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'Food desert' fallacy shocks liberals: You can't get poor people to eat healthier food
American Thinker ^ | 02/11/2014 | Thomas Lifson

Posted on 02/11/2014 6:49:46 AM PST by SeekAndFind

It turns out that you can bring produce sections to poor neighborhoods, but you can't get poor people to eat healthier food. This comes as a shock to liberals who believe in the comprehensive theory of victimology -- that all problems afflicting people who fall into ethnic, sexual, or other identities regarded as victims are due to external factors, not to their own choices.

Patti Neighmond writes for NPR:

In inner cities and poor rural areas across the country, public health advocates have been working hard to turn around food deserts - neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce, and greasy fast food abounds. In many cases, they're converting dingy, cramped corner markets into lighter, brighter venues that offer fresh fruits and vegetables. In some cases, they're building brand new stores.

"The presumption is, if you build a store, people are going to come," says Stephen Matthews, professor in the departments of sociology, anthropology and demography at Penn State University. To check that notion, he and colleagues from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine recently surveyed residents of one low-income community in Philadelphia before and after the opening of a glistening new supermarket brimming with fresh produce.

What they're finding, Matthews says, is a bit surprising: "We don't find any difference at all. ... We see no effect of the store on fruit and vegetable consumption."

The deranged premise behind the entire "food desert" theory was that crass corporations were bypassing the opportunity to sell healthy foods to poor people out of malice, or at best ignorance. The idea that local people weren't interested in buying healthy food, and that led to low demand, and hence low supply, was unworthy of consideration. These people did not understand that demand creates supply in a free economy


(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: food; poor; poverty
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1 posted on 02/11/2014 6:49:46 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink...

You can lead a liberal to knowledge but you can’t make them think...


2 posted on 02/11/2014 6:51:41 AM PST by GraceG
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To: SeekAndFind

Reminds me of my friend who went to the Bolivian Andes with the Peace Corps many years ago - to teach the people how to grow soy beans. They didn’t buy it, needless to say - and they were disgusted with her besides. “Didn’t your mother (in Los Angeles, mind you) teach you how to wash sheets in the river the correct way? We will wash your sheets from now on - you are a disgrace to our village.” hahah.


3 posted on 02/11/2014 6:54:19 AM PST by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
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To: SeekAndFind
Remember....Michelle wanted to put vegies in Liquor outlets.

I suppose if they add Marijuana as a vegie, they will come.

4 posted on 02/11/2014 6:54:21 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: GraceG

You can’t fix stupid either.


5 posted on 02/11/2014 6:54:34 AM PST by Count of Monte Fisto (The foundation of modern society is the denial of reality.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Simple solution: Make their EBT cards good for purchases of only produce and certain foods which their liberal overlords deem healthy. It would be as simple to implement as the WIC program where the infrastructure is already in place.

But it could result in their angry constituents voting only once come election day.

6 posted on 02/11/2014 6:54:37 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Article posted yesterday discussed Trader Joe’s attempt to move into a ghetto. The ghetto residents kicked Trader Joe’s out because they didn’t want white folks coming into their neighborhood.


7 posted on 02/11/2014 6:56:20 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (T)
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To: SeekAndFind

They don’t cook. They can’t take home a head of cabbage, shred it up, put in some seasoning and sauté it up. They want Obama-food, where somebody cooks it for them.


8 posted on 02/11/2014 6:57:09 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: SeekAndFind

Racists!


9 posted on 02/11/2014 6:57:57 AM PST by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: GraceG

You can lead a poor person to arugula, but you can’t pull them away from the french fries.


10 posted on 02/11/2014 6:58:32 AM PST by rightwingintelligentsia (Democrats: The perfect party for the helpless and stupid, and those who would rule over them.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Liberals have no standing to complain about food deserts after shutting down super Walmarts in Chicago and Mass, and a Trader Joe’s in Oregon.


11 posted on 02/11/2014 6:59:21 AM PST by sportutegrl
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To: ClearCase_guy

They don’t want to be caught “acting white” or “eating white.”


12 posted on 02/11/2014 7:00:00 AM PST by informavoracious (Open your eyes, people!)
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To: Vigilanteman
Simple solution: Make their EBT cards good for purchases of only produce and certain foods which their liberal overlords deem healthy.

Couldn't the recipients sell them to people who like veggies and then go out and buy fast food? Or do EBT cards require (eek!) identification?

13 posted on 02/11/2014 7:02:17 AM PST by luvbach1 (We are finished)
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To: Count of Monte Fisto

We should require all welfare receivers to attend LOA sessions with Abraham hicks.


14 posted on 02/11/2014 7:03:10 AM PST by edcoil ( "All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone." - Blaise Pascal)
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To: Mamzelle

You are correct. This is not however limited to those living in poverty, many middle class families don’t have an adult at home that can do more than boil water, hence America’s obesity epidemic.


15 posted on 02/11/2014 7:04:13 AM PST by longfellowsmuse (last of the living nomads)
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To: Mamzelle

...and they want someone else to pay for it.


16 posted on 02/11/2014 7:04:27 AM PST by tgusa (gun control: deep breath, sight alignment, squeeze the trigger .......)
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To: SeekAndFind

... demand creates supply in a free economy

This needs to be tattooed on every leftist's forehead.

17 posted on 02/11/2014 7:05:07 AM PST by YankeeReb
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To: SeekAndFind

I thought the reason that big supermarkets didn’t locate in the ‘hood was because of crime, robbery and shoplifting.


18 posted on 02/11/2014 7:05:15 AM PST by Ditter
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To: SeekAndFind
“You can't get poor people to eat healthier food”

I have said this before... once you take ‘home ec’ or whatever you want to call it OUT of the HS curriculum.... what do you expect?

People (young women) drop out of school or even if they graduate... begin bearing children VERY early. This they do with next to NO comprehension of how to care for them or even HOW to care for their OWN health and well-being.

It's obvious their own mothers cared or knew very little about proper nutrition (or parenting AT ALL) so how can sociologists be surprised that poor health and bad health choices are part and parcel of the entire ‘poverty’ equation?

Poor health in this case is THE most critical component of the vicious cycle of poverty and dependence on government.

These people will NEVER be anything but a boat anchor around the neck of taxpayers. They can't/won't work or properly care for themselves or their progeny-yet persist in growing families they cannot support... while taxpayers have to increasingly subsudize their 'hand-to-mouth' life style AND their unavoidable, premature and perpetual need for medical attention!

19 posted on 02/11/2014 7:05:24 AM PST by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: luvbach1

Sure they could . . . and they probably would. I’m sure some WIC people sell baby formula to buy drugs. But it is troublesome to many of them. So troublesome that many of them might actually try using the products.


20 posted on 02/11/2014 7:06:16 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: SeekAndFind
The presumption is, if you build a store, people are going to come,

If you build a new store, they WILL come.

Once, at least.

21 posted on 02/11/2014 7:06:48 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: SeekAndFind

This reminds of a time a few years ago when I stopped for gas in an uncomfortable part of Memphis. There was no card reader on the pump, so I had to go inside to pay. After I searched a moment I asked the old guy who appeared to be the owner where to find Diet Coke. He told me he quit stocking it because “these people won’t drink it.”


22 posted on 02/11/2014 7:07:38 AM PST by .45 Long Colt
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To: bboop

The hubris of Leftists is breathtaking—and scary.


23 posted on 02/11/2014 7:07:53 AM PST by Savage Beast
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To: SeekAndFind
public health advocates have been working hard [...] In many cases, they're converting dingy, cramped corner markets into

These advocates are converting....? Or these advocates are belligerating the gubment to do it?

24 posted on 02/11/2014 7:08:47 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: SeekAndFind

So a reasonable person on a planet with no political correctness would be able to say that their self-inflicted pathologies are not caused by evil ‘oppressors.’


25 posted on 02/11/2014 7:08:56 AM PST by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible traitors. Complicit in the destruction of our country.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The reason for “food deserts” is a very simple one - there isn’t one. There are, however, “father deserts.”

A good block of the poor are one-income (or “single mother”) homes. These women are pressed for time and are missing the teammate and extra income that a father would bring to the family. Thus, the mother buys easily prepared food and shies from spending time cooking healthier food for her children.

Her children become obese because, as another side effect, she keeps them in the house, watching TV as she has less ability to monitor them than a traditional married family does.

We might as well be honest about the cause.


26 posted on 02/11/2014 7:09:48 AM PST by struggle
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To: bboop

If they were satisfied to go alone down The Road to Hell, continuing to pave it with their good intentions, it would be their problem and of little consequence to anyone else, but unfortunately they’re determined to drag everyone else down the Road along with themselves.


27 posted on 02/11/2014 7:11:05 AM PST by Savage Beast
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To: ClearCase_guy

....hence the birth of another “food desert”.


28 posted on 02/11/2014 7:11:18 AM PST by ErnBatavia (The 0baMao Experiment: Abject Failure)
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To: longfellowsmuse

I’m a foodie and find this hard to comprehend...my lunch yesterday, ten minutes to prepare...cooked up just a cup of high-fiber pasta, then when half done, drained and poured in a can if tomatoes and a can of artichoke quarters. Let the liquid cook down. Serve up with a teaspoon of pesto ... All pantry items, but adding them together made it taste fresh. Delicious

Not that I don’t relish fried chicken and burgers, but just once in a while.


29 posted on 02/11/2014 7:12:35 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: SeekAndFind

Having grown up in a poor neighborhood my observation is that most of “the poor” are that way for a reason. Of course this is not true in every case. People are poor most often those who don’t do the little every day things right. They don’t finish school, they don’t wait to have children until they are stable (and married), they don’t delay gratification, they don’t avoid unnecessary expenses like booze, smokes and entertainment.

How would people who habitually make terrible choices like these be expected to make good dietary choices?

I know this might be unpopular on here but I think there is definitely a place for life skills being taught in school. Just because someone’s parents make bad choices doesn’t mean that their kids should be locked into the same pattern. Show the kids that there is a different way to live.


30 posted on 02/11/2014 7:12:51 AM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: SeekAndFind

We certainly are not in a food desert but we live close to a small Wal-Marts and we’ve gotten used to using it more and more often. It has a wonderful produce department. It’s a great place to find ethnic foods like queso fresco and chinese vegetables. Although our county is known as the “golden ghetto” its probably more ethnically diverse than anywhere I’ve lived including the urban areas. My point however is that a lot of African Americans shop there. The prices are good. The produce (not the meat) is excellent. Lots of inventory turn over so good freshness. I’m sure that Wal-mart has tried to move into some of these urban areas but has been banned by political correctness.


31 posted on 02/11/2014 7:13:46 AM PST by Mercat
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To: SeekAndFind

The notion of food deserts took a big hit when the locals ran Trader Joe’s out of town for “attracting white people.”


32 posted on 02/11/2014 7:16:56 AM PST by dangus
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To: SeekAndFind
...What they're finding, Matthews says, is a bit surprising...

No it's not. "Food deserts" are a liberals wet dream allowing them to use other people's money for social engineering that nobody wants except the idiot liberal.

33 posted on 02/11/2014 7:17:01 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“...healthier food.”

So some food is less healthier than other food. Perhaps that less healthier food should exercise more. Or, use “healthful”.


34 posted on 02/11/2014 7:17:41 AM PST by SgtHooper (If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.)
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To: YankeeReb

If only poor starving countries knew this! /sarc


35 posted on 02/11/2014 7:22:19 AM PST by CommieCutter ("For an idea to be too simplistic, it must first be proven wrong" --Thomas Sowell)
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To: Ditter

That, too. But if the locals really wanted fresh spinach, it would be carried in the 7-11 next to the Ding Dongs.


36 posted on 02/11/2014 7:28:22 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s a definition thing again. “Food desert” means a place barren of places to buy food. Not certain food. Here it means no supermarkets at all and residents have to travel far out of their neighborhoods to do real shopping. Gas station and QuickieMart stuff abounds. What is happening is that liberals are faced with the fact that GIVEN A CHOICE people don’t choose as you want them to. That’s what a variety and choice means-a choice to say ‘no’ too! Funny how choice is good for some things but not others. You have to give people what they want- not what you WANT them to want.


37 posted on 02/11/2014 7:29:57 AM PST by ClearBlueSky (When anyone says its not about Islam...it's about Islam. That death cult must be eradicated.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Other than a few little old ladies who use their EBT (food stamps)to buy real food, when I go to the supermarket most of the EBT purchases I see are for chips, pop and other junk food. However, my favorite is a gentleman who used his EBT card to buy a 99 cent bottle of soda and then paid $8 cash to buy a bottle of cheap whiskey.


38 posted on 02/11/2014 7:31:09 AM PST by The Great RJ
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To: SeekAndFind

Poor decisions made them dependent , same mindset with eating.


39 posted on 02/11/2014 7:32:19 AM PST by DeWalt (Times are more like they used to be than they are today.)
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To: SeekAndFind

-— “The presumption is, if you build a store, people are going to come -—

Said the professor. Maybe he learned something.


40 posted on 02/11/2014 7:34:29 AM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas ( Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: SeekAndFind
My first job was in a local grocery store and I got enough of an eyeful of the food stamp welfare piglets that I became an expert on this culture. Multiple packages of creme-filled sandwich cookies, Ho-Ho's, Twinkies, and other sugary crap was the norm, if it wasn't pork chops.

The only fresh vegetables were collard greens.

The goal in this culture, for the women, is to grow the fattest hips possible by gorging on this sugary crap. I heard it numerous times, from such a variety of piglets, that I learned that this goal was ubiquitous among them.

I guess the pork chops were for the men.

As a bag clerk, I'd load their welfare-purchased hauls into their Cadillacs and Lincolns.

41 posted on 02/11/2014 7:34:49 AM PST by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: Vigilanteman

Your point made in your post #20.


42 posted on 02/11/2014 7:35:13 AM PST by luvbach1 (We are finished)
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To: SeekAndFind

Liberals are idiots. Period.

Not the “obama period’ with is to push a lie... I mean ‘period’. It’s like liberals have never met a black person who didn’t go to Harvard - being half white. And from a totally middle class family...

Liberals live in unicorn land...


43 posted on 02/11/2014 7:42:39 AM PST by GOPJ ("Hillary Clinton says (the) press has big egos and no brains". - Tony Blair - May 19, 1993)
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To: Straight Vermonter

“I know this might be unpopular on here but I think there is definitely a place for life skills being taught in school. Just because someone’s parents make bad choices doesn’t mean that their kids should be locked into the same pattern. Show the kids that there is a different way to live.”

Like most things taught in schools. Good intentions got turned to crap. It’s who will be teaching and what the content is. Remember, they are teaching anal sex and Keynesian economics in these schools. How do you think life skills will work out?


44 posted on 02/11/2014 7:43:14 AM PST by DeWalt (Times are more like they used to be than they are today.)
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To: ClearBlueSky

I used to work in a school with a sweet (very) overweight woman. One morning, I saw her fixing a hot chocolate for her sweet (very) overweight daughter. After pouring in the chocolate powder and hot water, she added about 4 packs of sugar to the cup. I cringed. Isn’t hot chocolate sweet enough?

I didn’t know she was nutritionally ignorant, or didn’t care.


45 posted on 02/11/2014 7:43:20 AM PST by BelleAl (Proud to be a member of the party of NO! NO more deficit spending and government control!)
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To: Mamzelle

I am also a foodie and love to cook and I have been shocked by my middle class friends who can’t cook. Feminists have made the ability to cook a delicious meal from scratch akin to a form of female indentured servitude.

I had an RN neighbor across the street who couldn’t boil water ( really) and just a couple weeks ago I had one of my sons friends over and he had never tried tomato soup!


46 posted on 02/11/2014 7:44:14 AM PST by longfellowsmuse (last of the living nomads)
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To: The Great RJ
However, my favorite is a gentleman who used his EBT card to buy a 99 cent bottle of soda and then paid $8 cash to buy a bottle of cheap whiskey.

I was having lunch with a vendor from Boston last summer and we were talking about this.

He said up there, the users were so lazy that one of them even shut down one of those cash for aluminum can machines by feeding unopened cans of soda into the machine. I was incredulous until he told me where to look up the newspaper article.

At least here in Pennsylvania, our slackards will drink the soda first.

47 posted on 02/11/2014 7:45:53 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: fwdude

Thank you.


48 posted on 02/11/2014 7:46:17 AM PST by DeWalt (Times are more like they used to be than they are today.)
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To: fwdude

It would be a good idea for Comrade MO to focus on this matter.

Instead of just arbitrarily (and I think, disingenuously) foisting her idea of nutrition on to HS students.... (kids ALREADY compromised) she ought to propose that some basic instruction on general health issues and basic nutrition is re-introduced in schools.

You can’t take grown children who are on the verge of adulthood and try to reverse the decades of bad examples and improper eating habits they are accustomed to.

It’s TOO late to help THEIR parents... but a great deal can be done in the grade schools and High Schools for the young people MO pretends to worry about, so much.

She is SO certain that SHE can make a difference… why doesn’t she admit the obvious and use her position to help where and HOW it matters!

It’s such a simple move because the children are ALREADY in the schools and the educational infrastructure is ALREADY in place… why NOT take this very small step that will go so far in demonstrating proper health choices for kids??

I suspect that Liberals would hate to admit that their approach to this in the schools up to NOW has been absolutely wrong. ‘Home Ec’ and ‘Health’ classes should NEVER have been taken out of the curriculum to begin with!!!!!!!!!!


49 posted on 02/11/2014 7:48:33 AM PST by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: struggle
The reason for “food deserts” is a very simple one - there isn’t one. There are, however, “father deserts.”

Ahhh, a core truth about their 'plight'.

Vegetables take time to clean, peel, cut, prepare, and clean up after.
Potato chips is rip, feast, toss.

50 posted on 02/11/2014 7:49:38 AM PST by polymuser
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