GOOD

Rebranding the Food Movement to Broaden Its Appeal

A health food corner store in Atlanta eschews the local food movement's idealization of agricultural labor, opting for a vintage-train vibe.

As entrepreneurs and food activists attempt to bring fresh produce to more and more urban food deserts, they're setting their crosshairs on one target in particular: the corner store. Packed to the gills with cigarettes, lotto tickets, liquor, and processed foods, the shops do little to nourish the communities where they operate, and in many urban areas—particularly black, Latino, or low-income neighborhoods—these stores are the only places to buy any food at all.


According to Alphonzo and Alison Cross, founders of The Boxcar Grocer in Atlanta (and winners of GOOD's contest to redesign the supermarket), this needs to change. Their just-opened corner store alternative, where local and organic food options get prime shelf space, is an attempt to respect "the fact that every community desires fresh food, and locally made food is just about as fresh as you can get," says Alison.

The Castleberry Hill neighborhood, where Boxcar sits, is full of preserved railroad warehouses (hence the name), but doesn't have another decent grocery store within five miles, despite its proximity to City Hall and college campuses. "We chose to put the store here exactly for this reason," says Alison. "The demographics, to us, looked like a sure sign of success."

The brother-sister duo's mission is to broaden the appeal of the food movement to embrace more black eaters. The first step is the vintage train-themed brand. "Railroads are great connectors," according to Alison. "They are also what took African Americans out of the South, saving our lives in many instances, as well as brought them back to visit their families." While the typical branding on the nonprofits and businesses of the local food movement tends to idealize an agricultural lifestyle, that's "something the African American community does not really desire to go back to, even though we need to address lots of health issues directly related to the type of foods we're eating," Alison says.

The store has enjoyed the support of "the entire Atlanta community" since its launch in November, with residents of other neighborhoods already asking the Crosses to open outposts. "The only real challenge," Alison says, "is how to keep enough food on the shelves on a daily basis."

Images courtesy of The Boxcar Grocer

Articles
via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less
Business
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics