Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table

No, Not Me…

This last weekend found us at the Natural Foods Industry Trade Show in Anaheim–Natural Products Expo West.


May I just say this show is HUGE?  Thousands of exhibits, vendors, new products, great ideas.  It’s a bit overwhelming, but also very exciting to see the passion and innovation involved in the natural products industry.  

While there, we attended the keynote speech, given by Tracie McMillan, author of The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table.  

     Tracie is a freelance journalist who decided to work in the farm fields, at Walmart, and at Applebee’s to get a true picture of the working poor, how food gets from farm to table, and to start a conversation about food policies.  She wanted to know how our food system works, both inside and out.  

     Most of her keynote address focused on her work in the farm fields of California.  She worked for two months total in three areas–grape vineyards, peach sorting, and garlic harvesting.  She described her living and working conditions, as well as the pittance that she earned.  
     One of Tracie’s quests as she set out on the undercover work, was to see how people who earned minimum wage–or less–were able to live and eat.  
     She talked briefly about the “food deserts” that are in American–places where people are unable to find fresh food, and where their economic situation makes it close to impossible to afford it.  
I am looking forward to reading her book–which I downloaded on my ebook reader.
For more information, you can go to her blog.  There are plenty of reviews of her book, and here are two:  the NY Times Review and the LA Times Review.
If you want to get a taste of the actual book, you can go to this Slate article which exerpts three sections.

It’s always great to go to Expo West, and one of the reasons is the line-up of educational and informational speakers!  This year was an eye-opening one for me.  Watch this blog for more posts of what I’m reading!

Happy reading and  delicious eating!

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