The author, a journalist with interest in food and its distribution in America, has succeeded in creating a highly interesting and revealing book.
It explains in detail how, and under what conditions, produce is harvested, graded, packaged, and distributed to cities.
The she works for Walmart, the biggest grocery store chain int eh world, to discover how poorly the company handles fresh food. She then switches to Applebee, the largest sit-down restaurant chain in the world, to experience how supposedly “freshly cooked” food is simply reheated ad assembled by poorly paid and inexperienced “cooks”.
Tracie McMillan provides valuable information about how food is “factory” grown or produced in America, and how immigrant (legal and illegal) workers harvest it.
She provides social commentary that everyone (at least in North America) should know.
This painstakingly, footnoted work requires the attention of all authorities in charge of food inspection, retailing, and social well being of the population. More importantly, the narrative explores the reasons of how and whet the American public eats the way it does.
This is a book to read with delight to understand the shortcomings of a society bent on extreme capitalism with no regard to human suffering.
It contributes a great deal to understanding and appreciating food, especially perishable food that requires more thoughtful handling and fast distribution.
Tracie McMillan, maybe inadvertently, or consciously, stresses the need to emphasise the importance of locally produced food to ensure nutritional value.
Pointing out why so few field inspectors in California or elsewhere in the country check the legality of field workers also touches upon food politics.
If you think you are being served freshly cooked food in a large restaurant, you may want to think again, as very few really cook from scratch, and with some expertise.
Most of the restaurant food is mass-produced, frozen, or otherwise made “shelf stable”, portioned, to be reheated, put on plates, and garnished to be served to unsuspecting patrons willing to pay high prices for the convenience.
If you grew up eating meat and potatoes, and mushy vegetables, you may think mid-priced restaurants in America serve “gourmet” food, but in reality the food is anything but.
All authorities involved in food production should study this book, rethink food distribution rules and regulations, restaurant inspections, the public and all students of hotel and restaurant management schools all over the country and the world.