The good news about food delivery

Brookings researchers also had some concerns about food delivery apps. People living in rural areas may live away from shops that sell fresh food and need these services much more, but the analysis found that city residents are much less likely to have the option. Lack of internet access and distrust in the quality of food provided by delivery services are also barriers to accessing food online.

It’s unclear what will happen if these app services become more popular. Brookings researchers said delivery apps could contribute further to problems with the American food system, in part because food delivery often costs more than buying fresh food in stores. Or, delivery apps could be part of the solution.

The message of the research is that policy makers and the public should treat these apps not as new curiosities, but as part of the U.S. food system, which should serve all of us and take into account our communities, our workforce, the environment. and the economy.

‘As the digital food system is still maturing, now is the ideal time to design policies that help harness efficiencies for the public good,’ the researchers wrote.

Their policy suggestions included permitting food stamps to cover delivery costs and other additional costs of online orders, expanding pilot programs for other government food benefits to include purchasing online, and testing government subsidies for the Internet service, so that more people could access it.

Brookings’ analysis also said that more research is needed to understand the systemic effects of all kinds of digital change, including delivery apps, automation in agriculture and food warehouses, security monitoring technology. food and cash computers in grocery stores.

It is a useful message. Technological change isn’t something that just happens to us. It requires a smart and effective policy to harness technology and use it to achieve what we collectively want.

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