smart study: fast food a favorite of the middle class, not the poor.

I don’t have much in the way of fact to add to Jane Black’s summary of this interesting new study from UC-Davis researchers showing that it’s not America’s poor who are eating fast food, but our middle class. But I think this is interesting:

Figuring out how to make healthier food rival the drive-through for convenience and taste will be hard enough. Convincing people to choose it over the bad stuff they love will require a monumental cultural shift….

I would say that in most of my reporting in low-income communities, that ‘cultural’ shift isn’t all that big. Make eating well easy and affordable and, mostly, people will do it. And when we focus heavily on that cultural shift, it’s incredibly easy to come off as snobs lecturing the poor on their eating habits, instead of just making it easy for people to make smart choices.

I’d love to hear thoughts on this, of course.

InfoGuide: Where to Grab a Bite

City Limits • July/August 2004

Looking for a healthy snack? Your best bet is to head to Manhattan. It’s home to 322 supermarkets, more than any other borough. Each Manhattanite can claim 2.8 square feet of shopping space—not to mention 22 farmers’ markets and 16 community supported agriculture (CSA) clubs.

And you’d do well to avoid Brooklyn. Brooklynites scrape by with 1.4 square feet of space per resident, 11 farmers’ markets and 7 CSAs. That’s not all: Brooklyn is home to more than half of the 1.7 million New Yorkers living in zip codes with less than one square foot of market space apiece. Continue reading “InfoGuide: Where to Grab a Bite”