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Monday, March 19, 2012

Tracie McMillan's Talk on The American Way of Eating May Not Leave You Hungry

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM

In short: don't eat canned foods.
  • In short: don't eat canned foods.

What: Food author Tracie McMillan talks about what's wrong with the American food industry.

Where: Omnivore Books on Food, 3885 Cesar Chavez (at Church).

When: Thu., March 22, 6 to 7 p.m.

Cost: Your appetite -- what McMillan says may not leave you hungry

The Rundown: It might take food writer Tracie McMillan more than an hour to tell us the gut-wrenching truths about our national diet. After living undercover for a year working the fields and stocking shelves with canned food, she is an authority on the subject.

McMillan's discoveries during her investigation of the food industry are published in her book, The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's Farm Fields and the Dinner Table.

In fact, there's been pushback already. Rush Limbaugh recently took 40 minutes on air to criticize McMillan's book -- which she took as a compliment. Instead of examining her facts, Limbaugh attacked McMillan's background as a single, white, middle-class female.

"The war on women now includes unmarried white women working at these horrible places like Walmart and Applebee's," Limbaugh scoffed, implying that good Americans should stick with Walmart produce and be happy about it.

"Where do I send the thank you note?" McMillan asked in a response in The Atlantic.

In fact, McMillan said in an interview with Bon Appetit that she corrects age-old statistics in her book:

I kept hearing people cite this statistic that Detroiters spend 60 percent of their food stamps at corner stores on stuff like liquor and junk food, with just enough normal food spending to get certified. That's a powerful statistic that really indicts the food system in Detroit. So, I asked where that number was from, and they're like 'Oh, I don't know, I just heard it.' ... It took me and a research assistant 30 phone calls and emails and two months to track down a good statistic after that, and we found that the real number was 14 percent. Which is still double the national average, so is significant, but it's not 60 percent! So there's a lack of real reporting on this kind of stuff, which I'm hoping will change soon.

Guests will have the opportunity to ask McMillan questions, purchase the book, and have it signed by the author.

Follow SFoodie on Twitter at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook. Follow Erin Browner on Twitter at@eringobro.

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