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Fresh produce stands instead of hot dog stands!

Posted Aug 04 2009 7:28pm


Fruit stand vendors are common in the subways of Paris, but it’s something I’ve not yet seen anywhere else until I read a recent article in the New York Times about a brand new emerging food trend in the Bronx (New York).

The city officials for the Bronx have approved 1,000 new mobile produce carts (NYC Green Carts) for neighbourhoods that have long been isolated from having access to proper supermarkets, grocery stores and farmers’ markets offering fresh produce at reasonable prices.

This is such exciting news because it means that underprivileged neighbourhoods that are plagued with serious cases of obesity and diabetes because many of their citizens were eating poor quality foods will be able to eat fresh produce at an affordable price.

The carts do not accept food stamps (which is the means for a lot of low income families to afford to buy groceries), but the government will have a pilot program soon that will allow about 15 fruit cart vendors to accept food-stamp-debit-cards! Once again this means that dollars that were allocated to processed foods can now be allocated to healthier options like fruits and vegetables (bravo!).

The quote “ walk a mile in someone else’s shoes ” applies quite well when I read this excerpt:

In low-income neighborhoods, “we know that it takes more time to build supermarkets,” said Benjamin Thomases, the food-policy coordinator for the Bloomberg administration, “but we can get carts on the streets right now.”

Even if doctors talk to their patients about eating in a more healthy way, “there is little access to these kinds of foods in minority communities,” said Dr. Peter A. Selwyn, a department chairman at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

This kind of candid revelation really truly explains why it’s so hard for low-income families to get on a healthy path.

One owner of a shop who sees these produce carts as competition totally missed the boat when he declared: “It may be good for health, but it’s bad for business,” said George Katehis, manager of the Splendid Deli Restaurant at 387 East Fordham Road. “A guy might buy a piece of fruit there instead of coming in here for a soda.”

The point, George, is for people to buy less soda and more healthier options so they can live longer … perhaps, you might consider revisiting which kinds of foods you sell!

Here’s another reason to cheer for these produce carts, their prices are more affordable than the stores in those Bronx neighbourhoods that were selling fruits and vegetables … this is another win for the locals who can now have access to more affordable produce.

I surely hope this healthy idea catches on across America, in Canada and the U.K. where obesity in poorer neighbourhoods is also a raising concern!

The feature in the New York Times details more facts about this exciting healthy trend and you can read more about it here: Customers Prove There’s a Market for Fresh Produce


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