ArtDesignCulture

“A Plan to Add Supermarkets, and Fresh Food, to Poorer Areas”

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2009 at 1:26 am

My humanities professor once said that once you learn about something, it will suddenly appear more often.
Like the word “zaftig,” which means “deliciously plump.” Immediately after being introduced to it by that professor, Alec Baldwin used the very same word in the Dane Cook movie “My Best Friend’s Girl.” Coincidence? I think not. Cosmic alignment? That’s more like it.

Whatever the case, another phenomena has been observed. Last week, in my anthropology class, Luz Martin del Campo visited us to discuss, among other things, her field work in the Bronx and East Harlem.
She discussed challenges to the community, such as obesity. I can understand why these communities would be facing such an issue, especially as East Harlem is the only place I’ve seen where they have a McDonald’s that delivers. But I asked how she went about discouraging obesity. The only thing I could consider was to tax McDonald’s, something on the order of the way we tax Phillip Morris and friends.

Instead, she said they worked on persuading produce vendors to work low income areas during low traffic periods. I thought this was a very positive way of creating a win-win situation for both buyer and seller.

Apparently, they were on the right track and I hope she had something do in influencing a recent Bloomberg initiative: offering zoning and tax incentives for supermarkets to develop full-service locations with minimum requirements for fresh produce, meats and dairy.

A heartening example of a social science making a difference and a city giving a shit about the shit people eat.

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