The fast food desertification of the North Shore

Former Old Orchard Food Court, Skokie, Illinois

The concept of a “food desert” (PDF) is familiar to many West and South Siders in Chicago, but not everyone recognizes that most of Chicago’s North Shore suburbs are a virtual fast food desert.

The fast food desertification of the North Shore has intensified in recent years with the closing of many of the outlets at the Old Orchard Food Court (and, yes, we know that Skokie is not part of the North Shore).

Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting that the Old Orchard Food Court, which closed recently, will reopen next summer as a “green” venue, offering “organic and sustainable foods.”

A skeptic might wonder whether this is an effort to change the demographics of the Food Court, which had become largely teen and ethnic – sort of like playing classical music at an indoor mall.

If you’re dependent on frequent fast food fixes and considering a move to the North Shore, you might want to rethink your housing options. Glencoe, Kenilworth and Wilmette, in particular, are not sustainable environments for fast foodies.

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