How food apartheid affects lower income communities

By: Haroon Yonis

A food apartheid is when a community has no access to healthy food or grocery stores in their area. Food apartheid are an underlying issue in many of our communities. It differs from a normal food desert, in that it specifically relates to race. The lack of healthy, available food is a concern we must address. 

Many of these communities lack access to reliable transportation, so when these lower-income communities are affected by a food apartheid, they are virtually powerless. As a result of this, they tend to resort to lower quality frozen foods that are sold at their local convenience stores. The effects of eating such food, over a long period of time, is extremely detrimental to the human body. This causes health issues to be more prevalent in these areas, and can include obesity, heart disease, cancer, and a plethora of other health issues. 

Food apartheids do not occur coincidentally, as they are racially motivated. Many of these areas have a large minority population, and as result of past discrimination, tend to have a lower overall salary then their higher-income counterparts. Grocery stores notice these statistics, and single out these marginalized communities, purposely not building their stores in these areas. As a result, this causes a lack of healthy and accessible foods in those regions.

An unfortunate local case of a food apartheid, is the Frogtown community that many Minnesota residents are familiar with. Grocery stores are almost non-existent in this area, while there are a multitude of convenience stores in the region. 

According to the Minnesota Compass website, the median income in the Frogtown area is $38,103, with approximately 69.4% of the population being minorities. The percentage of residents who have vehicles is quite low too, which makes it harder for these individuals to have access to the grocery stores in areas such as Midway and Highland. 

Many families realize this, and begin feeding their children foods that are riddled with GMO’s, chemicals, and concerning ingredients. Even if they desired to eat healthier, this simply wouldn’t be possible due to the area having almost no grocery stores.

So, how do we improve the accessibility of healthier foods in these marginalized communities?

The first step to solving this crisis is by acknowledging that it exists. Afterwards, we can find which areas are being purposely targeted, and start improving the flow of healthier foods in those highlighted areas.

Eventually, we can start building grocery stores in these areas, so families who lack reliable transportation can easily make the walk or bus ride to these stores. But in order for this to be possible, we as a community must come together and make this a reality.

‘It Ends With Us’ book review

By: Ella Sutherland & Lauren Kottke

Note: This book review details abuse in a relationship, so note this may be a trigger for some.

*Spoiler Alert* This review gives aways details about the end of the book.

‘It Ends With Us’ is a heartfelt story about a girl named Lily Bloom that grew up in a small town in Maine. She did not have a great life growing up because her dad was not a good person. Her dad abused her mother all throughout Lily’s life and she never could figure out why her mother stayed. When she grew up she ended up moving to Boston which had been her dream for so long.

One night she was on a rooftop after her dad’s funeral, where she gave a eulogy. While she was up there a man came up and he was very angry. They started talking and she learned that he was a doctor and he had lost a patient and that’s why he was angry. They had a strong connection and when they parted he took a photo of her.

They ended up meeting again when she opened a flower shop and his sister started working for Lily. They begin to get really close and started falling in love. Everything in their relationship is going good until Ryle burns his hand and gets angry and hits her. He promises he would never do it again.

A couple days later they go to a restaurant, and Atlas (her childhood love) is the chef. He notices that she is hurt and so is her hand, so he confronts her and she gets mad. He comes to her shop the next day and gives her his number in case of emergency.

Nothing bad happens for awhile and Ryle and Lily get married in Vegas. A few weeks later, Ryle finds the number Atlas gave her, gets really mad, and pushes her down the stairs. He again apologizes and says it won’t happen again.

Then Atlas comes out with an article about his restaurant called BIBS which stands for “Better in Boston”. On Lily’s fridge there is a magnet that says “Better in Boston”. Ryle puts it together that they were in love and gets so mad that he hits her and then tries to force himself on top of her. She then calls Atlas and he picks her up. In the end, she goes to the hospital and finds out she is pregnant, and she has the baby and tells Ryle that she wants a divorce.

Throughout the entire book Lily is reading her old letters that she wrote to Ellen Degeneres, who she had as a pretend friend. It goes more in depth about her past life. She didn’t have many real friends and one day she saw a boy that turned out to be Atlas. He was on her school bus and he got off at the same stop. She noticed that he took a weird route to walk home from the bus stop and saw that he went into the house that had been abandoned for a while.

After seeing him for many days and realizing that he was homeless, she left blankets and food at his doorstep. They started to become friends and would always hangout. They eventually developed more of a romantic relationship. He was Lily’s first kiss. He would go over to her house everyday after school before her parents came home from work.

One day they witnessed Lily’s dad tried to force himself on Lily’s mom and Lily saw and tried to call the police, but her mom stopped her. She was very angry at her mom for letting her dad get away with hurting her.

Lily and Atlas were getting closer and their dream they shared was to move to Boston when they were older. Atlas was leaving for the military, and on his last night he and Lily were making out in her room and Lily’s dad came in and beat up Atlas almost to the point of death. She never saw Atlas again until Boston.

Lily spent her childhood watching her father continually abuse her mother. She felt helpless in the situation because she had no power. All she wanted to do was protect her mom. But she mostly couldn’t understand why her mother would stay with such a horrible person. Her mom and dad stayed together for awhile until Lily’s dad passed away. Lily never really forgives her dad for what he did to her mom.

It is very unusual for Colleen to use real events in her books, except for ‘It Ends With Us’. The book revolves around Colleen’s own mother’s story. Her mother went through abuse and felt she was only doing justice by telling her mom’s story. In the book, the first time Lily was hit by Ryle is actually a true story. It is the exact same incident that happened to Colleen’s mom.

It was hard for Colleen to write a story so personal. Writing events that she witnessed. She took her time to depict the characters in the perfect way. She made characters that the readers fall in love with to show the heartbreak that victims go through. Colleen’s mom fell in love with her dad and went through heartbreak as he turned into a different person. This book shows how hard it is to leave someone you care so much about.

Ella give this book a 5/5 and Lauren gives it a 4.5/5