Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Proleterian Produce

A post on the Clinton Hill blog (courtesy of City Room) makes an unwitting mockery of the attempt by the City Council to insure by fiat (Intro 665) that low income New Yorkers eat fresh fruits and veggies. The blog in question does a neat pictorial on the proliferation of chi chi groceries in a neighborhood that heretofore was a lot more pedestrian in its food tastes. As the Clinton Hillers say: "Oh boy, people. We’re on the cusp of an insane explosion…of chi chi grocers!"

What this shows is that when the demand takes off, the supply will be right there with it: "And finally, just a shout-out to the slightly dank but decently-stocked Associated on Waverly between Lafayette and Greene, which has been increasing their inventory of organic foods and “green” cleaning supplies."

The demand, however, cannot be manufactured; and it serves no purpose to flood neighborhood streets with peddlers who will cannibalize existing produce business being done at tax paying stores. These peddlers will undersell the stores because of the lack of significant overhead, forestalling the kind of positive economic and health-oriented development that we're witnessing in Clinton Hill.