Last year a very popular salad chain called Sweetgreen kicked the doors down here in Boston and started expanding all over the city. I’ve had the chance to visit the place on a few occasions. The restaurant’s food is great for the most part so then, why are they not so sweet you ask?
Well for starters, this is the bourgeois fucking place I’ve ever been to. Most of their salads start at $8-10 and, can go upwards to $12. For a one-time visit this isn’t bad but when you have this weekly it can add up. It’ll hurt your wallet worse than the punch that ended Rhonda Rousey’s career (Too soon?).
Their goal is to get healthy food to everyone which is great until you realize that most of the people that eat at this place weekly are the people that don’t blink or, do a double take at the sight of a $30-$60 a month gym membership. They’re also the same people who don’t cringe at the idea of $25 a class for spin classes.
Now I’m not bashing y’all for being able to eat great every single day. Everyone in America should be able to eat this well; the problem is not everyone can afford to do so. Sweetgreen while good is a painful reminder that not everyone in this country can afford to eat healthy and, that the healthy lifestyle has a steep barrier for entry.
Low-income neighborhoods are overrun with fast food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC, you will never see a Sweetgreen in a low-income neighborhood. Why? Because they know there’s no money to be made there. Unhealthy fast food restaurants have enticing dollar menus and, value meals that will make the $8-12 spent on salads look super expensive.
I’m aware the ingredients for these salads are really expensive in this part of the country but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t some way to make healthy eating accessible to people of ALL incomes.
It’s great that restaurants like Sweetgreen are popping up and, giving us more options for healthy eating than ever before. The problem is that the really high prices are alienating those whose wallets hurt at the idea of spending $40-65 a week on a lunch when there are far more enticing options.
Why? While Sweetgreen’s intentions are good, they only add to a problem that has been causing the obesity rate to climb for years. My hope is that things change to where healthy food is accessible to everyone whether you make a six figure income or, you bust your ass making only $7-10 an hour which is not an acceptable wage in 2017.
Stay classy folks…
Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and, lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.