The book is intelligently written with numerous insights. The author goes undercover to get an inside account of what it takes to work in the Californian fields, Walmart, the world’s largest grocery aisles and serve up food first hand to hungry Americans at Applebees. It’s a glimpse into the realities of FOOD PRODUCTION AND DELIVERY and raises questions around the entire system food systems in North America. Early on in the book, Tracie discovers that farm worker wages could be raised by 40% and would only increase the average American family’s produce bill by $16 per year. She goes on to carefully explain why there are so many obstacles to make this happen (see page 28-29). This book is also a fascinating history around the grocery industry itself . Each new job includes a calculation of real life budgets of covering life’s basic needs based on her wages and there is a detailed analysis at the end of the book and a broader look at the reality of realistically making ends meet and the percentage of income we devote to this basic necessity. There are acts of generosity from her fellow workers along the way and it is a sober reminder of the reality of living when every single penny counts. It was an uncomfortable reminder of when every cent that flowed through my household was crucial to my family’s well-being. Were it not for greatly subsidized living standards via the generosity of family and friends and church, my children would have had a far different early childhood.
This book is important and I think it is well worth the time to digest it.
I would love any feedback on how you managed through the tough times and or if you would like a free copy of the book mailed to you. I will contact one lucky contributor by June 15 to mail out their copy of the book.
Full book description below:
The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table
Scribner | February 21, 2012 | Hardcover