Structural Inequality: Access to Healthy Food

Inequality is often ingrained in the very structure of society. A society that views work outside the home as valuable and worthy of pay while work inside the home goes invisible is a society whose very structure enforces the idea that work that men have traditionally done is valuable and work that women have traditionally done is not. A society where buildings have steps up to the front door, gift stores have narrow passages between shelves, and grocery stores have no where to rest is a society whose very structure privileges young, able-bodied people and marginalizes those with disabilities (or, worse, creates a disability through these limitations).

CBC has a story up on how the structuring of Edmonton puts low-income families at a further disadvantage when it comes to buying healthy food.

Byerley lives in a neighbourhood south of the Mustard Seed, in an area without a supermarket. The only options nearby are fast food or expensive processed food sold at the local gas station…

Byerley is not the only Edmontonian struggling as the grocery business changes.

Since the 1970’s, a total of 60 grocery stores have closed in Edmonton, most of them in older and more established neighbourhoods.

While others have opened up to fill the gap, they’re increasingly further apart. Most mega-stores are built near the outskirts of town in commercial zones where few people live.

For low-income Albertans who don’t own vehicles, that makes a healthy diet nearly impossible.

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