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 American supermarket is an everyday miracle. But what does it take to run one? What are the inner workings of product delivery and distribution? Who sets the price? And who suffers for the convenience and efficiency we’ve come to expect? In this rollicking exposé, author Benjamin Lorr pulls back the curtain on this highly secretive industry. Combining deep sourcing, immersive reporting, and compulsively readable prose, Lorr leads a wild investigation tolearn 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 “rainforest friendly” and “fair trade;”follow entrepreneurs as they fight for shelf space, learning essential tips, tricks, and traps for any new food business; andjourney with migrants to examine shocking forced labor practices through their eyes.
The result is a page-turning portrait of an industry in flux, filled with the passion, ingenuity, and inequity required to make this piece of the American dream run. The product of five years of research and hundreds of interviews across every level of the industry, 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.