The Class System of Eating and Gentrification

When thinking of eating you might consider taste, favorite restaurant, or your favorite dish. In 2018 we must consider the socio-economical, cultural, and racial implications of eating.

Eating Classes

The existence of commercial agriculture, gmo’s, Monsanto, fast and junk food, and other elements have changed the class system of eating. Small farmers have been crushed by commercial agricultural companies and pushes consumers to stores such as Super Wal-Mart. The average American on a budget goes into the store with a set amount of money that they can spend on groceries. They walk through the aisles picking up sugary cereals and snacks, greasy chips, processed boxed dinners, and nutrient depleted produce. Why is this happening?

Of course we know people people have horrible eating habits, however I feel that more people are forced to eat poorly due to finance. When I was working on my social work degree I heard stories about senior citizens whom made $5 or $10 to much on their social security to qualify for food stamps yet still lived in poverty. They are forced to balance bills, medication, and groceries. They’ve got to have electricity and running water. They also must have their medicine. Now they are forced to eat the cheapest thing in the store which is always the worst thing in the store.

A family with two or three active boys can make a meal of high sodium, processed hamburger helper stretch out more than trying to by several pieces of wild caught organic salmon with organic veggies.

Now a family with the means has no issue with buying healthier options of food. They also are more informed with simple things like reading a barcode to tell if the food is organic, gmo, or contains pesticides. They know about apps such as ScanLife that can scan a barcode and give you all of the information concerning a product. It’s no big deal for them to go to a trusted farmer’s market or carry a large grocery bill at Whole Foods and it not impact their finances.

Whole Foods and Gentrification

Cities such as New Orleans, San Francisco, Chicago, and Detroit are known as “food deserts”. This means there are no grocery stores within a mile of the community. Therefore, they have no access to fresh healthy foods. This situation mostly occurs in impoverished communities and significantly impacts African Americans and Hispanics. The markets that are in these communities are usually owned by individuals whom live outside of the community and don’t look like those whom live in it. So they could care less about the quality of the product that they are selling to their customers. The mentality is ” Let’s come in and prey on the voiceless poor, make our money, and head back into the suburbs”. I’ve been into markets in some of these cities and the food is rotten, spoiled, and grossly outdated and I’m not over exaggerating.

As things seemed to become as horrible as they could get, Whole Foods comes in to save day! They have outstanding products and falling under the Amazon umbrella really allows them to expand. They are popping up in Harlem, Newark, the community of Englewood in Chicago and many other communities.

This is absolutely phenomenal correct? WRONG! The reality is that once Whole Foods moves into your area the community as you know it is over. With each passing year gentrification is becoming more prominent and poor people are being pushed out of their homes.  Research shows that moving a Whole Foods in a community automatically ups the property value of the area. The Whole Foods brand is marketed towards a particular demographic and it’s not the poor original inhabitants of the community. It’s for the ones gentrifying the neighborhood and pushing the poor people out. Whole Foods is nothing more than the banner that says pack your bags and get your piss poor ass out of here.

This is another sign that America does not give a damn about poor people. Its absolutely ridiculous that we are having a conversation about food being a class system in the greatest nation in the world. It’s another reminder that “great” does not always mean “good” .This is clearly modern day Babylon. Can someone please tell me where the people that are being forced out of their homes are going? Grandma that’s been in that house for 45 years is only given a few dollars for her property, so where is she going? This is like the damn Trail of Tears all over again.

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