THE VINE MAY 14, 2008
In case anyone needed another reason to worry about the cost of oil, this New York Times piece about the dwindling numbers of supermarkets in poor neighborhoods describes a perfect storm of related problems. Supermarkets in poorer neighborhoods are closing due to higher and higher rents and the increased cost of shipping food; poor people don't necessarily want to drive out of their neighborhoods to shop, again because of rising gas prices; and the bodegas, gas stations, and convenience stores that spring up to replace the supermarkets sell mostly overprocessed, unhealthy food, which drives obesity.
Meanwhile, a new Harris Teeter just opened in my middle-class, mostly white neighborhood to supplement the two Safeways and one Whole Foods within walking distance. But when I first moved to DC, I lived in a poorer neighborhood near Capitol Hill, and the only food options within walking distance were a 7-11 and a bodega that sold $5 gallons of milk and $1 gallons of neon-colored "fruit beverages."