The “obesity epidemic” as an excuse to implement more government mandates on a local level:
Manhattan Moment: Cutting the ‘food desert’ myth down to size (emphasis added)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a food desert as a low-income census tract where a large number of residents are more than a mile from a grocery store.
By this definition, 13.5 million Americans are supposedly McVictimized by food deserts. That’s less than 4.5 percent of the U.S. population, yet roughly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.
You don’t need a Ph.D. in mathematics to understand that food deserts are, at best, a very small aspect of a vast problem.
A few months ago, the USDA released a glitzy online map charting the location of every food desert in America. Urbanist blogger Angie Schmitt was baffled to find her home at the edge of a Cleveland food desert, even though she’s “never had better access to food in [her] life.”
The explanation: She lives near a successful, family-run grocery. But the USDA bureaucracy defines “access to fresh food” as access to a large supermarket with more than $2 million in annual sales.
Neighborhood bodegas? Family grocers? Produce markets? None of them count, whether they stock fresh food or not.
None of them count because they are not unionized.
Another point is, “fresh” produce may be rancid and less healthy than frozen or canned. Fresh food spoils. Just yesterday I had to return some rasberries that were moldy, which I found out after I got home and was about to wash them.
And the cynic in me thinks maybe walking more than a mile a day to get to the fresh food market is a good idea if you need to lose weight.