Chicago is even closer to beating out the likes of New York and San Francisco in officially resolving to help both the the planet and their citizens by encouraging more sustainable, healthier food options.
Many of our neighborhoods are suffering in food deserts and increasing violence, yet we are slamming our doors to the one food retailer who is ready to invest in our poorest neighborhoods without asking for any financial incentives?
We consider a mainstream grocery store a place where you can support a healthy diet on a regular basis. A fringe food location is the opposite; it is not inherently bad, but when it's the primary food source, local diets and public health suffer.
We spend billions of dollars in this country treating diseases that could be moderated or prevented by better and healthier food access and choice. A great number of these treatments are for the uninsured and take place in the emergency room. This is not cost-effective.
Can the market do well by doing some good? Why not? In Chicago alone we have identified a half-million-plus people who live in a Food Desert with no or distant grocery stores but nearby access to fast food.