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Unread 05-12-2011, 09:24 PM   #811
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In the town where I live, we have no grocery store and only a very tiny super walmart. Something like 80% of the county's population is under the poverty level and 95% of the households make less than $50k per year. Many families do not have cars, and it's about 3 miles from low income housing to super walmart. We have a senior bus that will take seniors and disabled persons for $2 if they call in advance for arrangements, but no other public transport. Except, we have an awesome group called "THRIVE" who are working to make it easier for people in town to access healthier lifestyle choices. We have a community garden that includes raised beds for people who want to garden and can't bend. They offer free plots (along with free seeds/plants- though, I also found out that people can use food stamps to buy vegetable seeds, but not herbs) to low income persons who apply. From spring to fall, we have a farmer's market downtown and they made arrangements so payments can be made with the vision card (food stamps) and there's a van that runs between low income housing and the farmer's market every half hour or so when it's open on Thursday evenings. They also installed bike racks around town to make it easier for people who ride bikes. It's very cool and very appreciated by some people.
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Unread 05-12-2011, 09:31 PM   #812
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Personally, on the topic of voting and presidential elections and the fact that only half the people vote.. I think we should organize the presidential elections like American Idol. Everyone votes for the next American Idol.

Have x amount of presidential candidates on the premier, one being voted off each week. Just texy our vote! Have them do all these different tasks such as a mock budget and various generic things that presidents will have to do, then have America vote via Text, Facebook or Twitter.

A lot of the reason people don't vote is because you don't know anything about the candidates, or you know too much about them. (Ugh media/paparazzi) It's almost always about how much you like them as a figure not how well they'll do the job. In wrestling that's called backstage politics, so aptly named, don't you think?
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Unread 05-12-2011, 09:37 PM   #813
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Originally Posted by nannyogg View Post
In the town where I live, we have no grocery store and only a very tiny super walmart. Something like 80% of the county's population is under the poverty level and 95% of the households make less than $50k per year. Many families do not have cars, and it's about 3 miles from low income housing to super walmart. We have a senior bus that will take seniors and disabled persons for $2 if they call in advance for arrangements, but no other public transport. Except, we have an awesome group called "THRIVE" who are working to make it easier for people in town to access healthier lifestyle choices. We have a community garden that includes raised beds for people who want to garden and can't bend. They offer free plots (along with free seeds/plants- though, I also found out that people can use food stamps to buy vegetable seeds, but not herbs) to low income persons who apply. From spring to fall, we have a farmer's market downtown and they made arrangements so payments can be made with the vision card (food stamps) and there's a van that runs between low income housing and the farmer's market every half hour or so when it's open on Thursday evenings. They also installed bike racks around town to make it easier for people who ride bikes. It's very cool and very appreciated by some people.
I would love to see more initiatives like this. My mom was instrumental in bringing a farmer's market to our hometown, but it's very small, maybe three or four vendors at a go, and sparsely attended. I don't know if they accept food stamps. Next time I talk to my mother I should ask her what the status is with the markets, I don't know if she'll be continuing them this year.
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Unread 05-12-2011, 09:44 PM   #814
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Our town is getting a farmers market this year! YAY! FINALLY!

I mean i live in the COUNTRY... wtf, why did we not have one?
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Unread 05-12-2011, 09:49 PM   #815
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Originally Posted by DireKitty View Post
Our town is getting a farmers market this year! YAY! FINALLY!

I mean i live in the COUNTRY... wtf, why did we not have one?
Most of the really big, nice farmer's markets I know of are either in big cities or areas where wealthy people have their vacation homes. GO F'IN FIGURE.
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Unread 05-12-2011, 09:54 PM   #816
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Most of the really big, nice farmer's markets I know of are either in big cities or areas where wealthy people have their vacation homes. GO F'IN FIGURE.
There's rarely one around here.

If I want fresh produce, I just walk down to Les PŤres de la Nature :/ (Don,t know if there's an english equivalent)
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Unread 05-12-2011, 10:50 PM   #817
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Originally Posted by penny_dreadful View Post
I would love to see more initiatives like this. My mom was instrumental in bringing a farmer's market to our hometown, but it's very small, maybe three or four vendors at a go, and sparsely attended. I don't know if they accept food stamps. Next time I talk to my mother I should ask her what the status is with the markets, I don't know if she'll be continuing them this year.
We have a big population of Mennonite farmers in the next county over who bring lots of great stuff and that really helped jump start the market since word got out fast that there would be good stuff there. People also bring crafts and baked goods. They have had the elementary school students do an art show, and the highway patrol were doing a seatbelt safety demo last week! Keeps it interesting so people want to go check out what's up.

This is the website for THRIVE. The article I linked describes some of what this area is like- it's the armpit of the state in so many ways, and yet that people want to cooperate and make it better makes it a really endearing place to be. Last year an initiative was raised to get rid of my town's 3 person, good old boy network, city council and make it an 8 person council. I was really pleased to see that the new board represents diversity of opinions/lifestyles and people who really care about what will make the community better for all. The person they elected for head of the council is someone I know and really respect (and he helped me put a couple of finishing touches on the Harkonnen cannon last year, when I didn't have the tools, LOL). Makes me hopeful!
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Unread 05-13-2011, 06:42 AM   #818
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This is really interesting. I was all "!!!" at first but then i realized its the same in Canada... I mean a mile isn't very far. I would bike 2.1km to get food, and thats over a mile (mile = 1.6km). Was about a 30 min walk, under 10 minute bike ride. Walking is slower... but you could take a shopping cart back.

I'd like to see data showing 2 miles.
I agree that it's interesting but I don't want to really comment on interpretation because I haven't looked any closer at the underlying data. Graphics can be deceiving. But if the data is solid, at a minimum, it should make those in charge want to investigate the relationship between availability of healthy food (including how easy it is to get not just is it physically possible to get) and overall health. The multiple strategies being used in Nanny Ogg's town, for example, seem a lot more likely to be effective in getting people to eat healthy than only giving a "health bonus" of some sort when there may not really be anywhere they can use that option.

FWIW - much of the South is also known as "The Stroke Belt" by the medical field because the incidence of stroke and cardiovascular disease is so much higher there than the rest of the country. Not surprisingly, it correlates well with the obesity and diabetes map.
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Unread 05-13-2011, 11:27 AM   #819
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FWIW - much of the South is also known as "The Stroke Belt" by the medical field because the incidence of stroke and cardiovascular disease is so much higher there than the rest of the country. Not surprisingly, it correlates well with the obesity and diabetes map.
This portion of the South is also considerably poorer than the rest of the nation (and has been since Reconstruction.) The people there can't afford to buy healthy food a lot of the time, (most of the time it's only offered in cites...I'd never seen soymilk, for instance, until I moved to Houston) and are mostly working-class and work much just to make ends' meet that they don't have the time to really garden as they'd like.
So what do they end up buying at the grocery store? The stuff they can afford: frozen things full of sodium and other preservatives, carcinogen-ridden, cheaply-manufactured food, etc.
And they eat ALL of it, they clean their plates, because their parents or grandparents lived through the Depression and never knew when they were going to get their next meals, and sort of force that sort of mentality on their children.
Thus, that belt through the South is continually in worse health than the rest of the country.

The South is a fascinating place, if you're in the mood for heartbreak.
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Unread 05-13-2011, 11:54 AM   #820
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This portion of the South is also considerably poorer than the rest of the nation (and has been since Reconstruction.) The people there can't afford to buy healthy food a lot of the time, (most of the time it's only offered in cites...I'd never seen soymilk, for instance, until I moved to Houston) and are mostly working-class and work much just to make ends' meet that they don't have the time to really garden as they'd like.
So what do they end up buying at the grocery store? The stuff they can afford: frozen things full of sodium and other preservatives, carcinogen-ridden, cheaply-manufactured food, etc.
And they eat ALL of it, they clean their plates, because their parents or grandparents lived through the Depression and never knew when they were going to get their next meals, and sort of force that sort of mentality on their children.
Thus, that belt through the South is continually in worse health than the rest of the country.

The South is a fascinating place, if you're in the mood for heartbreak.
Fried. Everything. I remember watching Jamie Oliver do his show in the US. Trying to educate people about healthy eating. It did not go over well. They did not care, they liked to fry everything, and they did not want to eat the healthy food. They hated him and wanted him to gtfo. It was depressing, and Jamie like... i think he was crying. He was all set on uplifting people, and well... he ran into a concrete wall.

...i didn't expect that... i assumed (like he did likely) that the whole "they eat shit food, everything is fried" was a stereotype, and that they would actually you know... eat other kinds of food as well. But it seemed... very real.

If there was a demand for healthy options, you would think grocery stores would stock them.
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Unread 05-13-2011, 12:00 PM   #821
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The South is a fascinating place, if you're in the mood for heartbreak.
Also - just to be clear - my comment wasn't meant to slag on the South. When you see this kind of disease clustering it is hard to say, "Oh it's all about poor individual choices!" If the only variable is individual choice, we'd expect the incidence to be more or less uniform across the country. When these kinds of patterns are found, you have to start looking for environmental, economic and societal influences.

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If there was a demand for healthy options, you would think grocery stores would stock them.
That's really an oversimplification.
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Unread 05-13-2011, 12:10 PM   #822
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Also - just to be clear - my comment wasn't meant to slag on the South. When you see this kind of disease clustering it is hard to say, "Oh it's all about poor individual choices!" If the only variable is individual choice, we'd expect the incidence to be more or less uniform across the country. When these kinds of patterns are found, you have to start looking for environmental, economic and societal influences.
Oh, I know.
I was just putting that in before some genius responded with "See? It's proof that all those damn, racist, fat, ignorant, redneck Southerners should just leave the U.S!!!!!!1one"
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Unread 05-13-2011, 12:14 PM   #823
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Fried. Everything. I remember watching Jamie Oliver do his show in the US. Trying to educate people about healthy eating. It did not go over well. They did not care, they liked to fry everything, and they did not want to eat the healthy food. They hated him and wanted him to gtfo. It was depressing, and Jamie like... i think he was crying. He was all set on uplifting people, and well... he ran into a concrete wall.

...i didn't expect that... i assumed (like he did likely) that the whole "they eat shit food, everything is fried" was a stereotype, and that they would actually you know... eat other kinds of food as well. But it seemed... very real.

If there was a demand for healthy options, you would think grocery stores would stock them.
Welllllllll...I LIVE in the South. I'm sure that area was highlighted and edited to be "shocking" and perpetuate the stereotypes that we've all come to love. *eyeroll.* Because that's "good TV."
I see it every day, and I know the reasons behind it. I know that in the cities where health food is offered, people eat better and are generally thinner.


And, for the record, I do not know anyone who fries everything. We generally bake and grill.
Of course I live in Texas, but yeah.
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Unread 05-13-2011, 12:15 PM   #824
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Also - just to be clear - my comment wasn't meant to slag on the South. When you see this kind of disease clustering it is hard to say, "Oh it's all about poor individual choices!" If the only variable is individual choice, we'd expect the incidence to be more or less uniform across the country. When these kinds of patterns are found, you have to start looking for environmental, economic and societal influences.



That's really an oversimplification.
Oh to be sure it is. I'm sure there are many factors at play here, but companies do like money and where there are niche markets, they will be filled. Grocery stores are different in each area depending on demand. I know in Windsor the grocery chain i frequented had some different items then the same chain up where i am now which is only 3 hours north - demographics having changed.

I can only assume the US has chain stores that are in multiple states, and thus different areas feature some items more prominently, and some items are a staple in stores no matter the location.

I do know that the US seems to have an issue with sticking salt in meat, and it's worse in the south. (I found this out on a raw food forum i frequent, since my dog eats raw) Here in Canada... i had never heard of such a thing. Meat was meat.

...adding salt water and the like means you are paying for the salt water... but apparently it sells better due to the taste. Or so they say. I prefer to add my own spices.

.... hell maybe it's all a big conspiracy by the health corporations over there to make more money. I mean they profit off of peoples sickness. *puts tin foil hat on*
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Unread 05-13-2011, 12:19 PM   #825
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I know Jamie Oliver is on a crusade to make Americans eat better, and that's okay in its way, but yes-- he's definitely ignoring a lot of the socioeconomic issues that cause people to eat so many unhealthy foods. And it's television, so it's about ratings as much as it is helping people, if not more. Of course it's going to perpetuate stereotypes to try and get its point across.
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