September 15, 2013

The Food Desert: at (the notorious) Eve's Downtown Gourmet with Hightower

"This grocery store is fairly decent for the community."

The Food Desert: Eve's Downtown Gourmet

Eve's Downtown Gourmet, 1411 Washington Blvd Detroit, MI 48226 ‎

Apples: $1.49/pound | Bananas: $.59/pound | Oranges: $1.99/pound

Community Profile for Zip Code 48238
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.
Percentage of Population Below Poverty Level
Unavailable at time of print 
due to government shutdown. 
Unavailable at time of print due to government shutdown.
Unavailable at time of print due to government shutdown.
Unavailable at time of print due to government shutdown
Unavailable at time of print due to government shutdown
Source: American Fact Finder courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau:

Interview: Hightower

What does healthy food mean to you?
Healthy food is food that has all the nutrients that you need to live.

If it hard for you to find healthy food in the city of Detroit?
... this grocery store is fairly decent for the community.

The Complete Interview

Noah's Thoughts

When I mention I'm biking to every grocery store in Detroit to demonstrate that healthy food is widely available in the city, people often light up with a certain perverse excitement and ask, "Have you been to Eve's Market?!"

When you walk into the store, you understand their naysaying niggling.

The store is located downtown at the corner of Young Professional First Apartment Drive and Old Alcoholic Begging for 35 Cents to Catch the Bus Lane. Inside the store, a lone cashier sits in a bullet-resistant glass perch. Across from the cashier is a wall-of-shame filled with grainy, low-resolution security cam pics of men who were highly resolute about shoplifting. If ever there was a place where you would expect to find rotten fruits and vegetables, Eve's Gourmet Market would be it.

Now, I'm just a kid who grew up on welfare in Highland Park. "Gourmet" to me is orange juice that comes in a paper cartoon. I cannot attest to Eve's gourmet bonafides. I can say the store was well-stocked with a selection of staple produce. Apples. Oranges. Bananas. Potatoes. Nothing exotic. But as Hightower notes, decent for the community.

One more thing. Hightower defines healthy food as pesticide-free and not genetically modified. It's worth noting that nearly all produce is contaminated with some level of residual pesticide. That includes organic food. Organic does not mean pesticide-free. Pesticide-free means pesticide free and it is practically impossible to find. Luckily, most conventional and organic foods have trace pesticide amounts well below the limit deemed safe by the FDA.

Also worth noting: the scientific consensus is that genetically modified foods are as safe as their non-GM counterparts. Don't let any chain-smoking, neo-hippies tell you otherwise. For an in-depth discussion of pesticides and GMO, see this post.

[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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