Smarmy Alligator

Politics, pop culture, and self-deprecation

Food Deserts

with one comment

Columbia Journalism Review might complain about the use of the term “food apartheid,” but I’m more interested in the story itself: A councilwoman from South Central Los Angeles is trying to get fast food restaurants banned from the community, citing higher rates of obesity and health problems due to the absence of other dining options. This is the kind of stuff I like to see. While the term “food apartheid” might be a bit much, people who live in economically depressed neighborhoods have far fewer choices, and less healthy choices, when it comes to their diets.

I live across the street from a housing project, and every night I see young families buying their “dinners” at a crappy convenience store, dinners that generally consist of sugar-flavored water, potato chips, candy, and frozen, processed food. The market does sell some produce, but none of it looks that good. The closest grocery store is an overpriced food co-op that I often can’t even afford to shop in, and I’m not trying to feed small children on a super limited budget. The restaurants in the neighborhood are mostly pubs, sub shops, or high priced bistros. There is a very clear demarcation in my neighborhood between the people who have money and can afford to eat well, and those who don’t, and therefore, can’t.

I am all for using the power of the government to get better, healthier food into neighborhoods that need it. Frankly, when a company like McDonald’s claims its free speech rights are being violated when it’s pushed out of a neighborhood, I feel more nauseous than I would if I had eaten one of their crap burgers. We’ve let corporations have free reign far too long, and it’s been proven that they aren’t doing us any favors. I’m fully behind a community telling them to get the hell out, even if they do use overblown rhetoric to do so.


Written by laura k

August 1, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Interested in your listing of rioting and anti-capitalism… Looking at your interests list, I think my work ticks most of the boxes. I invite you to check it out; this is not spam… if you think its crap, say so on the blog comments. Has a few riots in there, too., if you like it, spread the word.


    August 5, 2008 at 6:45 am

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