Great stretches of our country—or maybe it’s small stretches of our great country are—no I think I had … never mind. The thing I want to write about today is “food deserts”.
Now, some of you are thinking that sounds pretty good because you read it as “food dessert” and who doesn’t like dessert? Oh, I know, we all have at least one friend in our circle who doesn’t like dessert and doesn’t mind telling everyone, as often as they can, that they don’t like dessert in much the same superior voice as might be used to tell people you’ve been elected to sainthood even though you are neither dead nor Catholic.
No, I’m talking about a desert. You know, the kind of thing you see in the movies where there are lots of sands and people have visions of watering holes that aren’t there. There are probably camels in the desert, too, and not the kind you smoke.
[BTW, if you are wondering how to remember, when spelling, the difference between desert and dessert (the tasty food), remember that the tasty food has an extra “s” in it because you always want more dessert. If that doesn’t help, buy a dictionary.]
Anyway, this food desert I’m talking about—which really confuses things because I know I just got through telling you that I was going to write about the sandy kind of desert and not the foody kind of dessert—is a phenomenon that some politicians, aided by do-gooder professors and morons, came up with several years ago. See, they noticed that people in poorer parts of town tended to eat less healthily than the people in more affluent parts of town.
Jumping, as they are often wont to do, to the completely wrong conclusion, they decided that the reason the people in the poorer part of town weren’t eating their fruits and vegetables was because the mean people who run the fruit and vegetable distributors were racist bigots who were withholding fruits and vegetables from the poor because of their racism and bigotry. In strict grammatical terms, this is what is known as “projection”, but we can cover that in another column.
So, these do-gooders decided to try and find ways to make the stores in poor areas carry fruits and vegetables on the “Field of Dreams” theory that, “If you make vegetables available, they will come.” (It sounds best if spoken by James Earl Jones.) You know what happened, though? All those fresh foods and vegetables brought into the neighborhood stores rotted on the shelves because the people in those neighborhoods didn’t want them.
Apparently, the laws of supply and demand were at work. The stores weren’t selling fruits or vegetables because the people weren’t buying them, not because of some conspiracy. So now, these powers-that-be are realizing if they want the people to eat healthier (don’t bother asking, “Who’s business is it how they eat?!?!” as such questions are verboten in the modern world), they’re going to have to teach them to eat healthier.
Why didn’t they start there? I have a few answers for that but they’re too sarcastic for me to even type.