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From the fields of California, a Walmart produce aisle outside of Detroit, and the kitchen of a New York City Applebee's, McMillan takes us into the heart of America's meals. With startling intimacy she portrays the lives and food of Mexican garlic crews, Midwestern produce managers, and Caribbean line cooks, while also chronicling her own attempts to live and eat on meager wages. Along the way, she asked the questions still facing America a decade after the declaration of an obesity epidemic: Why do we eat the way we do? And how can we change it? To find out, McMillan goes beyond the food on her plate to examine the national priorities that put it there. With her absorbing blend of riveting narrative and formidable investigative reporting, McMillan takes us from dusty fields to clanging restaurant kitchens, linking her work to the quality of our meals-and always placing her observations in the context of America's approach not just to farms and kitchens but to wages and work. The surprising answers that McMillan found on her journey have profound implications for our food and agriculture, and also for how we see ourselves as a nation. Through stunning reportage, Tracie McMillan makes the simple case that-city or country, rich or poor-everyone wants good food.
Fearlessly reported and beautifully written, The American Way of Eating goes beyond statistics and culture wars to deliver a book that is fiercely intelligent and compulsively readable. Talking about dinner will never be the same again.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Harbinger of books on 01-06-14
A bit disappointing
I was browsing through audible and came across the “American Way of Eating” by Tracie McMillan and narrated by Hilary Huber. What caught my attention was this idea of why it is so difficult for so many Americans to eat well. In her book she describes how she takes on a series of unskilled jobs from farm to plate – laboring as a farmhand where she picked grapes, sorted garlic, onions and peaches and later cut garlic. Then she goes on to stock shelves at Wal-Mart and finally works as an expeditor at Applebee’s.
I am always interested in the invisible members of society and to that end I can say Hilary Huber does a wonderful job bringing this story to life. In the field there are some interesting stories about how people are living and what people are eating. Then after she leaves the fields we rather lose that perspective instead it mostly about take home pay and what she encounters at work.
Unfortunately the point of her book was supposed to be more about why it is so difficult for American’s to eat well. By the end of her book I could not really see the connection between the work she did and people’s food choices. I know what it is like to wake up and work in a crappy job all while trying to make ends meet. I know how hard it is to figure out how to pay for the basic necessities of life and while I have always chosen to buy whole food instead of fast or convenience food – her story made it seem like this is not an option.
I think I am disappointed in this book because I wanted more about social change, people making different conscious efforts to support a better food structure. I wanted more time in the fields to see how they did eat and more in depth stories about their health that kind of thing.
So for me the book missed its own mark. I think it was entertaining though just not sure if it is really all that informative.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Bleu on 07-22-13
Interesting Story, Great Narration
This book was a little slow and sometimes felt a little scattered, but overall I found the information to be pretty interesting. I liked narrator Hillary Huber's voice a lot, and it really seemed to fit the author. The style came across as very conversational, and it very much felt like the author was just relating her story to me in a casual and entertaining way.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By ACD on 09-30-14
Good content, bad medium
Would you try another book written by Tracie McMillan or narrated by Hillary Huber?
I would try another book written by Tracie McMillan.I would not try another book narrated by Hillary Huber (see below).
Who was your favorite character and why?
Not relevant to my review.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
The tone of the reader was detached from and often opposite to the content of the book. The book critiques aspects of the food industry yet the narration sounded like a lively radio voice. The best examples may be several cases where something negative is being said about Wal-Mart but the narrator pronounces the company's name with such gusto you would think it's a commercial.
What character would you cut from The American Way of Eating?
This questions adds no value. It's the author's book for her to publish, not mine to edit.
Any additional comments?
Is there a volume control on the web player? I can't find it.