I came across this map and was floored by the prevalence of fast food restaurants across the United States. At the same time, I think about how (relatively) cheap fast food is, with most fast food restaurants having dollar menu items. The average price of a “meal” is $5.
Now, picture a map of an urbanized area in which every pin point represents a location where one can get fresh fruits and vegetables. The difference between this map and the fast food map would be striking.
I am not advocating the wholesale closure of fast food restaurants. They provide jobs. They give money to the community. They sponsor little league teams. The smart ones have some healthy choices on their menus. They are not evil.
With that said, I am hopeful. Cleveland is emerging as a leader in the local food movement. President Obama set up a task force to tackle childhood obesity and lists ensuring access to healthy, affordable food as one of its objectives.
The movement is growing and the President’s taskforce helps to validate its importance.
The author fully discloses he will probably eat fast food in the near future and admits that he has eaten fast food in the past.