10. Spreading Poverty
In its bid to expand into cities, Walmart is promising to bring healthier foods to “food deserts,” neighborhoods that are underserved by grocery stores. While cheap fruits and vegetables might look good on paper, it is not so simple when costs to employees, workers throughout the food supply chain, and the environment are left out of the equation.
The main underlying cause of poor diet and diet-related health issues is poverty, according to a 15-year study recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Rather than improving the economic health of families, which would enable them to buy healthier food, Walmart has the opposite effect. When Walmart comes into a community, incomes decline and poverty increases. According to a study published in Social Science Quarterly, neighborhoods that gain Walmart stores end up with more poverty and food-stamp usage than communities where the retailer does not open.
When it comes to the food system, Walmart is part of the problem, not the solution.
This post was originally published by Food & Water Watch, republished with permission.
Photo from Peter Blanchard via flickr
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