Durham and Raleigh crater in food affordability study, but ponder the fine print | Food
Food
INDY Week's food blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Durham and Raleigh crater in food affordability study, but ponder the fine print

Posted by on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 10:06 AM

Sorry, gobi manchurian in Cary, but you don't count.
  • Sorry, gobi manchurian in Cary, but you don't count.
Another day, another appearance by Raleigh and Durham on a quality-of-life list.

The cities’ positions on Wallet Hub’s “Best and Worst Foodie Cities for Your Wallet” spreadsheet, however, leave a lot to be desired: Durham lands at No. 67, while Raleigh limps in at No. 82. That is, of the 150 most populous cities in America, both spots rank near the middle with regard to cost and diversity of food—and ease of access to it. Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Fayetteville appear even deeper in the rankings.

Give the methodology a glance, though, and you’re likely to worry a lot less: The rankings come from a combination of two categories—“affordability” and “diversity, accessibility and quality.” The first component essentially evaluates the cost of groceries, alcohol and restaurants, with considerations of food and sales taxes. The second digs into the quantity, relative to population, of things like food trucks and breweries, coffee shops and butcher shops, food festivals and farmers. Despite the list’s name, the latter component figures more than twice as much into the final ranking. In fact, Raleigh lands at the No. 62 spot with regard to affordability, while Durham lands at No. 95. But Raleigh, which still lacks a grocery store in downtown proper, suffers big-time in that second class.

The real rub for our region, though, comes here: “For our sample, please note that ‘city’ refers to city proper and excludes surrounding metro areas. ... With regard to data for the different types of 'foodie' stores, we limited our search to a 5-mile radius from the city center in order to avoid double-counting issues.” So, for Raleigh, the cheap eats of strip malls outside of the beltline—the region of the city for which development was central for so long—don’t count, and neither do the rows of ethnic eateries in Cary. The same goes for Durham with relation to Morrisville or the stretch between the Bull City’s center and Chapel Hill.

We’ve got good reason to worry about the rising costs of food in our downtowns, of course, but the options have never been more abundant. (Imagine this study, for instance, a decade ago, without the area’s bustling scenes of food trucks or craft breweries altogether.) Indeed, the region’s food scene is richest when it’s treated as just that—a regional food scene, not isolated by municipal lines or regional divides. That’s the implicit takeaway, I hope, of today’s Dish package, which includes 60 drinks and dishes we love in the area right now. And it's a lesson that this study's results reinforce, however unintentionally. 


Tags: , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food



Twitter Activity

Comments

"Incredibly racist" strikes me as a bit harsh (not to mention a bit simplistic)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danielle-cadet/once-you-go-black_b_5198599.html …

by p80n on The U.S. Open Beer Championship Taps Raleigh's Lynnwood Brewing Concern as the Country's Third Best Brewery (Food)

Sure. It's because it refers to a well-known racist stereotype.

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on The U.S. Open Beer Championship Taps Raleigh's Lynnwood Brewing Concern as the Country's Third Best Brewery (Food)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

"Incredibly racist" strikes me as a bit harsh (not to mention a bit simplistic)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danielle-cadet/once-you-go-black_b_5198599.html …

by p80n on The U.S. Open Beer Championship Taps Raleigh's Lynnwood Brewing Concern as the Country's Third Best Brewery (Food)

Sure. It's because it refers to a well-known racist stereotype.

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on The U.S. Open Beer Championship Taps Raleigh's Lynnwood Brewing Concern as the Country's Third Best Brewery (Food)

Ok INDYWEEEK, help is understand why "once you go black" is "incredibly racist?"

by ksmtundu on The U.S. Open Beer Championship Taps Raleigh's Lynnwood Brewing Concern as the Country's Third Best Brewery (Food)

This is the best sauce known to man

by Laura gerrard on Cackalacky debuts new Sweet Cheerwine Sauce (Food)

It's 3211 Old Chapel Hill Rd.

by Allen Kennedy on Erstwhile Raleigh Landmark Finch’s to Reopen in Durham in July (Food)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation