In Tracie McMillan’s article, “Food’s Class Warfare,” she discusses the possible problems and solutions of food equality among the classes. She believes, as does Alice Waters an organic chef, that “good food should be a right and not a privilege” (McMillan 1). “To secure the future of America’s food supply” (2) there are two camps of belief. The first, “just-buy-better-stuff” (2), is a belief that is based on an individual’s choice. Ultimately the choice is ours to make and we must be wise in what we eat. The second, structural challenges, argues that having access to healthy food will be what solves the problem. Although both sides have great points, McMillan believes it will take both working together, to change the way we eat.
Obesity is a hot topic these days and everyone has a thought on how to solve this. “We didn’t end up with an obesity problem because of a single fatal flaw, and we’re not going to solve it with a magic bullet” (McMillan 3). I believe it’s not so much obesity that is a problem but malnutrition. Malnutrition comes in all forms from starvation to overeating. “Obese people, who consume more calories than they need, may suffer from the sub-nutrition aspect of malnutrition…” (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com). Our focus shouldn’t be entirely on obesity, rather on the access by all classes to healthful and affordable food. Although, personal choice plays an important role, supermarkets effect our nutrition as well.
Choice implies the opportunity to choose freely. When it comes to our nutrition how many of us really have a choice? “Food deserts” (McMillan 2), a term used throughout McMillan’s article, refers to a “geographically area where affordable and healthy food is difficult to obtain…” (Wikipedia.org). Supermarkets play a role in creating food deserts. According to the Development Policy Review (DPR) Volume 26, 658-663, when these large chains move into a neighborhood the smaller vendors can’t compete and eventually close their doors. In some areas where supermarket chains have closed their doors, the only access to food is a convenience store. Location of a supermarket outlet is a very important decision for operators. Their decisions are based on supply and demand. Supply referring to delivery access, land cost, larger areas, and regulatory incentives. The demand being demographic and economic status of the customer base. “A key aspect is not just where to locate, but what format of store to locate where” (DPR 663). There are many factors that influence our decision about the food we purchase: location of supermarket or other food outlets; the types of food they sell; the prices and promotions; and nutritional activities such as, nutrition education using brochures and healthy cooking demonstrations (666)
Creating a local food system will help with the issue of nutrition, sustainability, economic growth, and strengthen our communities. “A food system is the often-complex network of food producers (farmers),...