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  • Beyond the plate: award-winning author to share experiences as an undercover worker in America's food industry at WVU April 8

Beyond the plate: award-winning author to share experiences as an undercover worker in America's food industry at WVU April 8

Tracie McMillianIn today’s food-obsessed culture with farm-to-table meals, organic foods and fresh, locally sourced ingredients, what does it take for working class, average Americans to eat well?

Tackling issues around food and class, award-winning journalist and author Tracie McMillan examines these issues in her New York Times best-seller, “The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table.”

Next month, McMillan will visit West Virginia University to discuss her experiences working undercover in the food industry. Her presentation, “Labor, Economics and Politics: How the Working Poor Eats,” will be Friday, April 8, at 11:30 a.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center North, Room 1905. There will be a book signing immediately following McMillan’s presentation.

Since the start of her career in the late 1990s, McMillan has written about American inequality and food, using a discussion of our meals to investigate the depths of social and economic class in the U.S.

The book—McMillan’s first— mixes immersive reporting, undercover investigative techniques and first-person narrative. It has won several awards including the Sidney Hillman Prize for Book Journalism and Books for a Better Life Award. McMillan has also won significant acclaim apart from her work as an author.

In 2013, she won a James Beard Journalism Award for a feature on farm labor she wrote for The American Prospect, and in 2012, Whole Living magazine named her a “Food Visionary.” As a freelance author, she has written for a range of publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The American Prospect, Slate, Harper’s and O: The Oprah Magazine.

This event is part of The Public Health Dialogues Speaker Series, which is sponsored by the Office of Public Health Practice and Workforce Development within the WVU School of Public Health. The Office of Public Health Practice and Workforce Development is proud to be West Virginia’s local performance site for the Health Resources and Services Administration Mid-Atlantic Public Health Training Center. The WVU Reed College of Media is co-sponsoring the event.

The series is free and open to the public, but participants are encouraged to RSVP and reserve a complimentary lunch by contacting

The HRSA project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number UB6HP27882 Affordable Care Act Public Health Training Centers for $855,000.00. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.