Tracie McMillan

Tracie McMillan is the author of The New York Times best-seller The American Way of Eating. McMillan is currently a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan and a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. You can contact her by visiting her website at

Recent Articles

As Common As Dirt

In the fields of California, wage theft is how agribusiness is done.

(Photography by David Bacon)

One morning earlier this year, in the borderland town of Brawley, California, 75-year-old Ignacio Villalobos perched on a chair in his trailer, removed a plastic bag from the well of a rubber boot, and finished dressing for work. Dawn was still an hour away, and in the wan light of the kitchen, Villalobos took off his house sandals and pulled the bag over his right foot. He bunched it at the ankle, then slipped his foot into his boot.

“These shoes aren’t made for water,” he said, adding that morning dew and irrigation keep farm fields damp—even in the desert of the Imperial Valley where he was working. Villalobos estimated that a pair of decent used boots would run him $30, almost half a day’s wages; the bags were free.

The Trouble With Food Politics

Barbara Kingsolver's new book on local and homegrown food typifies the elite class outlook that too often afflicts the politics of good eating.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, with Camille Kingsolver and Steven L. Hopp (HarperCollins, 384 pages)

Working, Stiffed

It's difficult to imagine a more sympathetic figure than Barbara Brooks. A full-time child care supervisor and part-time college student, Brooks is raising five kids on her own in a downmarket Long Island town. In the entire 90 minutes of Roger Weisberg's Waging a Living, a documentary about the working poor set to air on PBS on August 29, few moments resonate more than when Brooks wipes away tears to explain, “The harder I work, the harder it gets.”