Food Deserts Exaggerated
Angie Schmitt at Streetsblog argues that all the hullabaloo over food deserts assumes that the cavernous suburban grocery store is the ultimate model of food distribution:
"While there is certainly a class of convenience store that lacks healthy food options, many analyses have completely ignored the presence of small, family-owned food markets and their important role in feeding urban populations."
Schmitt points to the USDA's own admission that their definition of what is a valid market is biased:
"Mary Reardon, a spokesperson for USDA said, "We define supermarkets and large grocery stores as food stores with at least $2 million in [annual] sales that contain all the major food departments found in a traditional supermarket."
"We do not address smaller outlets that have fresh food," she said."
Thanks to Angie Schmitt