A line that rather surprised us:
Some people will victim-blame here, and say that these people should get off their lazy arses and cycle to the shops. But there are deep, systemic reasons for these problems. Travel to parts of Europe and you see the reliance of other cultures on the square – a place to meet, converse and for children to play, but also often containing a greengrocer and a bakery and a butcher. This side of Britain feels lost to the big supermarkets, our high streets rendered redundant by out-of-town shopping centres and internet giants. There could be radical architectural solutions, but with government investment in housing dispiriting at best, these are unlikely to take place any time soon.
That idea that people sell cauliflowers on the town square. Perhaps in a small village, where the square is the town. But not in anything of any size - the property is far too valuable to be trying to sell something as low margin as vegetables. Town squares are for the jeweller, the fancy fashion shop, the restaurants and cafes.
It’s as if these people haven’t actually been there to Europe despite that budget airlines revolution.
Such trivia aside there’s a deeper logical error:
Those of us who have ever had a “cornershop dinner” will know the sort of options available in food deserts: the only shops for miles around sell very little fresh food, so you’re left with a choice between meals such as dried instant noodles or pasta, tinned Scotch broth, and if you’re lucky enough to have a freezer cabinet, pizza. These small shops are also often very expensive, too, but in the trade-off between spending money on transport to the nearest big Tesco for broccoli or a filling, carb-heavy meal, it’s no wonder people opt for the latter.
What they’re calling food deserts now the rest of us would call the 1970s. Britain not exactly being well known as a mecca of fine foodstuffs easily available back then. It also wasn’t a nest of obesity back then either so there’s something else going on, isn’t there?
It might well be true that the future arrives unevenly over geographic areas. But that the vast majority of the country has had it, some small part remaining mired in the past, isn’t the cause of obesity.