salt
  3. Wash and chop the heart of romain and then mix with the kale
  4. Chop vegetables and mix with greens
  5. Mix black beans with soyrizo and cook for 2-3 minutes in the microwave or on the stovetop
  6. Mix soyrizo mixture into salad
  7. Top with the juice of 1/2 lime. Here’s where you add the optional cheese and salad dressing if desired
  8. Top with salsa and serve with chips

CONNECT WITH TRACIE

Follow Tracie on Twitter: @TMMcMillan

Find Tracie on Facebook: @AmericanWayofEating

Check out Tracie’s website: www.traciemcmillan.com

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