Nicole Nicole's Comments (member since Apr 24, 2012)

Nicole's comments from the The Giving Table Book Club group.

(showing 1-12 of 12)

Jul 26, 2012 08:50AM

68627 We're almost half way done now! How are you all coming on Tomatoland? The legal process of fighting slavery has been really interesting to me. The fact that Molloy is continuously working on 10-12 cases at any given time just proves how real this issue is. The victim's stories are just heartbreaking!
Jul 08, 2012 03:25PM

68627 Have you started reading Tomatoland yet? I'm only a couple of chapters in and already I've highlighted and underlined most of the book! I was gripped immediately, especially from Estabrooks description of the tomatoes falling off the truck in Florida. It's stunning that "a 10-foot drop followed by a sixty-mile-per-hour impact with pavement is no big deal to a modern, agribusiness tomato."
Jul 01, 2012 08:27AM

68627 This is the general discussion board for Tomatoland
Part 2: Selling (2 new)
Jun 22, 2012 08:18AM

68627 I started thinking about the term "foodie" after reading the section when Tracie was sitting on the porch in Detroit, talking with Martina.

Martina's colleague spoke with foodies on the radio, and when the show concluded, Martina asked him what the term meant. "It's someone who's really, really into food, and grows their own, and then does things like make preserves and pickles and cans their food." Martina thought this description sounded a lot like her mother, who grows vegetables in her backyard and cooks daily, but her colleague disagreed. It made me wonder.

Was the term foodie just coined for a generation of people who didn't grow up making their own food and for whom cooking wasn't engrained in their culture?

Martina's colleague was right in the contemporary sense. Some of today's foodies entered into a relationship with food as adults, and although food was certainly a part of their childhood, it wasn't a ritual the way they might make it for themselves now. They may cook for themselves, but also love eating out, often photographing every meal with their smart phones and posting them online almost instantly. However, Martina's colleague failed to recognize the legacy of cooking that most cultures possess. Generations of mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers certainly fit the definition of a foodie, "a person keenly interested in food, especially eating and cooking," yet today's culture marginalizes anyone without a camera phone, or who has been living a foodie lifestyle without feeling compelled to name it as such. As it turns out, foodies have always been among us.

In an ideal world, we wouldn't need the word foodie to differentiate between those who are interested in food and those who are not. As more people return to the kitchen, shop at local farmers' markets, and fight for a better food system, we're becoming a society full of food-focused indivuduals, so maybe the term foodie will just be a phase after all.
Part 3: Cooking (1 new)
Jun 16, 2012 11:29AM

68627 Well, it's no surprise that there isn't a lot of real cooking done at Applebee's. Still, I was disappointed to learn what really goes on the kitchen, mainly, the microwaving and reheating that takes place.
Part 1: Farming (3 new)
Jun 13, 2012 10:31AM

68627 Mark Bittman wrote a great op-ed today about food workers in America.

Does this sound like a job you want? Salary: $19,000 (some may be withheld or stolen). No health insurance, paid sick days or paid vacation. Opportunity for advancement: nearly nil.

Check it out here:
Part 1: Farming (3 new)
Jun 04, 2012 05:19PM

68627 Whenever Tracie lists the amount of money she's made for each job, I can't help but cringe at the thought of it. $26 for a 9-hour day picking grapes? It's hard to believe that salaries like this are the reality for Americas farm workers. I would gladly pay more for my grapes and garlic if I knew they were paid a fair wage and had access to medical care and benefits. What about you? Could you survive on $26/day?
May 18, 2012 12:41PM

68627 From the blog today:

On page 2, McMillan reflects briefly on what she grew up eating. Meals included Tuna Helper, Ortega Taco Dinners, and salads with Wish-Bone Ranch Dressing.

Reflecting on my own eating habits, I'm not proud of some of the food I ate when I was younger, but I knew nothing about nutrition, GMOs, or pesticides vs. organic. I ate what tasted good, and that's exactly what the marketers wanted. And while I ate plenty of made-from-scratch meals, what stands out more than my uncle's meatballs or grandma's Italian beef soup is a long list of processed foods including:

*Ragu pasta sauce
*Little Caesar's pizza

So, what did you eat as a kid?
Part 1: Farming (3 new)
May 17, 2012 08:23PM

68627 Well, I'm 25 pages in and can already tell this book will give us a lot to think about! What struck me early on is something very simple, actually, and that's the reminder that poverty is always closer than we realize. On pg. 19, Tracie describes her trailer "in a tiny rural town" about 40 miles from Bakersfield, CA. Driving past any community on a highway, it's easy to see some houses and shopping centers and not think about the people who actually live there. But in central California, especially, where agriculture is a staple livelihood of the region, you can't help but wonder who is picking the grapes and gathering the almonds and planting onions.

Farm workers truly are an invisible population to most of society, and I'm glad this book is bringing some of their struggles to light.
May 11, 2012 07:55AM

68627 A quote from one of the interviews I posted earlier this week with Tracie McMillan got me thinking:

“I definitely saw how if I stayed in those jobs longer, it would have gotten worse,” she said. “The less control I had over my work life, the less empowered I felt to make decisions over diet and health. When I worked shifts at Walmart – which I would say was my most unpleasant job – I really was getting to the point where I was like, ‘screw it, I don’t care.’” Frozen meals, she said, felt “easier” than salad on days when she felt exhausted.

I think for those of us who maintain a healthy lifestyle, limit processed food and are generally aware of the major issues facing the food system, having a frozen meal once in a while if we absolutely have to wouldn't be the end of the world. But what about the people who don't see another option, who don't know how to cook from scratch, or who don't care? We all have days when we feel exhausted. I definitely have my share of "I don't feel like cooking" tonight days, which usually means my husband and I end up walking to Chipotle, probably the only "fast food" restaurant I support. But the next day, I'm back to soaking my oats, making smoothies and cooking dinner from organic ingredients.

No solution here today, just a few thoughts. I'm always aware that not everyone has the same perspective on food, and how it's constantly a challenge to reach the people that need reaching.

What about you? What do you eat when you're too tired to cook?
May 08, 2012 08:07AM

68627 Check out the blog today for some links to author interviews and book news:
Part 2: Selling (2 new)
Apr 24, 2012 04:51PM

68627 Comments welcome on Part 2 of the book!

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