Food Desert or Demand Desert?
Our good friends at the USDA define a food desert as:
Food deserts are defined as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.
I don’t think the problem is a lack of supply, but rather a lack of demand. If a grocer can not sell fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, if such items rot in the bins, then it will not be long before the stock of such goods is not replenished. In many of these same neighborhoods are ethnic stores that import specialty items from all over the world because there is a local demand for just such foods even if they are quite expensive.
I have shopped at a wide range of ethnic stores, Asian, Hispanic, Italian, and such, and I have always found such merchants, not in the most affluent areas of town, but rather the least.
I think it rather paternalistic to think we can somehow impose our “healthy” eating choices on other people, not at all dissimilar to those believing that we should eat a low fat heart healthy diet who then imposed their vision on America through official government nutrition guidelines and food labeling laws. I must ask have we learned nothing from the harm engendered by such arrogance?
This is not a field of dreams where “If you build it they will come”, it is much more “If they will eat it we will sell it”.
I would observe that some of the most impoverished people in the world, native population living a subsistence lifestyle without any grocers at all, have had the healthiest diets with population devoid of all the diseases of civilization.
I do think there are some positive changes that can take place. The government can stop recommending a diet and the government can stop distorting the market for food by ending all subsidies for agriculture, most especially those for the production of sugar.
Keto for Life!