Tracie McMillan's BookThe Winona State University 2014-15 Common Book will be “The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields, and the Dinner Table” by Tracie McMillan.

“The American Way of Eating” explores the dilemma faced by many Americans who want to eat healthy food but aren’t sure they can afford it. McMillan’s book asks why Americans, and particularly working Americans, eat the way they do, as well as what they can do to change it.

In 2009, McMillan spent a year working undercover at three jobs in different parts of the American food system, trying to support herself and eat on the wages she earned in each position. She lived, worked and shared kitchens with her co-workers. During her year of undercover reporting, McMillan picked fruit and cut garlic in California, stocked produce at a Wal-Mart near Detroit, and worked in the kitchen of an Applebee’s in New York.

McMillan explores labor, economics, politics, and social science to reveal new and surprising truths about how America’s food is grown, sold and prepared.

McMillan is Brooklyn-based journalist, whose work has been featured in many publications, including The New York Times, Harper’s, Slate, Saveur, O Magazine, Salon, and Gastronomica. She has won several national awards including the Harry Chapin Media Award, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, and has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation. She is a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.

McMillan is scheduled to visit WSU Sept. 29-30, with a keynote address at 7 p.m. on Sept. 29 in the Harriet Johnson Auditorium. For more information about McMillan or the WSU Common Book Project, contact Ann-Marie Dunbar at