In moving back to Dellrose, it has allowed me to see and experience a new local food economy. No longer do I live less than 10 minutes from Trader Joe’s, now I live 20 minutes from a grocery store and 25 minutes from a city big enough to have a Walmart. For rural communities, Walmart is important and necessary because it is the largest food supplier in most rural areas. It would be interesting to know how Dollar General compares to Walmart because for many rural residents like myself, Dollar General is now my closest food retailer.
Although supply is limited at DG, I can still find enough staples to make a healthy meal similar to what I find in Walmart but both Walmart and Dollar General are considerably lacking in organic products. Due to their limited scale and supply of product, it is obvious why Dollar General does not have organic products but it is beyond me why Walmart has a very limited supply of organic fruits and vegetables and why they do not carry the most basic organic products like dried beans, rice, oatmeal, nuts, seeds or any type of whole grains. But rest assured, if their is one thing Walmart is not in short supply of- it’s aisles and aisles of C.R.A.P. (Carbonated, Refined Sugar, Additives, Processed-junk food)
In recent months, we have all learned that Walmart is an “essential business” and who can argue that they aren’t an essential business. Walmart has been allowed to become one of the main food suppliers and largest employers in many communities. Because of Walmart’s monopoly, they are essentially making billions, while doing little to make our communities stronger or healthier. Walmart’s revenue for the quarter ending July 31, 2020 was $137.742B. Obviously, Walmart has the buying power, position, presence and platform to do more than produce revenue for themselves. They could, if they wanted, become a leader in our communities and help supply residents with high quality and less expensive healthy products and produce. Not to mention, they could help local farmers revive small farms and secure local food production.
One of my friends told me a story about a farmer who was made aware of the dangers of smoking. Upon acquiring that knowledge, he quit growing tobacco. The reason why the farmer quit participating in the production of of a carcinogen was as he said “When you know better, you do better.”
Surely at this point, these corporations know their power and influence on us and our communities, and they know if they line the aisles with cheap junk and then offer one measly option of organic potatoes at $4 a pound that there isn’t much choice. If anything, then we should know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have done everything possible to make sure we buy the junk. Given the billions of revenue at stake, the makers of junk know that C.R.A.P. is addictive and it sure tastes better than the monoculture grown fruits and vegetables shipped in from all over the world to our local Walmarts. Companies making billions know what sells, how to sell it and how to keep selling it. Food and beverage companies know what junk is, what junk does and they know how to sell us as much junk as humanly possible.
It’s strange how many of us are loosing our minds over the looters and wanting to hold them accountable for the damages they have caused in other cities while industries have sat in our own backyards looting our communities for decades. How long has junk been poured into our schools, homes, and through every profitable crack and crevice in our communities. Most certainly, the lack of affordable good foods and the abundance of cheap junk food have played a huge part in the decline of our health and the instability our local food economies. If we are now calling Walmart an essential business, then should they not also have some accountability and responsibility to our essential needs. Is not our health the most important essential need?
I just have to ask “When are we going to start holding these large corporations accountable for their part in fueling the epidemics of diet-related disease and sickness?” 88% of Americans have some form of diet-related disease or sickness. 74% of Americans are overweight or obese. Who do you think pays the cost of diet-related disease and sickness at the tune of $1 trillion annually?
Not Wal-Mart…We do.
Have you looked at the revenues of soft drink companies, fast food restaurants, and candy companies (Hershey revenue for the quarter ending June 30, 2020 was $1.707B, Coca-Cola revenue for the quarter ending June 30, 2020 was $7.150B, Yum! Brands revenue for the quarter ending June 30, 2020 was $1.198B)
Junk is a very profitable business for a few but for the rest of us, it costs us our lives, it takes away our family members, it breaks down our communities, and it prevents us from enjoying the gift of food, the practice of health and a future free of disease, sickness, surgeries, pills, worry, pain and suffering. No, it’s not small deal that Walmart has aisles and aisles of junk at the most optimal selling points. It is gross and it is unethical given that we are in a pandemic and it is our diets that have made us most susceptible of dying from a virus. At the same time, adults and kids are still in an EPIDEMIC of diet-related disease and sickness, and our rural communities have some of the highest rates of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and cancer.
I don’t know but when is enough enough!
Don’t you think it’s time that we do better holding these corporations accountable because God knows they know better than to treat us like faceless and nameless consumers, instead of like human beings, who deserve every chance we can possibly get to be healthy.