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OK so this is dumb December 27, 2017

Posted by lumps in Ducks, Mufuckin Pie!, slutbags.

What would we do without professors?

Farmers’ markets are one such environmental improvement that can lead to gentrification, Bosco and Joassart-Marcelli argue, saying farmers’ markets are “exclusionary” since locals may not be able to “afford the food and/or feel excluded from these new spaces.”

These places are literally the cheapest places to buy fresh veg. If you can’t afford them here, you can’t afford them at all. But besides that; many cities provide poor residents with food aid that includes fresh vegetables from places like farmers’ markets.

This social exclusion is reinforced by the “whiteness of farmers’ markets” and the “white habitus” that they can reinforce, the professors elaborate, describing farmers’ markets as “white spaces where the food consumption habits of white people are normalized.”

This is a paradoxical outcome, since farmers’ markets are often established in the interest of fighting so-called “food deserts” in lower-income and minority communities.

There’s no paradox, actually, because the premise is flawed and racist. Actually, it’s okay to ‘normalize’ farm-fresh food consumption habits, regardless of the race of the consumers. Because not eating fresh fruits and vegetables is not normal. Lack of fresh produce in the diet is a key to poor health, and we see these bad health outcomes in statistics on health disparities between rich and poor. Much of these stats are related to poor nutrition in childhood and beyond.

The profs also wrote that 44% of these markets are located in highly-gentrified areas. So…? First of all, businesses need to be within reach of their core customers, or die. If poor urbanites don’t know what to do with vegetables (and they don’t), whose job is that to correct?

Second…what of the remaining 56%?


1. lauraw - December 27, 2017

The central premise seems to be that the farmers’ markets are causing gentrification.

Which…can we talk about what’s wrong with gentrification? Jeez, do you want these cities to remain impoverished hellholes? All the time I was living in Hartford, people were trying to figure out how to get the middle class back. Now that’s a BAD thing? The Hell, people. Make up your damn minds.

2. Retired Geezer - December 27, 2017

In Idaho’s Treasure Valley (Boise), there are many Farmer’s Markets.
We’ve bought everything from tomatoes to trees.

This summer/fall I regularly drove past an honor-system tomato stand; pick the tomatoes on the table, leave the money in the box.
Same system for eggs on another street.

3. Mark in NJ - December 27, 2017

remaining 56% actually 🙂
but I agree w/ your point and love our NJ town’s farmer’s market

4. OBF - December 27, 2017

My best friend, who happens to be my wife, was instrumental in starting a farmer’s market in our little town of 7k people. Our garden was way to big for just the two of us. (My plan being to be able to grow enough stuff to feed 50 people. We’re not there yet.) The option was to sell the excess.

It was a ton of work picking fresh stuff early every Saturday, getting it washed and presentable and then taken to the market to set things up.

Things went too well. Got a steady customer base but they started eating all the stuff I wanted to cook. 50 pints of raspberries in addition to the typical vegetables.

No gentrification involved! Lots of extra work. Met some folks we didn’t know. Made some friends we didn’t know we had.

Let the professors try and grow enough stuff to set up a farmer’s market wherever they would like. My guess is that all the gardening work required is for others to perform and for them to carp about.

5. lauraw - December 27, 2017

Hah! I saw that after ‘publish’ but got up to do something and didn’t bother.
I can aritmatik

6. lauraw - December 27, 2017

Fixed. Whenever you call someone or something dumb on the internet, it’s nearly guaranteed you’re gonna make some dipshit mistake.

7. Jimbro - December 27, 2017


It’s like they want the poor people to buy fresh food or something

8. lauraw - December 27, 2017

Well, they won’t, because they don’t know what to do with it. Poor city people are separated from the familial knowledge of cooking whole foods by at least one generation.

But ‘white people’ are supposed to feel bad about sincere efforts to put these foods back into their environment. Nutritional ignorance and the poor health it fosters is supposed to win, culturally.

9. geoff - December 28, 2017

How is adding food purchasing choices supposed to make things worse for anybody? It would be one thing if the farmer’s markets were forcing supermarkets to close, but that’s not nearly the case.

Once again we have the clash of liberal motifs: the “Buy Local & Organic” crowd against the “Everything is Racist” crowd.

10. lauraw - December 28, 2017

If I were a minority, I’d question the implication that when white people improve a neighborhood it means I have to leave.

11. Sobek - December 29, 2017

What is the proposed remedy? Doing away with farmers markets, or making farmers markets more “ethnic”?

12. lauraw - December 29, 2017

Article says that they never actually do propose a remedy. Go figure, eh?

But really, in the city, there’s no point to making farmer’s markets more ethnic.

FIrst of all, the farmers are generally not people of color. And it doesn’t make $ sense to hire people to sell cheap vegetables, just to put a brown face behind the counter.

Second, poor city people will not let a non-starchy vegetable pass their lips anyway, regardless of their ethnicity. Black, latino, white, doesn’t matter. That’s why bodegas sell no veggies. Nobody uses them. They don’t know what to do with them. They don’t know anybody who uses them.

You know what? If the middle class were to move back into the cities, that is the only way that poor people would come into social contact with people who eat vegetables. When I lived there, I would feed the neighbor’s kids sometimes.

But for the middle class to return, cities would have to get serious about protecting their citizens from criminals, and they would have to stop soaking property owners to the degree that only the wealthy and slumlords can own anything.

But, liberals. Not gonna happen.

13. Sobek - December 29, 2017

“Go figure, eh?”

I suspected as much. If you get rid of them, I’ll complain about food deserts. If you make them more ethnic (whatever that might mean), I’ll complain about cultural appropriation or some such.

But I wasn’t really talking about putting a brown face behind the counter, I was talking about The kinds of food on offer. If you force the sellers to only sell food that isn’t white people food (whatever that means), then once again I’m going to find something to complain about.

And you make a good point about gentrification. If you make no attempts at urban renewal, that’s pure evil, but if you do attempt it, that’s also pure evil. Some people (ie professors who don’t actually grow vegetables for farmers markets) just want something to complain about.

14. lauraw - December 29, 2017

You would almost get the idea that nothing you can do will stop them from hating you.

15. Retired Geezer - December 31, 2017
16. lauraw - December 31, 2017

But of course. And good one Dave.

17. mishu - January 3, 2018

I’m so old, I remember a black lady named Michelle Obama hawking the virtues of fresh fruits and vegetables.

18. lauraw - January 8, 2018

More gentrification news, closer to home for geoff:

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