Study finds Detroit food choices poor

Jan. 20, 2012 at 3:56 PM
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DETROIT, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Nine out of 10 food stores in Detroit are liquor stores and the convenience shops known locally as party stores, a report says.

Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength released its findings Thursday to local officials and community leaders, The Detroit News reported. The group surveyed food options in the city from September 2010 through May 2011.

"City residents are stuck between a rock and a hard place," Minsu Longiaru, who headed the effort, said. "On one hand, people are being told to make healthy choices. But if you look at the food environment, those options are not available and not equally available to all."

The group found 92 percent of stores that sell food are either liquor or party stores. They also found 38 percent sold products past their expiration date, 22 percent sold expired meat, 22 percent decaying fruit and 18 percent poor-quality vegetables.

The survey also found many stores in the city are unsanitary.

The city has had no supermarkets operated by major chains since two Farmer Jack stores closed in 2008. A few independent supermarkets remain open.

Quincy Jones, head of the Osborn Neighborhood Association, said one problem is Detroiters do not know which stores are clean and provide healthy fresh food. He said residents tend to go to gas station convenience stores because they are easy to get to.

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