Dorchester (and the rest of Boston) should follow the lead of cities like Paris, Tokyo, New York, Montreal, and even New Haven, Connecticut and promote development in their small grocery stores. In each of these cities you can't walk more then 5 or 6 city blocks without running into a small grocery store (often they are family-run or locally-owned). Although Dorchester is ahead of many other Boston neighborhoods with its growing number of ethnic shops run by our Vietnamese, Latino, Caribbean, Greek, and Irish residents, sadly for many Dorchesterites there are no grocery stores in walking distance and the nearby convenient store is where they must purchase most of their food. As a result, many of our fellow residents are essentially forced to have unhealthy diets. We encourage:
1. Local entrepreneurial-minded people to consider opening grocery stores in Dorchester that carry healthy and organic options (one good example is Jamaica Plain's Harvest Co-op) and small grocery stores in sections that have a major shortage of healthy food options.
2. The establishment of more ethnic eateries that carry the produce and products that many of our immigrant and migrant residents desire (after all Dorchester is Boston's more cosmopolitan neighborhood).
3. Dorchester demands the chains that offer reasonably-priced healthy and organic produce to our neighborhood, such as Trader Joe's (see our Lower Dot posting) or Foodie's Market. This also includes persuading our grocery conglomerates (Shaws and Stop and Shop) to carry more healthy and organic products (When I go into the Shaws or Stop and Shop in the 'burbs, they always seem to have a better selection of everything, why is that?).
4. In the warmer months, support the many farmers markets throughout Dorchester (and help the local farmers) at Bowdoin Square, Codman Square, Dorchester House, Fields Corner, Franklin Park, and Peabody Square or join a Dorchester farm share like Re-Vision Urban Farm or The Food Project.
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(Pictures of (top to bottom) Dorchester markets taken by the Dorchester Reporter, a grocery store in Paris, and Trader Joe's)