On Friday 4/29/11 we had our students read the following articles to gain different perspectives on the food desert issue.
The first article the PALOMA students read called “Grocery closings hit Detroit hard” is a hyperbole statement of why cities of low socioeconomic status have become food deserts and implies that there is underlying racism behind the choices of corporate businesses. This is seen when they are choosing a location to build a new store. They avoid low-income areas because they think crime and vandalism is higher in these communities and they want to avoid property losses and damages. The big supermarkets do not care that these communities and cities are food deserts; they care about profit only. The racism in the article is explicit using derogatory terminology and putting the blame on the people of city which reflects the feelings of the corporate. It seems to be an over exaggeration but it definitely gets the point across to demonstrate the degradation of the community because of the social hierarchy caused by big corporations.
The second article, “The Grocery Store” critiques different communities’ feelings towards grocery stores. People have high expectations of their local super-market and it is difficult to find the perfect one. Wal-Mart is an example of being “too big” and of course big is always bad. This article, too, is somewhat of an exaggeration because it lists all of the requirements a food store should have before being accepted into a community. The list includes having higher wages for employees, buying locally grown food, and should not leave an insanely large carbon footprint. All of these are reasonable, but when people expect the grocery store to not make a profit, it seems unlikely to find a store that meets all of the qualifications. It seems to be conflicting for the grocery store owners because they too have to make a living while providing the community with what they want and need.
These articles are relevant for PALOMA because they are working on making changes to a local store to make it healthier and more sustainable while keeping the prices affordable so all people can access it.
By Brianna and Amanda