September 11, 2013

The Food Desert: at Honeybee Market with Rachel

"With places like Honeybee [...] healthy food is accessible"

The Food Desert: Honeybee Market

Honeybee Market, 2443 Bagley Ave, Detroit, MI 48216

Apples: $1.69/pound | Bananas: $.69/pound | Oranges: $1.99/pound

Community Profile for Zip Code 48216
Educational Attainment for persons older than 25-years:
Percent High School Graduate or Higher
Median Household Income
Unemployment Rate for persons age 16 years and older.
People Below Poverty Level
[22 percent lower than national rate of 93.0%]
[56 percent lower than national Median Household Income of $52,762]
[39 percent higher than the national rate of 9.6%]
[188 percent higher than the national rate of 15.0%]
Source: American Fact Finder courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau:

Interview: Rachel


What does healthy food mean to you?
"Fresh and local. Anything fresh from the farm is going to taste better, and I think that's what healthy food is; healthy food that tastes good.

Do you ever have a problem finding healthy food in the city of Detroit?
When I first moved down here, I did have trouble but with places like Honeybee or Eastern Market and especially with Whole Foods opening up it is just makes its more accessible. So, its not that it's hard, it just might take a little more time. You can't walk out your door, and have [a grocery store] siting right there, but hop in your car and in five minutes you're fine.

The Complete Interview

Noah's Thoughts

Rachel raises the issue of transportation. One of the reasons I decided to bicycle to every store in the city, was to model cycling as a alternative way to get to and from the grocery store. I cycle year-round, even in Michigan's sub-freezing winters. Here's a picture of my haul after a 12-mile round trip run I made to Trader Joe's this past February:

Luckily, few people in Detroit need to go 6 miles to the grocery store (I don't need to go that far either. I just really like Trader Joe's... and being alone with my thoughts). In his post The Food Grasslands of Detroit, urban planner Robbie Linn notes that 90 percent of Detroiters live within 1 mile of a grocery store (this percentage has probably increased; four grocery stores have opened since the post was published in 2011).

For the relative few who live more than a mile away or for anyone else who really loves Trader Joe's, cycling offers a relatively inexpensive, sustainable alternative to using a car to get food. If you don't have a car and cycling isn't your thing, that's cool. When I was a kid and my family – for some inexplicable reason – skipped over the A&P that was 2 blocks away, and went to a store called Ivanhoe market that was 1.5 miles down the road, we'd haul groceries in a wagon.

For every problem, a solution.

[View more of the Food Desert series]


Noah -

Noah Stephens  founded The People of Detroit Photodocumentary in April 2010 as a counterpoint to media fixated on despair and disrepair in the storied birthplace of American auto manufacturing. Since, TPOD has received national and international attention. Portraits from the project have appeared in Bloomberg BusinessWeek and other national publications. 

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