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

Written by Benjamin Lorr


In The Secret Life of Groceries, Benjamin Lorr isn’t afraid to put himself in the roles of his source subjects – from working behind the fish counter at Trader Joe’s to riding along on a trucking route to get a veracious look at what it really takes to bring a product to grocery shelves nationwide.

Many Americans take for granted the freedom of choice and sheer excess the supermarket provides us. Through his immersive reporting, Lorr pulls back the curtain on an industry notorious for its furtiveness.

The Secret Life of Groceries highlights grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, but also traces their products back to its origins. He takes a critical look at industrialized farming, learns how food entrepreneurs fight to break into the over-crowded industry, and tells the stories of poverty-stricken migrants trapped in the shrimping slave trade.

The first step in making a difference is for consumers to understand just how the ingredients for their next meal made it to the supermarket shelf. Lorr provides an unadulterated look at the joys and suffering that have led to the luxuries of the modern grocery store, so individuals can learn to make conscious, ethical choices in a seemingly endless sea of options.

Available used at BetterWorldBooks.

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