The future of food is coming fast. With Amazon picking up Whole Foods and meal kit services like Blue Apron going public, we are thrust into a quickly changing food system where on demand service is revolutionizing how and what we eat. It's a time of even faster food, easy as the touch of a button, but is it accessible? That's the question that plagues me.
Having access to high speed internet and access to fresh food that is affordable should be basic civil rights, yet they are two fundamental issues that urban America is still struggling with, compared with those in certain privileged area codes.
Maybe I'm in touch with these issues because I live in Harlem where Whole Foods is poised to open a sprawling new store on 125th and Lenox and everyone has an opinion on whether that's going to be a good thing or not.
I'm all for services that inspire people and make it easier to cook at home. But, what we can't forget is making it affordable. With these seismic shifts happening in the food industry, there is tremendous opportunity and power to change the lives of people at all income levels. This means making sure ingredients are relevant, and accepting multiple types of payment, including food stamps.
How do we ensure that these businesses are inclusive? With its size, technology, market clout and maverick approach, Amazon could bring down prices so healthy food is within the reach of more customers. Access to and lower prices for high-quality food would be a welcome relief. Home delivery of groceries using Amazon Fresh and Prime Now would be a great time saver and a real benefit for the sick and the elderly. Think of how amazing it would be for a service like that to partner with an organization like Citymeals on Wheels to help feed those in need, and City Harvest for waste.