I was thinking today of how much better off the residents of American inner cities would be if the Singapore model of hawker centres prevailed. Sure, there’s fattening char kway teow, but every hawker centre has a fruit juice and sliced fruit stand with cheap papaya, watermelon, and kiwi fruit, not to mention carrot juice. I understand that crime is a deterrent, but why exactly is it that US inner-city markets have such awful, expensive, fly-blown produce, even the ones in Oakland CA? Is this true in poor neighborhoods in Great Britain?Mark Kleiman at least avoids Waring's "let them eat papaya" cultural condescension. But he exudes condescension of a different kind: intellectual condescension.
10. The prosperous generally are more health-conscious than the poor, which among other things means they're more likely to know and care about what foods are healthy.Kleiman believes the poor eat unhealthily because "[u]nhealthy eating habits are promoted by the food industry, including the fast-food restaurant trade and the convenience-food segment of the grocery trade." In other words, poor people aren't culturally benighted--they're just pliable sheep being brainwashed by commercials to eat expensive, unhealthy, foul-tasting swill.
11. Healthy food is relatively more available and cheaper to the prosperous than it is to the poor. This is both and effect and a cause of (10).
12. Lots of unhealthy food actually tastes vile, and encouraging people to eat it reduces their enjoyment of food as well as damaging their health. There's simply no taste comparison beteen a mango and a candy bar.
I would respond to Waring's musings and Kleiman's points with a few points of my own: