Much has been made of Detroit's status as a "food desert," an assertion based almost solely, as the USDA admits, on the proximity of big box supermarkets doing over $2 million in annual sales in urban areas. But in Cleveland, as well as Detroit, the phenomenon of the corner store -- where one can find everything from peanut butter to produce -- is a valid and unappreciated source of food for many residents.
Even the Honey Bee got a shout out in this ode to the neighborhood market. And, more importantly, the author takes the USDA to task for exaggerated statistics that blatantly ignore our grocers serving it up in the 'hood.
One of the two studies cited by the USDA [PDF
] showed that depending on which definitions are employed, between 17 and 87 percent of New Orleans is a food desert.
To say that food sellers who do more than $2 million in business
provide fresh food and those who sell less do not is a rough estimate to
say the least. In fact, in my experience, it's false. According to the
locator, I live right on the border of a USDA-defined "food desert."
The thing is, I've never had better access to food in my life.
Make sure to check out Detroit's newest grocery store, Lafayette Foods
, which opens June 6. And get a helping of the article here