Nobody ever talks about the elephant in the room - the why of dollar stores. WHY do under-served communities get stores that sell mostly bulk, preserved carbs and dairy? WHY are fresh meat and produce so hard to get in areas of poverty?
American foreign policy hasused food as a soft power weapon since the Marshall Plan or before. We subsidize the shit out of dairy because we could suck the water out of it and put it in c-rations and MREs (this is where that violent orange powder on Cheetos and in mac'n'cheese comes from). We subsidize the shit out of wheat, rice and soy because it lasts in granaries forever. And we don't subsidize carrots at all because the internment of the Japanese during WWII allowed a whole bunch of white farmers displaced by the Dust Bowl to buy Japanese farms on the fertile West Coast for pennies on the dollar, and they fought tooth and claw so that the south and the midwest couldn't catch up to them.
The article blames white flight and the riots following MLK's assasination - I'm sure that's a part of it, but so was Rusty Butts' (!) fencerow to fencerow policy, designed to bring the Soviet Union to heel. Fundamentally, if you look at dollar stores as a capitalist leveraging of the surplus food we've created to sway foreign aid, you've got the gist of it. We don't just make too much pasta and condensed milk so we can drop it out of planes on Somalia and the like. We also provide a cheap staple that can be marked up and sold to the ghetto. I wonder if the Department of Defense losing control of school nutrition in the '70s has something to do with it as well... because if you want to raise soldiers, you don't raise them on twinkies and minute rice.