Oh, the humanity!
Oh, how he suffered, and how he is now delivered from the ignominy of public transit for food shopping, as the average schmuck (me included) who has lived in a big city has had to do (when not asking the bodega guy for delivery)!
Barack Obama’s vision as president is shaped by the fact that he knows what “it’s like to take a subway or a bus just to find a fresh piece of fruit in a grocery store,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said last week.
Donovan seemed to be suggesting that the president had once lived in what First Lady Michelle Obama now refers to as a “food desert”–a place without a nearby supermarket. The First Lady has launched an initiative to eliminate these places.
You mean the non-existing food deserts? The food deserts that Gina Kolata just debunked in the New York Times?
It has become an article of faith among some policy makers and advocates, including Michelle Obama, that poor urban neighborhoods are food deserts, bereft of fresh fruits and vegetables.
But two new studies have found something unexpected. Such neighborhoods not only have more fast food restaurants and convenience stores than more affluent ones, but more grocery stores, supermarkets and full-service restaurants, too. And there is no relationship between the type of food being sold in a neighborhood and obesity among its children and adolescents.
Within a couple of miles of almost any urban neighborhood, “you can get basically any type of food,” said Roland Sturm of the RAND Corporation, lead author of one of the studies. “Maybe we should call it a food swamp rather than a desert,” he said.
Does “Barack Obama’s vision as president” include having everybody living in the Wegman’s parking lot (which feels like it’s a mile wide), or upstairs from the Korean fruit stand?
Too bad Barack Obama’s vision as president hasn’t been shaped enough by the fact that his energy policies HURT AT THE GAS PUMP a lot more than any imaginary food deserts.
Video of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan playing the WSV below the fold, since the video plays right away:
Notice the fond acknowledgement of Al Sharpton, too.
Added photo of O in the Rosa Park bus.