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Grapes of Wrath: Discrimination in the Produce Aisle

Grapes of Wrath: Discrimination in the Produce Aisle Discrimination against minorities and people of lower social economic status is often hard to prove quantitatively. One way to measure discrimination concretely is to examine the quality of goods available to people of different races and socioeconomic status (SES). We investigated the quality of supermarket produce in neighborhoods of varying socioeconomic status (high, medium, and low SES). Fresh fruit was purchased from 3 different locations of 2 separate supermarket chains in a mid‐sized southern city, for a total of 6 stores for comparison. Participants used 2 methods to record their perceptions of fruit quality in terms of both appearance and taste: a relative ranking of each fruit and a 9‐point Likert scale. Results indicate that supermarkets in the lowest socioeconomic area had the poorest quality fruit and the markets in the highest SES had the best fruit. The results are discussed in terms of their potential implication on health and lifestyle factors for lower SES individuals. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Analyses of Social Issues & Public Policy Wiley

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
1529-7489
eISSN
1530-2415
DOI
10.1111/j.1530-2415.2003.00017.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Discrimination against minorities and people of lower social economic status is often hard to prove quantitatively. One way to measure discrimination concretely is to examine the quality of goods available to people of different races and socioeconomic status (SES). We investigated the quality of supermarket produce in neighborhoods of varying socioeconomic status (high, medium, and low SES). Fresh fruit was purchased from 3 different locations of 2 separate supermarket chains in a mid‐sized southern city, for a total of 6 stores for comparison. Participants used 2 methods to record their perceptions of fruit quality in terms of both appearance and taste: a relative ranking of each fruit and a 9‐point Likert scale. Results indicate that supermarkets in the lowest socioeconomic area had the poorest quality fruit and the markets in the highest SES had the best fruit. The results are discussed in terms of their potential implication on health and lifestyle factors for lower SES individuals.

Journal

Analyses of Social Issues & Public PolicyWiley

Published: Dec 1, 2003

References