Skip to comments.Sebelius: Living a Mile from a Grocery 'May Be Too Far to Get Healthier Food'
Posted on 03/07/2012 10:39:01 AM PST by Sub-Driver
Sebelius: Living a Mile from a Grocery 'May Be Too Far to Get Healthier Food' By Penny Starr March 6, 2012
(CNSNews.com) The administrations definition of a food desert an urban area where a significant share of the population lives more than one mile from a grocery store came under the microscope during a Health and Human Services appropriations hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Questioning HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a Republican lawmaker said it was likely most of those present at the hearing lived a mile from their nearest grocery store.
Do you think that definition should be revisited, because one of the things is, if you are in an urban area a mile away from a grocery store youre in a food desert which I would think in so many cases is ridiculous, said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.). Have you thought of have you looked at their definition?
Ah, we have sir, Sebelius responded.
And you think its a good one? Kingston asked.
Well, I think its very difficult for a family buying groceries if they have to walk a mile with bags of groceries, it may be too far to get healthier food, Sebelius said.
You really think that? Kingston asked.
I do, she replied.
Sebelius agreed to take another look at the definition after Kingston pointed out that the definition is silent on how people must travel the one mile to a grocery store whether on foot, by car or by some other means of transportation.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...
A “desert” is considered what it is primarily because there is no food there. (Yes, it’s defined as having no water, but the prime consequence thereof is the lack of food.)
If you are in a desert, the obvious and natural thing to do to facilitate long-term survival is MOVE. Far away. Just because other people are there doesn’t mean you should be. Insofar as others can be expected to help you survive, at some point their help is either no longer expected, or is expected to facilitate your escape from the area. You stay long term, consequences are your problem.
Same idea applies.
When rent alone is equal to a bus ticket and cheaper rent elsewhere, move.
“it is hard to carry more than three or gour bags across town...Pro lem solved.”
What problem? What’s wrong with getting groceries three bags at a time? It could be a bother, but balance that against increased freshness, more exercise (which they’re always ordering us to get), and incentive for purchase discipline (you’re less likely to buy food you won’t eat the oftener you shop).
There is no problem. People just want something to complain about.
I do it slightly faster and my local Publix is about 2 miles. I have a rear pannier/basket designed to accept a grocery bag and folds up when not in use. Cost is minor sweat and a smile and the money saved will go to DEFEAT these STATISTS.
My choices are personal and would not suit an average family of 4 but that is why cookie-cutter government is STUPID! Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Holder and Sibelius (and the rest of their ilk) envision us as unisexual parts of the collective society and to be treated as cogs except when it gets to leftist minority desires. A plague on their house!
Walking a mile and a half with your arms full of groceries is a difficult or impossible proposition for an elderly woman or a mother carrying a child in tow, and the crisis we're dealing with is poverty, so, no a cab or a $6,000/yr. parking spot plus $20 parking at the store isn't feasible. And don't forget the neighborhoods that someone is walking through!
So how does this happen? It's a vicious cycle, with disrespect for other people's property at the core. People steal from store shelves, they take $400 carts home with them, and the stores get slammed by lawsuits if they carefully watch 13-year-old black kids hanging out by the pharmacy isle, and someone pulls a gun on a cashier about six times a day, and forget about defending your property, or prosecuting any perps you catch. Next thing you know, grocery chains decide that they just can't make a profit under those conditions.
So, the people who live in food deserts start subsisting mainly on convenience-store food and fast food,. THat's where Comrade Sebelius comes in. Rather than crack down on crime, the left attacks the store owners who don't want to move to Washington Heights, or the Bronx, or Anacostia. To be fair, more constructive approaches have been used. IIRC, San Francisco ran a program giving welfare recipients shopping carts, so they'd quit stealing the stores'.
My grandparents always walked or took public transportation, even though they could have well afforded a car. My grandmother had one of those wire carts that you pull behind you, like you see bag women using sometimes. They rented out their garage.
Free on the web:
It is the last one. Format is .pdf.
While that is all true, in my rural area, the gas stations in the nearest town (8 miles) have convenience stores that compete with grocery stores by having low prices for bread ($1.00/loaf), milk-in-a-bag, .38/lb potatoes, onions and bananas.. Their fried chicken is better and cheaper than the same offered at the Walmart deli. Lettuce, carrots, etc are about the same as the employee-owned store. Less-than-perfect apples are about the same per pound as Walmart. And that is their _profit_ center!
Existing businesses could easily provide the elements of a good diet w/o subsidizing grocery chains. Although, I thought I had read that Kroger was already being given subsidies to fill this *gap*.
Grants were offered years ago for transport in rural areas. I know someone who became wealthy utilizing these programs. Rides within towns are reasonable, the elderly and disabled are subsidized with lower fares, and the difference is made up by charging rural residents $1.75/mile. That is expensive, but for someone in need of emergency transport, at least it is available. Meanwhile, the retired often have a sideline of driving the local Amish and elderly, but that is strictly an off-the-books operation. Also, some Christian women take a few elderly or disabled under their wing and make themselves available for doctor appointments and shopping, et al. They do this gratis or for a few dollars towards gas, as a personal charity service.
“Shopping every other day was not practical”
Being practical would help you to shop smarter, so as not to have to buy every other day, even if restricted to two or three bags per trip. I could certain provide for myself for a week on a few days, if I had to.
“factor in things like rain, snow or hreavy winds, and the mile walk becomes worse. Replace me with a little ol’ lady, and it becomes impractical altogether”
No, not altogether. For little old ladies live not as monads, and can be aided by fellow humans. Just as they are aided, no doubt, in myraid other tasks which you and I take for granted.
Look, what you’re speaking to are better termed complications. Or at least, since I don’t want to get tangled in semantics, not “problems” that deserve comment on an organized level above neighborhood gossip (which has its own sort of spontaneous order). Except if it’s by, as you mention, enterprises seeking to exploit a hole in the market. If there is a hole.
Plenty of stuff is complicated; we need not pretend like in this case it’s a matter of starvation or thrival. Because having to plan for trips without cars does not threaten death, assuming it’s not too inflammatory to take it that’s what’s implied by the term “food desert”: i.e., elevated if not immenent threat of death. If it did, the human race would have died out prior to the twentieth century.
“It doesn’t necessarily make one shop healthier”
Nop, but I dopn’t believe I made that claim. Unless you inferred it from the freshness comment, and, indeed, the opportunity to buy fresher does provide an incentive to eat healthier. But, yes, you can just as easily buy the same things in smaller quantities.
By the way, in looking up “thrival” to ensure it was an actual word I discovered to my surprise that it’s become a buzz word. I can’t tell if it’s for hipsters, bored housewives, new agers, enviros, or what, and frankly I don’t want to know. Just saying please don’t take my use to mean I in any way endorse its current popularity.
Why should they do that??? Even if you GAVE these worthless sh*ts all the ‘healthy’ food they could eat, they would still opt for the Big Macs and fries. Why? Because cooking real food involves WORK. Something this class abhors like a vampire does sunlight.
“At the time I was in this situation, I was in college full time, and also working a couple of jobs”
I was lucky enough to have a store right across the street from my apartment part of the time while I was in college and working full time. Of course, that was in what must fairly be considered a suburb, though it was a metropolis stand-in for the region. It never ceases to surprise me how often libs clamor for suburban conveniences to come to the city by stroke of the state wand, for how darkly they imagine The Suburb: Nightmare of Conformity in Late Capitalist Modernity, or however they dub it.
If there was a reporter who was NOT a member of the Democrat-Media Complex, that person could spend the day trying to find ONE PERSON - any ONE PERSON walking home with a bag of groceries.
And I don't mean a liberal reporter who has his boss call some democrat who calls a social worker who sets up some third year law student to pretend walking food home is a big issue.
Keep it honest for once. Maybe the Washington Post?
Let the reporter do it the old fashioned way - go to a grocery store and WATCH. TALK to the people leaving the store. Go to another store. Do the same. Write what happened. Even if that means no one was walking home with food.
Has anyone here seen anyone is the past year walking home with a bag of food? (Other than a college student)
living on a sailboat means i have to hoof it for groceries, 2.2mi one way, every couple days...i actually love it...you’re never so enthused to exercise as when you’re doing it for your supper ;^)
Yes, I lived in Chicago’s Hyde Park years ago - and it was like that. But it wasn’t a burden - people choose those neighborhoods for the ambiance. It’s the concept behind Disney’s Celebration Village. A person can walk to the places they need to go. I love the idea. Zoning to keep people’s lives separated from where they interact with the market place is modern and horrible. Very alienating.
It's depressing to visit an area where people have to get in the car for everything. Smarter zoning, mixed use planning, and proper attention to walking/biking routes could, over time, recreate liveable neighborhoods in many areas that have been sacrificed to automobiles. I'm not anti-car, but we need to strike a better balance.
Each to his own. I'll not quarrel with people who want to live 20 miles away from their jobs and are willing to accept the commute ... provided that they don't try to drive arterial roads through civilized neighborhoods to shave a few minutes off their miserable drive times. We've made fun of liberals for years for their "flyover country" view of America. Suburban commuters are just as bad with their "drive through" perspective on other people's neighborhoods.
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