North Texas Daily

The Trader Joe’s dilemma

The Trader Joe’s dilemma

The Trader Joe’s dilemma
March 10
14:00 2021

As humans we are all deserving of the same equal treatment. However, according to most American practices, some people deserve the bare minimum. 

Lower-income areas are at a major disadvantage in pretty much every aspect of life. If it isn’t economical or social, they lack the basic provisions for simple things, such as decent water systems and healthy foods. 

The higher prevalence of obesity among low-income and minority populations has been related to their limited access to healthy foods, and to a higher density of fast-food outlets and convenience stores in their neighborhoods, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Grocery stores have a responsibility to pick up some of this slack, if not for the money they could make then simply for being an aid to communities in need.

Trader Joe’s, a grocery store that is known for its plethora of natural and organic products for low prices, has grown in popularity over the last years. Yet, it is not looking to move into lower-income areas anytime soon. 

Trader Joe’s has been around for about 63 years. Over these six decades, the supermarket has mostly kept it’s footprint in affluent neighborhoods. However, with their affordable foods and produce, they could make healthy shopping much more affordable in the neighborhoods that need it most. While their decision to not make this move is their own, the choice definitely lacks social awareness and tact. 

It is not unknown for lower income areas to be at the brunt of poor treatment. Not only do they suffer from lesser quality medical treatment, poor educational upkeep and lower housing standards, but they are neglected and forgotten about in times of need.

During Winter Storm Uri, a lot was revealed to the American people. One thing that stood out in the headlines was how many of Texas’ underprivileged residents remained in the dark against the raging cold, whereas richer cities saw a difference in power outages among differing communities. 

This isn’t the first time that something like this has happened either. During the Chicago Heat Wave in 1995, lower-income areas were given less and slower treatment than those in affluent neighborhoods. Many of those in poorer neighborhoods did not have the common resources to withstand the conditions, while those in richer neighborhoods could stay cold in their air conditioned homes, others died in the heat without initial concern. 

It is difficult to not see any dilemma in the treatment of lower income neighborhoods. If it isn’t one thing, there’s always another. Whether it be a struggle to survive during outside events or the struggle to find decent food, it gets worse with less the money you have. 

It seems to me as if all of America has a Trader Joe’s mentality. Whether the reasoning be from a lack of social awareness or just plain-as-day indifference, the effect is the same. No one cares enough about lower-income areas and the proof is as stark as the way they are treated.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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Jordan Allen

Jordan Allen

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