The Common Read is provided to all incoming students to provide a shared intellectual experience through exploration and discussion. This year’s Common Read is Tracie McMillan’s The American Way of Eating.
When McMillan, an award-winning journalist, saw foodies swooning over $9 organic tomatoes, she couldn’t help but wonder: What about the rest of us? Why do working Americans eat the way we do? And what can we do to change it? To find out, McMillan went undercover in three jobs that feed America, living and eating off her wages in each. Reporting from California fields, a Walmart produce aisle outside of Detroit, and the kitchen of a New York City Applebee’s McMillan examines the reality of our country’s food industry and goes beyond the food on our plates to explore the national priorities that put it there.
In addition to small group discussions of the book during this year’s Academic Orientation, many of sections of the First-Year Seminar and English 1103 will be incorporating the book into discussions throughout the semester. Tracie McMillan will also be on campus in September, speaking to first-year students during the President’s Seminar.
The American Way of Eating is one element of our 2016 – 2017 Common Experience “Growing our Future.” The Common Experience engages the campus community in a yearlong exploration of a topic or issue that requires interdisciplinary thought and collaborative action. This year’s theme considers the creation of just and sustainable food systems from the ground to the table. This exploration engages faculty, staff, and students from every discipline on campus as we reflect on the ways in which people and cultures grow, consume, and value food. Our resources page provides supplemental links, videos, and articles related to The American Way of Eating and our theme of “Growing Our Future.”