Obesity

How Can We Possibly Solve the Problem of Food Deserts? What's That? A Bus? Oh, OK.

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CBS News

The idea that food deserts are to blame for obesity is superficially plausible. There are many zip codes where it's tough to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, but easy to buy McNuggets. While the evidence about the impact of food deserts and proximity to fast food on obesity and healthy diet is actually mixed, it's understandable that public health–types might busy themselves with the problem of getting veggies into people's hands.

And the problem can seem intractable: How can people without access to reliable transportation get a reliable flow of leafy greens? How about….a bus?

An independent grocer in Baltimore recently realized that they could drum up business and publicity by sending out a bus to pick up shoppers. So yesterday, they announced the Santoni's shuttle, explaining that they'd rather have people spend money on groceries than cabs. 

"People are looking for dependable and inexpensive transportation," Santoni said. "A hack or sedan or taxi service can be 15 or 20 dollars round trip and that money would come out the food budget. With our service, seniors and the underserved can expand their food budget and eat healthier."

Ta da! 

Obviously, this doesn't solve every problem, and the announcement about the shuttle bus mentions that the local public health department is a "partner" in the endeavor, so there may be government backing, but this is still a great example of how seemingly tough public policy problems may actually just be profit opportunities.

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  1. Why not sell the vegetables directly from the bus so that the food desert-dwellers wouldn’t have travel?
    There used to be a fine small business model known as a rollin’ sto’.

    1. Bet there would be regulation hell to go through. Probably catch them in the Food Bus net.

    2. This.

      Old-time *Baltimoreans* remember the venerable Arabbers.

      Too bad about the non-PC name.

    3. How gauche!

      You want to return to the days when we had to buy our vegetables from filthy Jewish or Italian peddler who wandered the streets with his cart, while screaming “A-gets you fresh vegetables here!”?

      All right-thinking people know the only proper place to purchase agricultural products is from an officially certified organic food co-op. Yes, the waiting list takes about 2 years, but that’s because we just can’t have anyone walk in off the street.

      1. Can’t they just have a CSA deliver their food to a local drop point?

      2. Can’t remember the calls of the veggy/dairy/baked-goods mongers, but:
        “RAGS, OLD IRON, NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES!” was the call of the ‘recycler’ long before it was stylish.

    4. Too close to the dreaded COSMOTARIANZ!!1 and their food trucks.

    5. In the Detroit suburbs in the ’60s, lots of housewives did not have their own cars, so there were vegetable trucks that made regular rounds. We also had milk trucks, ice cream trucks, and even a Charles Chips truck that sold potato chips in big metal cans.

      1. Like Schwan’s?

        1. My memory is that they were produce trucks with fruits and vegetables, and little (if anything) else.

      2. I grew up in one of the Detroit suburbs and know for a fact my mom was getting fruits and veggies delivered up until the late-90s. The only reason she’s not is because her and my dad moved out almost to Ann Arbor.

        It’s possible they still have deliveries available, but I can guaran-fucking-tee you no one will drive a truck full of any valuable goods through the so-called “food deserts”.

  2. “There are many zip codes where it’s tough to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, but easy to buy McNuggets.”

    They don’t sell salads at these McDonald’s restaurants?

    1. Suggesting counterfactuals is no way to make friends.

    2. Many times the salads are worse than the big mac.

      1. Sorry, *nothing* is worse than a Big Mac.

        Well, maybe McD’s fries.

      2. You mean they come with dressing? So does a grocery store.

        Most have some grilled chicken or fried chicken choice. And that’s just it–it’s a choice for people to eat the way they want. No grocery store is going to solve that.

        1. What needs to change is that choice part.

          1. So the reason we are such a fat country is because of an unexplained epidemic of poor choice making?

            1. Exactly. Take away any choice but the mandated one, and all the fat will melt away. Look at North Korea–skinny!

              1. The only reasonable proposition is that healthy choices are too limited. That’s largely due to bad government food policy, but I just wonder which corrective measures you guys would support–or if you’ll be too busy finding ways to morally condemn people for their suboptimal lifestyles. Which is about the least productive thing I can think of.

                1. I thought I was clear. Each day, a menu mandated by the Central Health Committee would be published. People could eat the foods identified in the menu in the quantities and using the preparation methods prescribed.

                  In this manner, we’d have perfect nutritional health in a very short amount of time. Also, all of the resources wasted on creating false choices could be focused on improving the health and well being of all Americans.

                  Really, who benefits from having 200 options for cereal, most of which are bad for you? Not the consumer, that’s for sure. Look how fat and disgusting they are.

                2. Or that many people make ‘bad’ choices. If you define ‘taste really good but lead to issues with weight control’ as bad.

                  1. You can say you’re fine with the (fat, disgusting) status quo, but you’re in error if you claim it’s simply the sum of individual free and rational choices.

                    1. Surprise! Shithead substitutes assertion for argument:
                      “but you’re in error if you claim it’s simply the sum of individual free and rational choices.”

                    2. But all you do is call names and say absolutely nothing…

                    3. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 6:58PM |#
                      “But all you do is call names and say absolutely nothing…”
                      I don’t call you names, I identify you.
                      And you’re stupid enough, shithead, to be ignorant of the points I make.

                    4. Someone placing different values on taste and fitness than you doesn’t make their decision irrational.

                    5. Show me a fat person who likes being fat and I’ll show you a psychosis.

                    6. It’s not that they like being fat. It’s that they accept being fat as a cost of eating stuff that tastes good.

                    7. It’s not that they like being fat. It’s that they accept being fat as a cost of eating stuff that tastes good.

                      Nope. I conquered my obesity by eating things that tasye better. Doctors just don’t know how that’s done. Or at least they won’t admit they know the current advice is crap.

                    8. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 6:11PM |#
                      “Show me a fat person who likes being fat and I’ll show you a psychosis.”
                      So what, shithead?

                    9. Someone placing different values on taste and fitness than you doesn’t make their decision irrational.

                      A lot of them are victims of bad advice. I was. Low fat/low calorie dieting was killing me.

                      I was exercising 2 hours a day and eating

                  2. But…but…I couldn’t help but to rape her! The fashion industry spent billions of dollars designing her dress as to optimize her sexual attractiveness! I had no agency! We’re not rational, autonomous decision makers!

                    1. Could solve that by mandating a national dress code. Works in schools, right?

                    2. Could solve that by mandating a national dress code. Works in schools, right?

                      The modesty laws enshrined in traditional sharia work better I hear.

                    3. Yes, that’s a good idea, because that would stop Muslim aggression against Americans as a bonus.

                    4. Every time I see one of those fuckers spouting that stone age bullshit I have a great desire to drill a .45 hole in his head.

                      It is only a strong impulse. I am a staunch proponent of free speech, but those guys dont make it easy.

                    5. In the absence of nonrational motivators such as the sexual urge, why would anyone choose to rape someone and risk the consequences? I think this is one of the more important areas of inquiry in criminology and behavioral science and one whose outcomes, I predict, will be more than a little uncomfortable.

                      We are less free than our criminal justice system presumes and far less so than libertarians wish we were.

                      And isn’t the question of individual agency central to where you set your policy beliefs? Do you even care about the question though?

                    6. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 6:04PM |#
                      “In the absence of nonrational motivators such as the sexual urge, why would anyone choose to rape someone and risk the consequences?”

                      Shithead, what is that supposed to even mean?

                    7. Even if we accept your premise concerning the brain, the fact of the matter is that you could and should be help responsible for your actions, even if they occurred due to an irrational instinct or motivation.

                      For what it’s worth, I agree with Daniel Dennett’s theory of Compatibilism, that is free will and determinism are compatible and not mutually-exclusive.

                    8. I agree with you on both counts Heroic. But knowing the limits of our ability to choose seems essential in defining a just society, does it not? I think it’s pretty clear that if anyone overestimates human agency it’s libertarians.

                    9. I think it’s pretty clear that if anyone overestimates human agency it’s libertarians

                      Perhaps. But from our point-of-view the sum total of our choices, be they rationally motivated or not, is slanted toward a positive outcome due to the concept spontaneous order.

                    10. You can’t have spontaneous order without an accompanying massive amount of random destruction from which it can emerge. Literal social Darwinism is not the method of an ideal society.

                    11. And on a more grounded level, the less free a choice, the more force is present (from somewhere). I’d think you’d need to be pretty certain on the question of how much free choice is in the system if your overwhelming concern is the reduction of force.

                    12. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 7:34PM |#
                      “And on a more grounded level, the less free a choice, the more force is present (from somewhere)”

                      Shithead, Mickey D’s doesn’t have the guns. The gov’t does, shithead.

                    13. A gun is not the only means of force in the world… As you guys are quick to remind us when anyone talks about guns being particularly deadly weapons.

                    14. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 7:31PM |#
                      “You can’t have spontaneous order without an accompanying massive amount of random destruction from which it can emerge”

                      Assertion substituting for argument, shithead.

                    15. You can’t have spontaneous order without an accompanying massive amount of random destruction from which it can emerge.

                      I agree.

                      Literal social Darwinism is not the method of an ideal society.

                      I disagree. “Social Darwinism” is not the nature red in tooth and claw stereotype you make it to be. Getting back to Dennett, he convincingly argues that natural selection is an algorithm. There are several strategies that organisms can employ for success. Non-coercive, voluntary exchange between individuals is one of them.

                    16. Heroic Mulatto| 4.2.13 @ 7:49PM |#
                      You can’t have spontaneous order without an accompanying massive amount of random destruction from which it can emerge.

                      “I agree.”

                      HM, I disagree that that “random” destruction is necessary, but I’ll quit wasting time on shithead and leave his abysmal ignorance to you this evening.

                    17. By random destruction I don’t mean cities burning and the weeping of women, I mean the healthy process of entrepreneurs attempting to succeed in the market and sometimes failing.

                    18. Heroic Mulatto| 4.2.13 @ 8:13PM |#
                      “By random destruction I don’t mean cities burning and the weeping of women, I mean the healthy process of entrepreneurs attempting to succeed in the market and sometimes failing.”

                      HM, one of the regular commenters corrected me sometime back re: “Healthcare”. Healthcare is not an insurance matter, it’s the responsibility of every human who claims to be a moral agent (are you reading, shithead?). Medical care is the issue properly dealt with by insurance.
                      Similarly, “random destruction” is equally misleading, allowing shithead to presume his stupidity has some validity when it has none.
                      “Creative Destruction” is, like “Medical Care”, and accurate label and it denies shithead the pleasure of presuming poor little shits are crushed under us monocle-wearing billionaires.

                    19. I’m referring to the perception-distorting reality of the evolutionary process: we only see the successful outcomes, and we don’t see the other 99% that failed. You get order out of time and chemistry, sure. You don’t get fairness, justice, or well-being without making an effort.

                    20. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 10:38PM |#
                      “I’m referring to the perception-distorting reality of the evolutionary process: we only see the successful outcomes, and we don’t see the other 99% that failed.”
                      Sorry, shithead, your claim is not shown.

                      “You get order out of time and chemistry, sure. You don’t get fairness, justice, or well-being without making an effort.”
                      WIH is that supposed to mean? That you’ve been sucking on the booze too long?

                    21. Depending on the environment, coercive pillaging might be more successful–for the pillagers. I think it’s unlikely that a society that lifts all boats will emerge organically from individual interactions.

                    22. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 10:35PM |#
                      “Depending on the environment, coercive pillaging might be more successful–for the pillagers. I think it’s unlikely that a society that lifts all boats will emerge organically from individual interactions.”

                      This is pretty strong evidence that thinking isn’t one of you abilities shithead.

                    23. “…an ideal society.”

                      Tony, please define that…in detail.

                    24. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 7:00PM |#
                      …”But knowing the limits of our ability to choose seems essential in defining a just society, does it not?”…
                      No, shithead, it does not.

                    25. You dont make it easy either Tony.

                  3. Screw that, Auric. With people having no choice whatsoever in diet, my plan will free them to focus their decision-making power on other, more enlightened things. Like voting.

                    1. We should probably control their TV watching as well, to make sure they get enough exercise. I think they should only be allowed to watch TV during our Firefly: TNG timeslot.

                    2. What do they need multiple channels for? One channel providing the highest possible quality programming, as determined by the FCC, is plenty.

                    3. The #1 rated Auric Liberate channel: now with 30% more Jayne.

                    4. Because 30% more Jayne has been determined to be the healthiest possible choice for your mandated hour of television.

                    5. Because 30% more Jayne has been determined to be the healthiest possible choice for your mandated hour of television.

                      It keeps your heartrate up, even while watching television.

                3. God you are just the fucking scum of the earth.

          2. Paging Cass Sunstein ….

      3. Well, sure, if you get the Big Mac salad. I mean, it’s got Thousand Island dressing, which is the most destructive of all possible salad dressings.

        1. I hear it’s even got a pouring grip.

          1. It’s like assault dressing.

            1. We need a 7 oz limit on dressing magazines.

              1. Salad dressing is probably responsible for more deaths than guns, anyway. People think they’re eating healthy, but with five hundred calories of salad dressing, they’re not.

                1. You can pry my Caesar salad from my cold dead hands.

                  1. We’re not trying to confiscate your dressing. We just need you to register that you have it.

                    1. Well, no, we are trying to confiscate it. Only people certified as healthy can eat it.

                    2. We know that Pro Lib, but we aren’t supposed to let them know that till we’ve got the list!

                  2. Caesar salad is fine, provided that you leave out the anchovy (too salty–bad for your blood pressure), the egg yolk (and any raw egg is right out), the Parmesan cheese, and the Worcestershire sauce (FDA has no idea what’s in that, so ban to be safe).

                    1. Ventus capta!*

                      *My off-the-cuff Latin translation of molon labe

  3. Let’s see how long before the taxi, limo, and bus company gets them shut down.

  4. Advocating the use of government to force people to do things is to Progressives what eating fish on Fridays is to Catholics.

    It isn’t ever going to save anybody’s soul, but doing it makes them look and feel like truly devout Progressives–and that’s the important thing.

    1. Advocating the use of government to force people to do things is to Progressives what eating fish on Fridays is to Catholics.

      How the Pope got Portugal to join the Catholic Church?

  5. “The idea that food deserts are to blame for obesity is superficially plausible.”
    No, it isn’t.

  6. Let them take town cars!

  7. The type of people in food deserts are perfectly happy eating what they’re eating. Access is not a problem. I imagine a lot of them had/still have access to “healthy” food and utterly ignore it.

    1. The whole thing is complete nonsense. I shopped in a ghetto grocery store during law school (yes, well, it was Chicago), and they had produce and healthy food. Of course, it’s true that that sort of food wasn’t as popular as the box of hamburgers and other less healthy food, but popular doesn’t equal optimal in many situations.

      1. popular doesn’t equal optimal in many situations

        *** snorts *** Preach it!

  8. Fat Metabolism 101: Insulin causes fat deposition. Sweet and starchy foods cause the pancreas to release insulin. Meat causes only a trace release. Fat causes no release.
    A McNugget has 2.6g of carbs.
    A small (under 6″) banana has 26g of carbs.
    Which is going to keep you full longer for the same amount of fat deposition, a 6″ banana or 10 McNuggets?

      1. I WHUPPED BATMAN’S ASS!

      2. Yeah, great dietary advice from an obese singer. Died at 40.

      3. Damn, I forgot how awesome he could be.

  9. This is a great story. However, I’m surprised there’s been no pushback from cab companies or other unionized transportation workers, saying how the grocery bus is competing with them unfairly & robbing them of that $15 or $20 fare.

    Wrt salads at McDonald’s – lettuce has negligible nutritional value on its own, and is primarily used as a vehicle for dressing, cheese, and protein (i.e., fat, sugar, & salt). Yeah, the odd tomato makes an appearance, but it doesn’t do much to up the nutrient profile. So, in terms of nutrition, McDonald’s salads count as vegetables in the same measure as the lettuce, onions & ketchup do on a Big Mac. If you’re relying on McDonald’s salads for your daily intake of veggies, I’d say the grocery bus couldn’t come too soon.

    1. girlgenius| 4.2.13 @ 5:43PM |#
      “This is a great story. However, I’m surprised there’s been no pushback from cab companies or other unionized transportation workers,”

      In SF, there would be by now. Maybe Bawmer is less whacko.

  10. “… it’s understandable that public health?types might busy themselves with the problem of getting veggies into people’s hands.”

    No, it truly isn’t. Regulating what people can eat, where and how they can eat it, and in what portions and configurations they’re allowed to eat it, is universally, unalterably, infinitely unacceptable. Period.

    1. I agree, but there’s going to be a nutritional environment and it’s going to be affected by things like agricultural policies, and there’s no guarantee that a pure free market would provide an adequate range of choices, or even provide enough food for everyone. People can be regulated without any policymaker deciding to regulate them. The environment sets conditions–this is true in all things, and something libertarians consistently fail to fully appreciate.

      1. How’s that brain tumor coming along?

        1. I’m afraid the tumor left his brain because it ran out of things to latch on to.

          HE HAS NO BRAIN, is what I’m saying.

          1. You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if that were somehow true. It’s like trying to explain arithmetic to a pile of bricks.

            1. Between Tony and shriek that is one smart pile of bricks you’ve got there.

          2. Brain slug starving to death on Fry’s head.

      2. “People can be regulated without any policymaker deciding to regulate them.”

        This phenomena is called, “making responsible and informed decisions”.

        1. It’s called being a slave to your environment.

          1. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 6:12PM |#
            “It’s called being a slave to your environment.”

            It’s called being a pathetic excuse for a moral agent.
            It’s called arrested development. It’s called being infantile. It’s called being Tony, shithead.

      3. “there’s no guarantee that a pure free market would provide an adequate range of choices,”

        There certainly *is* a guarantee the the gov’t will fuck it up.

  11. McDonald’s spends tons of money making food products in laboratories engineered to a frightening detailed degree to trigger people’s brain reward center. What a waste of R&D… people are fully autonomous and liberated choice makers! No amount of engineering food to make people crave it will work. Just as all smokers are glad they smoke. And besides, poor people choose to be poor.

    1. There’s shit to be eaten, fires to die in. Get to it.

    2. OMG NOT TEH CHEMICALZ!!11

    3. Even if this is true, so fucking what? Adding sugar accomplishes the same thing. Fuck off, slaver.

      1. Slavemaking fucks dictating to me what I can eat? Fuck them all. Tony’s immorality is just unholy in its scope.

        1. And the simple fact is you guys have the mental acuity of your average religious nut but a rebellious streak that causes you largely to reject traditional religions–thus focusing your shallow, ignorant obsession with human morality on different places.

          You’re still obsessing over people’s personal morality–a religious notion that has less relevance as time goes on.

          1. “You’re still obsessing over people’s personal morality–a religious notion that has less relevance as time goes on.”

            Religious, it ain’t shithead.

            1. Rejecting facts inconvenient to your preconceived worldview on a regular basis, a fixation on human morality–libertarianism at least overlaps with religion.

              1. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 7:03PM |#
                “Rejecting facts inconvenient to your preconceived worldview…”

                Claptrap, shithead. Rejecting your lies is more like it.

              2. BTW, shithead:
                “-libertarianism at least overlaps with religion.”
                Your religious claim here is that morality requires a religion. Prove it.

                1. No it wasn’t. A fixation on morality, specifically rewards and punishments, is what makes it like religion.

                  1. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 7:29PM |#
                    “No it wasn’t. A fixation on morality, specifically rewards and punishments, is what makes it like religion.”

                    Shithead, “fixation” is your pejorative, not shown.
                    And the rewards and punishments are specifically what removes morality from religion.

                    1. This whole conversation and many others beside demonstrate it. We shouldn’t have welfare because people don’t actually need help, they’ve chosen not to be upwardly mobile. This bizarre implied claim that this country is so fat because of an unexplained pandemic of bad choices because of which they deserve their fate. The adolescent chest-puffed pointing of the moral finger Ayn Rand-style that has happened many times on this thread alone.

                      There is one way in which you go further than many religions, which often give infants a grace period. You condemn them for their parents’ bad choices too.

                    2. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 7:40PM |#
                      “This whole conversation and many others beside demonstrate it. We shouldn’t have welfare because people don’t actually need help, they’ve chosen not to be upwardly mobile”

                      Shorter shithead:
                      I still don’t have a clue as to what you mean, but I’ll accuse you of all sorts of stuff.
                      What an ignoramus!

    4. I’m not frightened. Why are you frightened? Is the big bad fast food company gonna get you?

      1. One assumes such a hugely profitable private enterprise is spending the money because it pays off.

        By pays off of course I mean it gets people to eat food they otherwise wouldn’t if they were behaving rationally. You don’t find that at least a little concerning?

        Central libertarian contradiction: successful businesses are ones that don’t waste money on pointless endeavors, and consumers are rational, free agents. Yet McDonalds and tobacco companies invest tons of money to addict consumers, and addiction is by definition the reduction or elimination of rational choice. So are companies not being rational or are consumers not able to make choices as freely as you think?

        1. Central libertarian contradiction: successful businesses are ones that don’t waste money on pointless endeavors

          You failed already.

        2. “By pays off of course I mean it gets people to eat food they otherwise wouldn’t if they were behaving rationally.”

          Prove it, shithead.

          1. Why would the companies need to make their products addictive if they were already good enough for people to choose independently?

            1. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 6:15PM |#
              “Why would the companies need to make their products addictive…”

              Lie, shithead.
              So do you want to ask a question that doesn’t include a lie, shithead? Are you capable of it, shithead?

            2. Every smoker I’ve ever met started smoking of their own free will and was well aware of the risk of addiction. And nobody is addicted to McDonalds.

              1. Unlike KFC. Oh, I hated the Colonel with his wee beady eyes! And that smug look on his face, “Oh, you’re gonna buy my chicken!” Ohhhhh!

                And he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly!

              2. Yeah starting to consume the product is a choice (though not little influenced by marketing), but addiction is by definition the reduction or elimination of choice. A nonsmoker and a smoker are not equally free with respect to choosing to smoke.

                And if businesses can use addiction as a tool, that’s a serious advantage in a market.

                1. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 7:06PM |#
                  …”addiction is by definition the reduction or elimination of choice.”…

                  Which is exactly the reason it’s used by sleazy turds like you to advance your fantasies.

                  1. Sevo: welfare is addictive, cigarettes not so much.

                    1. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 7:14PM |#
                      “Sevo: welfare is addictive, cigarettes not so much.”
                      Shithead, perhaps, but neither are such as to keep someone hooked if they choose otherwise.

            3. How’s that vegan diet working out for you?

              1. I was just scarfing down a beef tostada and some pinot grigio and am about to go have a smoke to go along with the feeling of utter bliss that followed my Taco Bueno.

              2. How’s that vegan diet working out for you?

                The lettuce is really “just a vehicle” for teenaged boy semen…..a tomato makes an occasional appearance.

        3. “By pays off of course I mean it gets people to eat food they otherwise wouldn’t if they were behaving rationally.”

          Wrong. People are behaving rationally. People are programmed to get lots of calories at low cost.

          You just think it’s irrational for health reasons, but that’s not how people are programmed.

      2. Show me on the doll where the fast-food company touched you.

    5. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 5:52PM |#
      Shorter shithead:
      Those who want to sell things spend time and money figuring out what people buy, damn them!

      1. Addiction is the relative absence of choice with respect to consuming a product. Do you believe fraud should be illegal? So what should we call it when companies effectively force you to buy their product, at least to a degree? They’re eliminating rational choice, to a certain degree, from market behavior (which in a profit-motivated situation is only rational). Or are you capable of thinking on levels above these incessant toddleresque outbursts?

        1. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 7:13PM |#
          “Addiction is the relative absence of choice with respect to consuming a product.”
          So?
          “Do you believe fraud should be illegal?”
          Yes.
          “So what should we call it when companies effectively force you to buy their product, at least to a degree?”
          A lie.
          “They’re eliminating rational choice, to a certain degree, from market behavior (which in a profit-motivated situation is only rational).”
          Another lie.
          “Or are you capable of thinking on levels above these incessant toddleresque outbursts?”
          Are you capable of making judgements beyond your toddleresque worldview, shithead?

  12. Are we in an alt-text desert?

  13. McDonald’s spends tons of money making food products in laboratories engineered to a frightening detailed degree to trigger people’s brain reward center. What a waste of R&D… people are fully autonomous and liberated choice makers

    Wake me when McD’s has perfected it’s brain-control methods so its advertisements force unwilling people to enter their stores and buy their products.

    1. *one of those “its”, it’s not like the others….

    2. When I was a kid, I liked McDonald’s. Not sure it was my favorite fast food, even then, but we ate there plenty.

      Over time, I like it less and less. About the only thing I ever get there anymore, and only once in a while, is an Egg McMuffin. Lunch or dinner only maybe twice a year, and it’s definitely not in my top five fast food choices (not that I eat much of their competitors’ options, either).

      So why aren’t I a programmable slave to McDonald’s?

      1. You’re so old that your base OS is incompatible with their new programming updates.

        1. You may be right. I remember a field trip to a McDonald’s back in the 70s, and they showed us how to make the then-newish Egg McMuffin. They had a ring, which was a little like a tuna can with both ends cut out, in which they. . .cracked a fresh egg into on the griddle.

          I swear I’m not making this up. A real egg.

          1. I used to make my own by poaching eggs. It worked really convenient for stacking them on the sandwich.

            1. Sure, you, a human. But McDonald’s, the evilest of possible corporations, actually made McMuffins with freshly prepared eggs. I guess that was before they were pure evil.

              1. I understand that green stuff in the salads is actually lettuce! And, if you can believe it, the brown disc in the hamburger is beef!

                1. Not real beef. Some sort of mutant beef from cattle tortured to death first.

                  1. You’re right.
                    They spend millions of their ‘hugely profitable’ gains working on mutations that taste like the real thing, but offer no nourishment at all!
                    ‘Cause that’s what they do.

              2. Actually the egg on an egg mcmuffin was still the “most real” thing you could get at a mcdonalds (as of a few years ago at least)

                1. I’m sure the egg remains real, but I don’t think it’s made fresh anymore.

          2. They still make them that way. Or at least they did when I worked there back in 2004.

      2. All major food companies have worked on engineering food to maximize flavors that trigger addictive and consequentially unhealthy eating. Providing nutrition barely rises above the level of a marketing concern when it comes to pushing the product. Fatty, salty, sugary food is ubiquitous in American society, in restaurants and grocery stores, and truly healthy food is relatively hard to come by. This claim doesn’t seem as if it should be controversial.

        At best you’re asking people of limited means to just choose harder. But that presupposes less agency.

        1. Clutch those pearls a little harder, grandma.

          Lighten the fuck up, you old nun. That’s what you’re like, a fucking nun. A prudish, superior, boring nun, that’s you.

          Fuck man, go have a drink or something. Jesus.

        2. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 7:20PM |#
          “All major food companies have worked on engineering food to maximize flavors that trigger addictive and consequentially unhealthy eating”

          Shorter shithead:
          All companies that sell things have worked to find out what buyers want, damn them.
          What an ignoramus!

          1. You do realize I’m not advocating anything here? Just providing food for thought. Too complex for your taste?

            1. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 7:44PM |#
              “You do realize I’m not advocating anything here?”

              Of COURSE you’re not, shithead, (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)
              What an ignoramus!

  14. As someone involved in local food, I can understand how they came up with the concept of “food deserts”. But, it is largely bogus. Without a car, virtually every person in America lives in a “food desert”.

    At least here in Miami, if you want the very best produce in town, you either need to go to one of our super expensive restaurants or you need to go to one of the “food deserts” because that’s where the best farmers’ markets are (combo of low rents and non profits choosing to start farmers’ markets there).

    You can eat the same ingredients served at those expensive restaurants on a fast food budget IF you’re willing to prepare meals at home.

    1. That’s too hard. Let the God-blessed elites help us with that.

      /Inner-city pinko

      1. I really do find it too hard to prepare my own meals. But that’s why I just pay others to do it for me.

        1. “Pay.” You mean, “exploit.”

          1. No, no. That’s the “dessert”.

  15. “…seemingly tough public policy problems may actually just be profit opportunities.”

    WHICH IS A HORRIBLE TTHING WHICH MUST BE STOPPED BY TAXES AND REGULATION /progtardoid

  16. Gonzales Market in downtown Santa Ana has offered a shuttle for decades.

    1. There’s a downtown in Santa Ana?!

  17. I solve the problem of food desserts with cake, pie, ice cream or some other treat.

  18. Re: Tony,

    The only reasonable proposition is that healthy choices are too limited. That’s largely due to bad government food policy.

    Yes, it is worrisome. Few governments can be as clever as the one that espoused the benefits of grass eating.

    All major food companies have worked on engineering food to maximize flavors that trigger addictive and consequentially unhealthy eating.

    “I can no longer sit back and allow food business infiltration, food business indoctrination, food business subversion, and the international food business conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”

    You probably deny your essence to women, as well…

  19. Re: Tony,

    Addiction is the relative absence of choice with respect to consuming a product.

    For instance, I am addicted to eating my nails because I have few choices of pencils to bite on.

    Maybe you should stick to economics, and try to remind us why government waste… I mean, spending, causes people to be so rich they stink.

    1. You sound like you’re going senile man.

      1. Tony| 4.2.13 @ 10:40PM |#
        “You sound like you’re going senile man.”
        Shithead, I’ll guess your opinion (and it’s nothing more) was intended as an argument.
        You are a lying asshole, and most everyone here knows that. Do you understand that, shithead?

      2. Re: Tony,

        You sound like you’re going senile man.

        Ha ha! “Nice” comeback, Zoolander!

  20. Government backing? Then you mean, this is a great example of how seemingly tough public policy problems may actually just be opportunities for crony capitalism.

  21. Heck yeah man, buses rule liek that.

    http://www.DatAnon.tk

  22. Within the last year, some advocacy group published a map of “food deserts” in my city. “Food deserts” were defined as places where there wasn’t a full grocery store within a half-mile or something like that. Putting aside that you can buy perfectly good food at places other than grocery stores, a review of the map showed that nearly all the “food deserts” were parks, the site with city jail, a couple large hospital and university campuses, and the central business district. I came away from that tending not to believe all the hype over the “food desert” problem.

  23. Food deserts are a myth. I bike in Harlem regularly – all the way up to Inwood Hill Park. Last weekend I went up over the Broadway Bridge into the Bronx, up through Van Cortlandt Park. The longest distance in between stores selling fresh fruit and vegetables was 10 blocks. Also – if there is a food desert somewhere, it is because there is not enough demand to support a supplier – if you’re stuck in a ‘hood where you’re the only one who wants fresh fruit, and can’t get any, then do what I would do in that instance: MOVE. There are plenty of areas where “you can’t buy X” – in this country, if you aren’t a felon or a minor, you choose where to live.

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