Year 7, Book 28

28. The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Wal-Mart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields, and the Dinner Table by Tracie McMillan

McMillan is a journalist who took a year of her life to work at jobs where she got to experience food in it’s process from the farm to the table. She began by picking various crops, moved on to working in Wal-Mart first in the shelved food area and then in a different Wal-Mart in the produce section, and finally as an expediter in the kitchen at Applebees’s (a job that entails prepping everything that goes on a plate other than the cooked food and making sure it’s ready to be sent out to the table). She also kept track of her own eating habits during her time at each of the jobs and how much of salary in each instance would have been devoted to food.

I enjoyed the book, though other than the mechanics involved in some of the jobs I didn’t learn much of anything new. I liked her writing style though, and felt like she was telling the story of her life and her experiences rather than grinding an ax which so often I feel like similar books are doing. She didn’t seem to be trying to present things as being better or worse at any of the jobs she was doing than they actually were. She pointed out the pluses and minuses she encountered in all of her positions.

It was an entertaining but also informative read and I would recommend it. I give it a 7 out of 10.

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