Tag Archives: Food Politics

The Joy of Cooking Facts

This lovely paean to Joy of Cooking  crushes both the bogus science critiquing the cookbook and the broader cultural problem of trying to get reliable science about food and health. Continue reading

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Apocalinks + Sangria!

Climate change may be turning plants into “junk food”–more sugars, fewer proteins and micronutrients, wheat and rice bulked up like Hans and Franz.

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Over the weekend at a party that was genuinely lovely despite impending Trumpocalypse, I tangled myself in a drunken assertion that Stockhom Syndrome doesn’t exist. In the context of terrifying, lying political leaders who govern regular schmoes trying to get by. I was flailing at this argument with two people who had more expertise than I on the topic, including a dear friend with a doctorate in clinical psychology. Sangria for the win. Continue reading

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American Way of Eating: The Thrilling Conclusion

Regular readers (Hi!) may recall my partial book review of The American Way of Eating, a madcap adventure in the economic realities of food industry workers. And I mean industry workers: vegetable pickers, bagged sauce microwavers, and pallet unpackers. She is very clear: there is no cooking in any of her food industry jobs.

No Molto Mario and barely even the Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade she cites. The head of produce at Walmart knew nothing about produce.

Part 1 described McMillan’s experiences as an ag worker in California’s Central Valley. Heat stroke! Tennis elbow! Generosity as self-interested social practice!

She then worked in the grocery section at a Detroit Walmart and the kitchen of an NYC Applebee’s, the world’s largest grocery store and chain restaurant. These sections were so different that they seemed part of a different book.

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Partial Book Review: The American Way of Eating

Who has the cajones to review a book she hasn’t read even half of?

An English Ph.D. That’s who. That’s what we do: speak with authority about books we haven’t finished. I’m a licensed reader, people! It’s got to be good for something.

I recently sped through the first third of Tracie McMillan’s The American Way of Eating, the section about her experiences looking for and doing farm work in California’s Central Valley.

I wouldn’t call it schtick lit, though it has some similarities: Creative-class white woman tries to get bottom-rung food industry jobs to make some point about class and food in the U.S. But I wouldn’t compare it to My Year of Vegan Righteousness or 100 Days in a Row of Sex with my Middle-Aged Spouse. It’s too good. It’s too not-fun.

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