Food is killing our “lower income” neighbourhoods, but its not all your fault.

Note this is a small rant.


So you’ve been trying to eat healthy? Oh wait, you live in a small suburb which has been labeled “low income” and find yourself stuck between a rock and about a gajillion fast food restaurants.



So I’ve been trying to eat healthy — and yes I do go out for dinner a little more than I should; this is why when I cook, I make sure I try my best to not eat crappily.


Here’s the story: I live in Scarborough, Ontario and have spent the last year living in the gorgeous ByWard Market in Ottawa. I’m not a health nut, I’m overweight and diabetic– I felt sick at home in Scarborough for years, but after moving to Ottawa and being exposed to fresh ingredients, and healthy alternatives, I can say I feel great and a thousand times better.

When I moved back to Scarborough last Sunday, it was all parties and welcome back dinners, so I didn’t have a chance to cook. Today I went to the Great Canadian Superstore to get some groceries and start cooking some food to get back into the swing of things. All I can say is that I am absolutely disgusted with what I found.

Yes, this might sound pretentious, but to those people who are unaware of what the Superstore is — its supposed to be relatively healthy food for cheaper. Everything conveniently in one CLEAN (as most Scarborough grocery stores are not) store. I spent an hour in the store trying to find good ingredients and came to this conclusion: there are a ton of deals and sales — but its almost only on prepackaged ‘healthly’ (which they’re not) frozen meals, instant meals, preseasoned frozen meat and high sugar snacks. When I dug through to get eggs, turkey, pork, various vegetables the bill came to a whopping $50+ , the food I bought was barely enough for one person’s meals for a three day span. I was taken aback quite a bit — my bill was actually higher than what I was paying for groceries in the “expensive’ part of Ottawa. 

Driving from the grocery store back to my house I counted at least two dozen fast food restaurants that offered cheaper  dinner options with larger portions. I found myself wondering why the hell did i just pay almost triple the amount for food that I also have to spend hours to prep when I can buy delicious chicken fried rice on my way home from work. Its almost a no brainer if I had a family to feed too.


I makes me sad to think what is going to happen to our new generation of kids growing up in these kinds of areas.




One thought on “Food is killing our “lower income” neighbourhoods, but its not all your fault.

  1. Hey CJ,

    I definitely agree that large chain grocery stores do not often have the quality of food I like. I have also seen over the years a decline in the produce department alone with the Loblaws chain. Back in high school I worked for RCSS and are standards for product were quite high – I was happy shopping! Now when I go into Zehrs here in Alliston (a sister store), or in the past when I re-visited where I used to work, tables were empty or literally rotting fruit/vegeables were out. Even salads are out past expiry!

    I like to eat ‘fresh’ versus frozen, thus my grocery bill for two adults each week is anywhere from $150-$200 plus dollars – this is without buying meat – I buy my meat in large quantities and freeze from Costco.

    Unfortunately I live in a small town, so eating out isn’t really that cheap in comparison to shopping…though my experience from living in TO – some days it’s way more worth it to eat out, have good food and not have had to take the time to make dinner.

    One bonus – this summer I grew my own zucchini and tomatoes (and more, but these were my largest batches), so I was able to enjoy these and not have to but them out.

    A friend of mine is trying to sustain himself from his own land. Maybe one day (if possible re resources and money), we could all do the same 🙂

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