Newsflash: That New “Fresh & Easy” Gro Sto Wasn’t Put in a “Food Desert” – Most Bayview Residents Not in “Food Desert”

Well, let’s check the official Food Desert Locator, you know, from the Feds, to see that the location of that new self-serve Fresh & Easy grocery store at 5800 Third isn’t in a “food desert” after all.


Click to expand

The pink areas are the purported food deserts. The blob on the right is mostly mostly-shut-down Hunters Point, where I think I’d get shot if I snuck in to look for a gro sto anyway. And the lower pink blob contains Candlestick Point, which is loaded with parking lots and a dismal state park for parking your RV and a big old stadium, so there you go.

But, even before the new F&E, the vast majority of the residents of Bayview Hunters Point weren’t living in a “food desert,” FTR.

I know it’s fun to use new catchphrases, but you shouldn’t do that when they don’t apply.

So, am I saying [insert ridiculous conclusion-jump here]?

No, I’m just saying:

That New “Fresh & Easy” Gro Sto Wasn’t Put in a “Food Desert” – Most Bayview Residents Not in “Food Desert”

That’s all.

Writers, please try harder. Pols, I know that doing things the right way doesn’t gain you any votes, but don’t you have some pride?

Just asking…

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8 Responses to “Newsflash: That New “Fresh & Easy” Gro Sto Wasn’t Put in a “Food Desert” – Most Bayview Residents Not in “Food Desert””

  1. Alai says:

    Thank you– a lot of these “food desert” stories only pay attention to major chains and ignore the local ethnic groceries which typically sell food at lower prices than the majors anyway.

  2. sfcitizen says:


  3. Chris says:

    Fresh and Easy is across Third Street from a bonafide Food Desert. As someone who lives here, it *feels* like a food desert, but you’re technically right and we do have mom’n’pop shops that sell food that make it less deserted. However, these shops tend to have low quality meats, few, if any vegetables, and load up on the high-fat, low quality foods that help to provide the obesity and diabetes rates we have in this area. FoodsCo is filthy and its cold cases full of mold, while SuperSave doesn’t have the capacity to provide for the community, so we may as well be living in a desert. We have been forced to go travel away from our neighborhood to get quality food, but now with F&E can stay nearby to get it in our new food oasis.

  4. sfcitizen says:

    All right, fair enough.

    If that store meets the Fed’s standards, then that means none of the Bayview is a food desert any longer.

    The people fighting against that store have been grocery store unions and those who don’t approve of alcohol sales, primarily.

    And Aquila del Oro is like 5-something blocks away on the 5200-block – I don’t know if the Feds count that store as an oasis.

    Local hiring mandates are anti-consumer, IMO, but looks like F&E can handle them, obviously.

    I wouldn’t consider the Walgreens on 5300 a food oasis, but that’s what the City calls it.

    It’s good that the new F&E is there…

  5. We’ve compared the federal government’s food desert site to verified food desert locations in California and elsewhere. They miss many of them.

    For example, take a look at Southern California. The site fails to indicate numerous parts of Los Angeles that are food deserts, demonstrated by both common knowledge and research studies conducted by local universities.

    Having studied the government’s website closely, suggest you don’t count on it very seriously in terms of using it as the default source for U.S. food deserts. USDA is even aware of its shortcomings, which are numerous when it comes to where the food deserts are.

  6. sfcitizen says:

    What’s a verified food desert? Verified by whom?

    The Walgreen’s is five blocks up and the FoodsCo is five blocks over (over the train tracks but oh well.)

    I’ll add that it’s this year that David Chiu is challenging so-called interim Mayor Ed Lee. Willie Brown was corrupt. The T-Third was a big waste of money. Gavin Newsom (more or less) appointed Ed Lee and Gavin Newsom was appointed by Willie Brown. David Chiu polled at 2% compared with 30-something percent for Ed Lee. Chiu had the chance to stop Ed Lee in January, but Chiu made a deal instead, Ed Lee reneged on that deal. (The only thing Gavin Newsom cared about when making appointments was election viability. The idea that Gavin wasn’t concerned with Ed Lee’s election chances back in January is laughably absurd…)

  7. Before the federal government published its food desert website, various non-profit research organizations and universities had for decades identified neighborhoods underserved by grocery stores offering fresh foods and groceries at affordable prices. This isn’t a new thing.

    In fact, this is where the govt. obtained much of the data for its website. Unfortunately their effort is incomplete, in that it omits areas that are underserved, as noted in the original post.

    So that’s what is meant by verified.

    Also, to us a good and simple indicator as to whether or not a neighborhood is a “food desert” is to ask the residents who live in it.

    I don’t think there’s any doubt, at least from our surveys and discussions, that most of the residents in Bayview-Hunter’s point have felt that for many years their neighborhood is underserved by grocery stores.

    Isn’t that what really matters in the important scheme of things, rather than what the federal government website says or which politician you like or dislike? We think so.

    From a more empirical standpoint, about 36K residents live in Bayview-Hunters Point, for example, and prior to the Fresh & Easy opening recently there were 2 decent supermarkets in the neighborhood – and that’s stretching the definition. In terms of national norms, the neighborhood is still somewhat underserved.

    Regarding the Walgreens at 5300 Third Street, having been in it the selection of fresh food is very minimal (mostly prepared foods), particularly the produce, which is priced considerably higher than supermarket prices. The grocery selection is also minimal, although the revamp of the store does offer an additional option.

  8. sfcitizen says:

    Food desert is a new term, isn’t it? All the reports I saw about this new gro sto falsely stated that it was opening up in a federally-defined “food desert.”
    Of course, everybody’s underserved and everything’s incomplete, subjectively. Go up to the Marina District and they’ll tell you all about how they feel underserved by this and that whatnot.
    You, or I thought it was you, had something wrong about the election so that’s why I threw that in. It’s this year, not next year. The T-Third is widely viewed as a failure.
    I don’t think you can tell which politician I like or dislike.
    Other gro sto chains think that F&E is foolish, obviously.
    There are three competitors within a half-mile, AFAICS.
    They’re still revamping that Walgreen’s with more stuff, allegedly hiring ten more people to handle all the veggies. It also has the biggest wall of potato chips I’ve ever seen, oh well…

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