Mike grew up in Edmond, OK, with limited food options but as an adult he moved around and fell in love with a wide array of food. He moved back to Edmond and noticed the diversity of food choices had significantly increased. The Way Back Machine had restaurant data from visitedmondok.com going back to 2016.
Using this data, he quantified the increase in food diversity using the Brillouin diversity index as a measure. The categories of food are plotted by year. The y-axis represents the number of restaurants with 1 being the bottom row.
All restaurants are put in one category but there is diversity within categories. For example, fast food Mexican vs. Tex-Mex vs. authentic Mexican or the Japanese category including hibachi grills, sushi, and Japanese steak houses. Many restaurants could fall in multiple categories, such as a restaurant that sells hamburgers, hotdogs, and fried chicken, but the restaurant is categorized by the main dish it advertises.
I've kept the Ethiopian restaurant as it was labeled but in truth it was actually Kenyan. The restaurant closed because the woman running it took a job in IT.
Note: The categories and the symbols used to represent them are from an American perspective. For example, samosas are used to represent Indian food because they are common appetizers in Indian restaurants in Oklahoma but they may not represent cuisine from all regions and cultures in India.
Brillouin Diversity Index: 2.47
Brillouin Diversity Index: 2.54
Brillouin Diversity Index: 2.62
Brillouin Diversity Index: 2.63
Brillouin Diversity Index: 2.66
Brillouin Diversity Index: 2.67
Brillouin Diversity Index: 2.65
The diversity score has increased until about 2020 then stagnated. Many types of restaurants are making a slow vertical climb while others are stuck in the one to two range.
Cafes, smoothie shops, and Japanese restaurants have been steadily increasing.
Barbecue, Cajun, donut, and Korean restaurants are surprising low to someone who lives in Edmond. Although we have more than one or two of each nearby, they must technically be in Oklahoma City city limits.