Thursday, October 05, 2006

Politics of the grocery store

There has only been one person that has ever made me seriously consider becoming a vegetarian. It wasn't me Vegan of 12 years brother, or my many animal rights friends, but it was a speaker that came to my undergrad and told us that the reason that he's a vegan is in protest to the fact that you can not find any fresh vegetables in Black neighborhoods. That really blew my mind and I realized that he was right, unfortunately I don't have enough will power to turn down meat, I'm weak I know. But today as I went grocery shopping his statement came back to me and was confirmed.

I live blocks away from my current school, which like most college campuses the area right around the campus, is a nice very white area, and then a few blocks from that starts the hood. Anyways I've been going to the grocery store more in the hood, I liked it, and it reminded me of home. What I didn't like was how I could never find any fresh vegetables in good condition, all of them were on their way out. So I decided to go a few blocks in the other direction to the supermarket that's geared towards students at my new school, and when I walked in I heard the angels sing. It was amazing, the produce section is the first thing I saw and it was great. It was filled with beautiful fruits and vegetables; the whole entire store was decorated beautifully. As I walked the aisles I saw what I didn't in that other one, choice. I could pick up tons of different cheeses, and oils. It was great, I spent longer than I intended because everything was calling me.

My joy of food shopping was cut short with the realization that this supermarket was set up to keep the poor students from venturing in to the dreaded ghetto. While in the process not caring about whether poor children in the inner city have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. It's sickening; the bus stop that's closest to the better super market is not conducive to catching the bus there. While the other one is closer to two bus lines.
I called my mom to talk to her about it and we laughed, that laugh of we must laugh to keep from crying, because it's so sad, the blatant racism. As for me which supermarket will I continue to go to, I'm not sure. Because while I feel at home at the other one, I also crave good food.

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“I remember how being young and black and gay and lonely felt. A lot of it was fine, feeling I had the truth and the light and the key, but a lot of it was purely hell.” ~Audre Lorde