EATING NAFTA: TRADE, FOOD POLICIES, AND THE DESTRUCTION OF MEXICO by Alyshia Gálvez (University of California Press)

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In the summer of 2018, we worked with Professor Alyshia Galvez and University of California Press to publicize EATING NAFTA: TRADE, FOOD POLICIES, AND THE DESTRUCTION OF MEXICO. The book described a little-discussed side effect of NAFTA: while the world awakens to Mexican cuisine, Mexicans themselves are often unable to afford the food they’ve eaten for centuries. The national diet is now heavy on inexpensive processed foods and sugary drinks, which has caused an epidemic of diet-related ailments.

We knew there was a chance this book could be pigeonholed as an academic book meant for a niche audience. But it wasn’t that. It’s a colorfully told story and a new way of thinking about a much-analyzed treaty.

We always look for as many angles as possible with which to pitch a book. This one was generous in that regard--it gave us many distinct media categories to pursue. We pitched food outlets and went to journalists interested in the history and social importance of food. We knew the trendiness of high-end Mexican cuisine would help. We also pitched journalists that cover the ins and outs of food and agricultural policy, especially those that have written about NAFTA, and those that focus on Hispanic issues. Due to Trump’s threats to revoke NAFTA, we were also able to line up some more timely pieces pegged to the news cycle.

Among our favorite hits:

Civil Eats feature
This in-depth, front-page piece was a nice balance of hard reporting about agricultural policy and interesting details and insights for lay readers. It was picked up by Eater and MSN News, giving it even more visibility.

Interview with KCRW’s Good Food
This popular show hosted by Evan Kleiman is on Los Angeles NPR affiliate KCRW. This is a great interview that will leave you wanting to head to the closest taqueria.

Radio Bilingue (National Latino Public Radio Network)
Galvez is bilingual, so we were able to pitch the book to Spanish-language outlets. This hour-long interview with Samuel Orozco went very well and brought in some other media requests.

Harvest Public Media radio interview
This public radio collaboration between KUCI, KCUR, Iowa Public Radio, and others, spotlights food and farming in the heartland. They conducted a book-focused interview with Galvez that was broadcast widely.