Is there something wrong with the way we eat?

Do you trust it?

According to the panel of experts at Housing Work’s “The Anti-Food Foodies,” a discussion organized to celebrate the publication of Tracie McMillan’s “The American Way of Eating,” that answer is yes.

“The American Way of Eating” is a first person account of how food is grown, picked, and processed, and consumed in this country. McMillan starts at the farm level, picking a sorting various crops from grapes to garlic before moving on to jobs at Walmart and then finally an Applebees in New York City. McMillan weaves first person accounts of her experiences into historical background and present day studies of the subject.

Along the way McMillan confronts some of the paradoxes of food in the United States where food is abundant but healthy eating habits are not, and where cooking shows proliferate even while home prepared meals have become scarce. Each stage of the journey reveals some striking facts. For instance, McMillan is paid $54.40 for 24 hours worth of work while picking garlic; and the Walmart she worked in disposed of vast amounts of rotten produce, sometimes out of pure inefficiency.

The panel reiterated some of McMillan’s findings before C-SPAN cameras and a large crowd, most of whom were standing anywhere they could. Every member of the panel was adamant that it does not in fact take more time and money to prepare meals from scratch at home and that we have been “brainwashed” to think otherwise. “People have lost the ability to cook and the ability to trust their instincts and their senses” said Erica Wides, host of “Let’s Get Real,” a radio talk show devoted to food.

“The American Way of Eating” is an ambitious book that attempts to cover a not only McMillan’s own experiences but the history and state of food production in the United States. McMillan does an admirable job of presenting all of this information in the space of the book, but what is gained in such a comprehensive approach is sometimes lost in the details, and I found myself often wanting more information on the lives of the people around her. Nevertheless, the book succeeds at giving us an undercover snapshot of food consumption and production in the United States.

You can follow me at personal blog ecstaticdiscourse.tumblr.com  and on twitter at http://twitter.com/vmanapat.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.