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The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket

"A deeply curious and evenhanded report on our national appetites." --The New York Times

In the tradition of Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore's Dilemma, an extraordinary investigation into the human lives at the heart of the American grocery store


The miracle of the supermarket has never been more apparent. Like the doctors and nurses who care for the sick, suddenly the men and women who stock our shelves and operate our warehouses are understood as 'essential' workers, providing a quality of life we all too easily take for granted. But the sad truth is that the grocery industry has been failing these workers for decades.

In this page-turning expose, author Benjamin Lorr pulls back the curtain on the highly secretive grocery industry. Combining deep sourcing, immersive reporting, and sharp, often laugh-out-loud prose, Lorr leads a wild investigation, asking what does it take to run a supermarket? How does our food get on the shelves? And who suffers for our increasing demands for convenience and efficiency? In this journey:




   We learn the secrets of Trader Joe's success from Trader Joe himself
   Drive with truckers caught in a job they call "sharecropping on wheels"
   Break into industrial farms with activists to learn what it takes for a product to earn certification labels like "fair trade" and "free range"
   Follow entrepreneurs as they fight for shelf space, learning essential tips, tricks, and traps for any new food business
   Journey with migrants to examine shocking forced labor practices through their eyes

The product of five years of research and hundreds of interviews across every level of the business, The Secret Life of Groceries is essential reading for those who want to understand our food system--delivering powerful social commentary on the inherently American quest for more and compassionate insight into the lives that provide it.

BENJAMIN LORR is the author of Hell-Bent, a critically acclaimed exploration of the Bikram Yoga community that first detailed patterns of abuse and sexual misconduct by guru Bikram Choudhury. Lorr is a graduate of Montgomery County public schools and Columbia University. He lives in New York City.

ISBN: 9780553459418

ISBN-10: 9780553459418

Publisher: Avery

Publication Date: 11/09/2021 - 12:00am

On Sale: 11/09/2021 - 12:00am

Pages: 336

Language: English

Categories

Social Science / Agriculture & Food

Business & Economics / Industries / Agribusiness

Business & Economics / Industries / Retailing