Re: A matter of perspective ...
"More recently, access to wholesome, affordable food has become problematic."
Where I was living in small town US for a while, there were 2 supermarkets (now only one, they bought the other and demolished the building). No butcher. No vege shops. No other choice.
There were veges but they were never fresh - tomatoes could be left out for months - they didn't rot or mould, just shrink. Plain rolled oats were only in small boxes, and a premium priced food (~9x the price of fruit loops, if you can beleive it) for some sort of health freak that would that shit.
The nearest fresh veges I managed to find were ~120miles away.
Tasty cheese and beer - drive to Toronto. (Mmmm Toronto - Cheese, Beer, Svelte women)