Part of my daily commute runs through South Central Los Angeles. Those of you who don't know L.A. well, may know South Central because of the Rodney King Riots in the 90s. The prevailing opinion is that it is a dangerous neighborhood, but in truth, its reputation is far worse than the reality. It is not an affluent neighborhood, however. As I travel on the main roads, I don't really know what the rest of the neighborhood is like. But I don't see many healthy food options in my travels. I pass three McDonalds every day. They're all in South Central. The other food options are a Popeye's Chicken, Burger King, Jack in the Box, and several "you buy, we fry" fish places (they might actually offer the healthiest options). When I lived in New York, my experiences were similar in the less affluent neighborhoods I frequented. I don't know if it's a universal truth, but I equate poorer neighborhoods with poorer food options.
It seems I'm not the only one to make that leap of logic. Heather Mills, one of the ex-Mrs. McCarthy's, is donating $1 million to provide vegan food to the poor of Hunt's Point, (Bronx) NY. On September 20, Ms. Mills provided meatless barbeque for 1,000 families living below the poverty level. The barbeque was hosted by the Hunts Point Alliance for Children, which has named Ms. Mills their honorary chairperson.
Mills hopes to bring vegetarian food to the masses, starting with underprivileged communities like this one, where nutritious food is hard to come by. She is working on a faux-meat line with Gardein, the veggie protein provider for Morning Star Farms, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods, to create everything from veggie chicken breasts (which were also on offer at the barbecue) to vegan-friendly shrimp. “I want to create the largest plant-based food chain in the world,” she explains. (Mills herself is vegan, for health and animal-rights reasons. “Veggie isn’t enough,” she says.)
-- Source: Gourmet
It will be interesting to see what happens in the Bronx over the next three years. In any event, I think this is a much better way to get the message across than PETA's request for Ben & Jerry's to use breast milk instead of cows milk!