Obama Administration: Living A Mile From A Grocery Store Is Too Far

One of the most laughably ridiculous things to come out of the Obama administration has been the notion of “food deserts.” According to the USDA, too many Americans live in areas where they don’t have access to healthy foods. In fact, I was surprised to learn that I lived in a “food desert” despite being less than 1 mile from two major grocery stores with fully-stocked produce departments, and less than five miles from two separate farmer’s markets.

I thought that this had to be some sort of a mistake. It would take me less than 5 minutes to walk to the grocery store. How could I be in a food desert?

During questioning about these food deserts by Rep. Jack Kingston, Obama’s Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius suggested that even living a mile from a grocery store was too far. Because it’s hard to carry grocery bags that far and stuff.

(CNSNews.com) – The administration’s definition of a “food desert” – an urban area where a significant share of the population lives more than one mile from a grocery store – came under the microscope during a Health and Human Services appropriations hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

Questioning HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a Republican lawmaker said it was likely most of those present at the hearing lived a mile from their nearest grocery store.

“Do you think that definition should be revisited, because one of the things is, if you are in an urban area a mile away from a grocery store you’re in a food desert – which I would think in so many cases is ridiculous,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.). “Have you thought of – have you looked at their definition?”

“Ah, we have sir,” Sebelius responded.

“And you think it’s a good one?” Kingston asked.

“Well, I think it’s very difficult for a family buying groceries – if they have to walk a mile with bags of groceries, it may be too far to get healthier food,” Sebelius said.

“You really think that?” Kingston asked.

“I do,” she replied.

This is shockingly absurd. But then, should we be surprised that the federal government sets such a low threshold for federal intervention?

By lowering the bar in this way, the federal government can justify allocating themselves more power. Bigger budgets. Larger departments and staff. The EPA ruled that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant because if the very air that we exhale is subject to federal oversight they have justification to regulate everything we do.

The same goes for “food deserts.” The federal government will be happy to expand its power and budgets until no American lives more than a mile away from federally-approved sources of food. What’s sad is that some people think they’re entitled to live no more than a mile from the nearest grocery store.

What strange days we’re living in.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • VocalYokel

    “Food deserts”…soon to be followed by areas designated as ‘”birth control deserts.”

    • $8194357

      Followed by “gas free zones”..?
      This asshat spent several years with his Czars echoing his wish for $6 to $10 dollar gas to wean America over to “renewable” energy ponzi schemes and then when a mere “reporter” asks him about it goes all how stupid are you folks over at Fox News on him….Lies and the serpants who tell them….

      Quote:
      President Obama got a little testy with Fox reporter Ed Henry after Henry asked the president about high gas prices during a Tuesday press conference.
      “Your critics will say on Capitol Hill that you want gas prices to go higher because you have said before that will wean the American people off fossil fuels onto renewable fuels,” Henry said. “How do you respond to that?”
      The president responded, almost disgusted: “Ed, just from a political perspective, do you think the President of the United States going into re-election wants gas prices to go up higher? Is that — [turning to the rest of the press corps] is there anybody here who thinks that makes a lot of sense? Look, here’s the bottom line with respect to gas prices: I want gas prices lower because they hurt families.”

      This 1 mile from a grocery store thing falls in line with the UN Agenda 21 plan to get folks up off the land and into “more managable” central planning urban enviroments and settlements.
      Small steps to a total controled and planned society.
      These Democrats and their RINO collaborators are goin to be the death of Constituional America for sure, IMO.

  • Captornado

    The whole populace of liberals is a “brain cell desert”.

    • two_amber_lamps

      Or the “cornucopia of idiocy”….

  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    I heard the term “food justice” for the first time yesterday. 
    Evidently, it is a movement that has existed since 2000 or so. 
    http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/communitydevelopment/20031218/20/808

    • $8194357

      And they are “devoted” to what ever “justice” cause they choose…It is a “fanatism” that boarders on the occult or a type of secular religion, IMO..
      Food Nazis…But for your own or the collective good of course..

      • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

        “Justice” is one of those weasel words.

        • fedupny

           “Justice” is one of those socialist weasel words.

      • fedupny

         Since these stores are so far from people, the “mobility justice” activists and Pelosi can stage another faux committee hearing and demand “free rides” to where ever the people want to go.

        solved………………or is it?
        heh, heh, endless no?

        • $8194357

          The wheels on the bus go round and round, all the way to global fascism….Never ending burocracy..

  • http://twitter.com/JanneMyrdal Janne Myrdal

    Sebelius is absurd, so no shocker here. 

    • $8194357

      This “lady?” is like all those BHO has surrounded himself with…One world government social engineers. IMHO…

  • awfulorv

    I don’t want to be seen as uncaring towards my fellow man, or woman, but the latest directive from HUD that, since I have an FHA loan, I must share my swimming pool with those without pools, homeless persons, and the like, is just not right.  The idea that I must provide a lifeguard while they’re in the pool is, also, asinine.  

    • $8194357

      Kinda fascist huh..

    • SigFan

       You’re obviously a greedy, heartless conservative that has no feelings for the pool-deprived. /sarc

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bikebubba

    Of course living a mile or more away from a grocery store means you’re in a food desert.  Because it’s not like anyone makes little carts that you can push with your groceries, or backpacks, or cars, or bicycles, or adult tricycles, or anything like that.  And certainly it’s not like any cities run “buses” and “trains” that enable people to get to a store.

    And hey, let’s face it; after 13 years of the school lunch, breakfast, food stamps, WIC, corn subsidies, sugar programs, government cheese and butter, and such, large numbers of the poor are in no condition to be able to walk a block, let alone a mile, with or without groceries. 

    And of course, we can’t blame the old government programs, so now we’ve got to start a new one.

    By the way, I’m doing great with “My Plate”  Fill my 20″ plate up and….hey, why am I in no condition to walk half a mile to Hy-Vee?  :^)

  • Captornado

    Perhaps, like in the mall with the shopping carts, we could have a vending machine set up at grocery stores. You buy your groceries and drop .75cents into the machine and you get a Chevy Volt to haul your groceries home (since they don’t drive much farther then a mile on a full charge anyhow). Kill two migratory birds with one windmill, I mean stone. 

    • $8194357

      Your sarcasm is noted, but search UN Agenda 21 as this is its intent…Centrally planned urban “enviroments with “fair and equal” access for all “citizens” government utopia…They have been steadily persuing this agenda for quite some time…Using EPA type regulatory agencies, Enviromentalism fanatism and global governance “regulatory agencies to enforce the perfect leftist utopian world..Cradle to the grave dependence and obediance to an “all powerfull” stateist benevolance…Soros and his daddy been trying to achieve this world without nations all their lives…

  • Mariner’s Revenge

    Supermarkets for Nowhere is the new Bridge to Nowhere. 

  • awfulorv

    I’ve thought of something that our government could provide us with that, I’m sure, we’d all appreciate. Why not supply us with a pile of socks, they needn’t be new, just clean, on a few downtown street corners.  These socks would be used to replace those you’re wearing which have, unfortunately, developed a hole that your big toe is sticking through?  Think of the boost in productivity this would cause as, if you’re like me, I can scarcely think of anything else, whenever this happens to me.  It also might prevent numerous assaults from those who believe they were, deliberately, sold faulty socks, while the rich guys, mostly white, got the good shit.

  • awfulorv

    One minute we’re told to get more exercise and, I imagine walking could be deemed exercise. Next we’re told to be envious of those who live near modern supermarkets. Something hardly mentioned, in the discourse, are those vacant lots in South Central L.A., which were burned to the ground because a thug got his just desserts. 

    • awfulorv

      ( on which sat supermarkets which were burned to the ground )

  • awfulorv

    If the government can force bankers to sell to unqualified buyers, they can, perhaps, force WalMart to build stores in areas they’ve learned to be wary of, due to employee theft, shoplifting, and what have you. He did say he was going to transform America, didn’t he?

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    Rob, you’ve never walked a mile, anywhere, in your life.  You certainly aren’t going to walk a mile carrying your groceries.

    It’s one thing to make a valid argument about driving a mile, but it’s another to ignore the very specific point of walking a mile. 

    • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bikebubba

      Yeah, because it’s not like our gracious host ever went to school or anything where the gym teacher required students to walk or run a mile.  And certainly it’s not like he had to walk when he went to college, or when he was doing workman’s comp investigations with his dad’s firm.

      Oh, wait a minute…..

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        In high school I could run a mile in 6 minutes and 30 seconds.  Not exactly track-star caliber time, but not bad for a lumbering 6′ defensive lineman.

        To Hannitized’s point, just a couple of weeks ago (before winter weather descended on ND again) my 3 year old and i went for a walk/bike ride that was 1.89 miles according to the fitness app on my phone that I use to track such things.

        We walk up to the grocery store all the time, though not often for our major grocery shopping trips if for no other reason than it’s kind of hard to carry a lot of bags all at once.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Next time, go shopping for major groceries and carry them back, all 6-7 bags, you can spread the load between you and your kids.

          But you won’t, but you expect others to sacrifice for the greater good.

          • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bikebubba

            Would it be so darned tough to admit that you were caught in an insanely stupid and false cheap shot, Hannitized?  Fact of the matter is that multiple people here have pointed out that they have personally done exactly what you said we couldn’t.    Be a man and admit you were wrong here.

          • Guest

            “stupid and false cheap shot, Hannitized”

            But that’s all hanni is. He’s nothing but a cheap shot. Please don’t expect hanni to be what he’ll never be. He can never be a man, but he can always be wrong.

          • Hanni

            It wouldn’t be tough, it would be a lie. Rob never walked a mile to the store and back carrying a full load of groceries, but he and Carol expect it of others. That’s pretty mean, eh? What do you think happened to Rob that made him so mean?

          • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bikebubba

            No, it would be the truth.  You said he couldn’t walk a mile and never had, he demonstrated, as did I, that your accusation was slanderous.

            Looks like the mean person looks at you in the mirror, Hannitized.

          • Guest

             “…but you expect others to sacrifice for the greater good.”

            Isn’t that what you say about obamacare?
            You jerkoff

          • Carolport

            what in the world…..  You are just plain mean.

          • $8194357

            A spoiled little child….

        • awfulorv

          If I ever had to run for my life, I’d probably die.  Anon.

    • Carolport

      Something bad must have happened to you at some point in your life to make you so mean.  Walking to the store in Hawaii is a little different than walking to the store in ND when the temp is in the teens with a stiff wind.  Try being nice.  You’ll feel better.

      • Guest

         “Something bad must have happened to you at some point in your life”

        Enough said.

      • Hanni

        That’s a great point, Carol, if you are trying to endorse my argument. Walking a mile in the snow carrying groceries would certainly be a hardship, wouldn’t it? Your son, I should say “mean “son, believes that it’s foolish to be concerned for anyone that may have to walk a mile in the snow carry groceries. That’s pretty mean, huh?

        • Carolport

          not only mean but stupid too.  My son is not mean.  Get this. 
          The government was pleased that the number of food stamp recipients is was up.  US Parks department says not to feed the animals because it will make them too dependent.   And for your information when my son was growing up we had to drive 280 miles to the nearest grocery store.  I can’t think of one person in our town who has to walk carrying groceries.  Stupid is as stupid does.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I could walk a mile, in the snow, with groceries.  I don’t because I don’t have to.

  • SigFan

    When I was a child my family lived in suburban Detroit and the nearest grocery store to our house was a little over a mile away.  My mom didn’t drive back then, and she was a stay at home mother and wife.  One of her “jobs” was grocery shopping, which she did at least once per week.  She would get my brother and me ready and out the door we would go, walking *gasp* to the grocery store.  Back then $20.00 bought at least six FULL bags of groceries and we would then – you guessed it – walk *ohmy* the mile back home with our arms full of bags.  On occasion, if our order was too big to carry, she would arrange with the store manager to take a shopping cart home, and then I would have to walk *oh, the horror* a mile back to the store to return it.  Then I would have to walk *the indignity* the mile back home again, where mom would have a nice lunch waiting for me.  Somehow, these 50+ years later, I don’t seem to be any the worse for all that *argh* walking. 

    Sebelius and the left are a bunch of wimpy assed meddlers.  Many of the people I see in the grocery stores these days should indulge in a little walking – and they should definitely be walking right past the dessert and snack aisles.

    • awfulorv

      Let me reaffirm your bag count for the disbelievers out there. I recall that ten dollars would buy four good sized boxes of groceries. 

  • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

    “This 1 mile from a grocery store thing falls in line with the UN Agenda
    21 plan to get folks up off the land and into “more manageable” central
    planning urban environments and settlements.
    Small steps to a total controlled and planned society.”

    Exactly. Add to the grocery-store issue high gas prices, short-range automobiles, ridiculous public transportation plans, Cap-and-Trade, California standards in home efficiency and ObamaCare and you get a massive attempt to force the relocation of the population to cliff-dwellings in large urban centers a la Ceauşescu.  Ceauşescu had thousands of private residences bulldozed and the population moved into huge apartment building for purposes of efficiency and control.  This has been a pet project of the Left since at least the time of FDR.

    • $8194357

      It is what it is!

      Don’t forget the North American “corridoor” super highway…
      Settlements will need to be on “super highways” and speed train accessable…

      • $8194357

        .

        • $8194357

          I struggle with willfully dumb and blind people cursing Conservitive Constituional America and “supporting” the “alternitive lifestyle” of statist communism….But thats just me…Lemming apolligist  Lenin/Stalinist useful idiots …Sickens me America has deteriorated this far…

    • $8194357

      I see it was in his “2nd” term he went from moderate Marxist to brutal Stalinist…I been seeing these “patterns” in history for quite some time now…Feed em sugar coated socialism poision and come back swinging the pure poison tyranist hammer…
      Dang near every country this “ideolgy” or “structure” has sunk its roots….Fascist Islam is “no” different……DC central planning used since FDR…..

      Nicolae Ceaușescu (Romanian pronunciation: 
      [nikoˈla.e t͡ʃe̯a.uˈʃesku];
      26 January 1918[1] – 25 December 1989)
      was a Romanian “Communist politician”.
      He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country’s last Communist leader. He was also the country’s head of state from 1967 to 1989.
      His rule was marked in the first decade by an “open policy” towards Western Europe and the United States, which deviated from that of the other Warsaw Pact states during the Cold War.
      He continued a trend first established by his predecessor, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, who had tactfully coaxed the Soviet Union into withdrawing its troops from Romania in 1958.
      [2]Ceaușescu’s second decade was “characterized by an increasingly brutal” and repressive regime—by some accounts, the most Stalinist regime in the Soviet bloc. It was also marked by “a ubiquitous personality cult,” nationalism and a deterioration in foreign relations with the Western powers as well as the Soviet Union.
      Ceaușescu’s government was overthrown in the December 1989 revolution, and he and his wife were executed following a televised and hastily organised two-hour court session.[3

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolae_Ceau%C8%99escu

      Quite a pattern of “repettion” used since Marx to the present day, huh?

    • $8194357

      Its a good thing America lets all the illegal immigrants come here or we as well like “so many” of the Eropean communist countries would have to out law divorce and abortion as well…Funny how many “soviet satelites” had to do that huh?
      50 million plus abortions and 50 million plus illegals…Twice the bang for the Marxist deconstructive dollar, IMO..

      The 1966 decree
      In 1966, the Ceauşescu regime, in an attempt to boost the country’s population, made abortion illegal, and introduced other policies to reverse the very low birth rate and fertility rate. Mothers of at least five children would be entitled to significant benefits, while mothers of at least ten children were declared heroine mothers by the Romanian state. However, few women ever sought this status; instead, the average Romanian family during the time had two to three children (see Demographics of Romania).[10] Furthermore, a considerable number of women either died or were maimed during clandestine abortions.[11]
      The government also targeted rising divorce rates and made divorce much more difficult – it was decreed that a marriage could be dissolved only in exceptional cases. By the late 1960s, the population began to swell. In turn, a new problem was created by child abandonment, which swelled the orphanage population (see Cighid). Transfusions of untested blood led to Romania accounting for many of Europe’s paediatric HIV/AIDS cases at the turn of the 21st century despite having a population that only makes up around 3% of Europe.[12

      • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

        What gives me the creeps is that I keep looking to Ceauşescu for comparisons with the Obama regime and its trends.

        • Bat One

          I keep looking to Ceauşescu for comparisons with the Obama regime and its trends.

          Ceauşescu wasn’t Black.  Does that help?

          • $8194357

            Sad…..2 tru 4 skool

        • $8194357

          Soros was leading team Billary along this path when I first “woke up to it”…After researching the Soros “clan” I saw the true ultimate intent of the UN clear as the money laundering bell it is for global destruction and fascist reconstruction…OSI my ass….

  • awfulorv

    Do any of you recall being told you could not go swimming because of the Polio scare?   Did any one of you mistrust, or refuse to abide by, those directives?  The reason, pure and simple, was that we trusted our government.  Today, not so much…

  • Econwarrior

    This is just the latest move in obama’s program of fundamentally transforming our representative republic into a top-down totalitarian regime, just like Syria.

    • Bat One

      While there certainly are similarities between the Ba’athist fascists and US Democrats, I think for the time being Chavez’ Venezuela or Mugabe’s Zimbabwe would each be a better comparison.

      Incidentally, the Ba’athist party and regime in Syria are no different from those of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.  Which might go a long way toward explaining why liberal Democrats in America were so incensed that President Bush went after Saddam.

      • Econwarrior

        Agreed.  I have always regarded obama as “Mugabe-lite”, but his recent displays of temper toward those who dissent from his governance give a hint of a possible Syria-type response in the future, if he thinks he can get away with it with enough help from the MSM and more of his speeches.  Watching his regime is like watching metastatic cancer.

  • yy4u2

    The West would never have been explored and settled with these Jack-wagons at the helm.  Watch what you eat, how much you eat, buy organic, is there salt in that, poor Billy or Sarah feel bad because they weren’t picked right away in phy ed, etc.  Grow a pair.  Don’t like your situation; find out from a variety of sources how to change it.  Do what’s right; not what you want or what makes you feel all warm and fuzzy but what’s right.

  • Wesbutte

    Hahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha,   “Try 50 miles to your nearest grocery store Ms Sebeliuuuuuus.  This is North Dakota where you buy a months worth of groceries and depend on the kindness of neighbors when you need something that you don’t have at the last minute.   And now that gas prices are so high one might need to buy 2 months worth of groceries..

  • Wesbutte

    One more note.   When we want fresh meat here in North Dakota for supper, we shoot it.

    • $8194357

      Sometimes “several”…..

    • Bat One

      I just bet y’all drive pick-up trucks with guns in ‘em, and believe in God and American exceptionalism too.  Pfft!  Fly-over country!

      • $8194357

        I am glad you put the s on gun…Yup…Redneck profiling the only acceptle form of profiling in “modern” America…Don’t forget  my B.I.B.L.E. either…Such respect the Leftist elities have in us poor ignorant rural folks..

        • Bat One

          Actually, I’m waiting for some sanctimonious liberal (excuse the redundancy!) who is ever so empathetic to the plight of those in the inner city who can’t possible be expected to have a photo ID for voting, to come up with an excuse for dis-enfranchising those of us who DO have pick-ups and guns and Bibles we read regularly, and don’t rely on da gubmint to feed us, house us, clothe us, and leave us wit some “walkin’ ’round money” for smokes and Lotto tickets.  Sooner or later they will come to realize that all they really want from us is a 1040 and a big check on April 15th.

          • $8194357

            OK..So I am math challenged and buy Lotto tickets!
            Even a redneck has to dream Bat….hee..hee..

  • DopeyDem

    Anyone notice a pattern here? Divide and conquer. Throw so much at the other side at once that the cannot concentrate on what the real problems with this administration really are. They want you off abortion so they bring up contraception. They want you off Obamacare so they bring up food justice. Keep watching. They will bring up something new every week to keep the GOP off message. The GOP falls for this every time it’s done to them. You’d think the RNC should have learned something over the last 40 years about their opponents. Obviously not much.
     

    • $8194357

      Submissive soviet satelite nations built out of cause and group…By design grass hopper…By design…
      Smart ole anti American cultural terrorists they were for sure..
      .Frank Fort School Marxist think tank…Democratic Progressive CaucusTreason!!!!!!!!..

  • HG

    Hell, the walk from the parking lot to the grocery store is sometimes a 1/4 mile.  Maybe Sebelius will start a new federal grocery delivery service. The USPS could be adapted to meet the gov’t demand for these services. 

    • $8194357

      But it would take two days longer to actually get your groceries and the %90 civil service pension fund would make it a “unsestainable debt ponzi”….Oh wait…they don’t care about that it as it helps their real cause and agendas in the “short term”…

  • DopeyDem

    BTW, What happened to Michelle’s Let’s Move campaign? Isn’t everybody supposed to get out and exercise? As head of HHS shouldn’t Ms. Lerch apologize to the first lady for her thoughtless comments????

    • Camsaure

       Exercise hasn’t worked for Moochelle either. don’t believe me? Look whats behind her.

  • cherz1967

    The bottom line is a can of beans weighs way more than a frozen bag of beans, which are more expensive.  So when the EBT card holder goes to buy their groceries it’s too hard to carry the ribeyes and lobster.

  • mickey_moussaoui

     WE NEED A HIGH SPEED TRAIN THAT CONNECTS EVERYONES HOME TO A GROCERY STORE, ACORN AND PLANNED PARENTHOOD OFFICE!!!!!

    GIVE US ARUGALA OR GIVE US DEATH

  • mickey_moussaoui

    I DEMAND THAT CONGRESS MANDATE TOTAL FUNDING SO I CAN HAVE SAFE SEX ON A BED OF ARUGALA IN ANY PUBLIC BUILDING ANYWHERE IN AMERICA. YOU OWE ME.

    • $8194357

      would you like a Sharia compliant foot bath with that as well?

  • suitepotato

    This is even more absurd when you consider the majority of those suburban-rural borderland upper middle class sprawl festivals are usually many miles from the nearest store. There are places in CT over 10 miles from the the nearest market and with property values right off the scale. Meanwhile, the poorest areas of the state’s towns are FULL of mini-marts and bodegas (the classic and over-priced ‘mom and pops’). Yet, those poorest towns are usually run by political machines that reject Walmart and force them to the periphery of the city in the borderland between the urban and suburban zones. The two SUV upper middle class people can have their easy-on easy-off access to the discount stores affording them everything but the poor end up slave to the notions of what the inner-city should be, held mostly by those same upper middle class SUV driving consumption vacuums. The inner city ends up being a parody of those dreams, simply because it is held hostage to the self-defined good feelings of suburban liberals.

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