Food Deserts by Gigi, Ali, Annika, and Grace

Millions of families across the nation are located in food desserts. A food desert is an area where the residents living there  have a hard time accessing healthy foods. We shouldn’t have to struggle any longer with finding and affording nutritional food. The problem that we are focussing on is that the price of healthy food is is too expensive for people who have low incomes. The food that these people can afford tend to be fast food because it is cheaper. Relating to that thought, store owners who own stores selling nutritional foods, refuse to put their stores in areas where they know the majority will not be able to afford their produce. The stores selling nutritional food are  far away from the poorer communities. Most of the people in these poorer communities don’t have the money for transportation which is needed to access the markets that are located far away. Because of the placement of these stores, people  would prefer to go somewhere that is closer to where they live which happens to be fast food chains.

One cause of the food deserts is that many store owners won’t put their stores and markets in certain locations. These tend to be low-income communities where the residents don’t always have extra money to spend on healthy food. Instead, the store owners place the markets in areas where everyone can afford to buy fresh, nutritious food and is certain to earn money. Another cause of the problem is the high price of fresh and healthy food. Though some people may have access to the healthier food, most can’t afford it. Many residents of these food deserts prefer junk food over nutritious food for several reasons. Junk food is produced in a way that costs far less than the cost of growing fruits and vegetables. The stores in the poorer communities carry junk food because that is what most people can afford to buy. Also, many people living in food deserts have grown accustomed to the taste of junk food and choose it over fresh food. In addition, even if they are able afford the healthy food, the distance is too long and expensive.

 In addition to those causes, there are also a lot of effects junk food has on the community. Two specific effects are obesity and death. Obesity is often caused because of an excessive intake of unhealthy foods such as junk food. This happens because junk food is cheaper than fresh food such as fruits and vegetables. In lower income areas, people will often buy the cheapest option no matter how unhealthy it is. Obesity can also cause malnutrition, a condition that occurs when your body does not get enough nutrients. Another effect is death. Death is caused from too much consumption of unhealthy foods, such as junk food, that contain high amounts of sugar and sodium. This causes high cholesterol. Having a high cholesterol can lead to the buildup of plaque in the artery walls, also known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can narrow, harden, and block your arteries. Along with sudden death, high cholesterols and atherosclerosis can cause chest pains, plaque rupture and heart attacks.

Wealthier communities often try to help people living in food deserts by running food drives and planting community vegetable gardens. Food drives are ineffective because the low-income communities start rely on other people to provide for them. The point of helping the is the hope that they will eventually learn how to provide for themselves without any help. Having a community garden will help the residents of those cities because they could learn how to plant and pick their own fresh foods.

For those reasons we think that the vegetable gardens would be the most effective solution for the millions of families who are struggling. We know this will be effective because it will bring the community together and help them in more ways than just getting the food they need.  Planting side by side, the residents of the city will feel closer knowing that they all have common issues and common goals. In order to make this happen in food deserts there would have to be volunteers to help raise money to buy tools, seeds and pay the water bill. We would need volunteers for this because people living in food deserts usually cannot afford to buy these things for themselves, they also will most likely not know what to buy because they do not know how to garden. We would need to convince people to come at least once every week to give planting lessons for the new people at the gardens.

You can help by giving donations to the people in charge of the community  garden. This would help pay for all the necessities needed to maintain the garden. There needs to be more awareness about the excessive consumption of junk food, so that people can help. People in low income areas do not have easy access to healthy foods. Because of this, people are dying from type 2 diabetes  and obesity. Having gardens will provide accessible vegetables and fruits for everyone.

 

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Image created by Grace C.

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Image created by Grace C.

 

Citations:

“High Cholesterol- What Happens”, WebMD.

<http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/tc/high-cholesterol-what-happens>

This source was helpful because I didn’t know much about what a “high cholesterol” ment and it taught me a lot about the causes.

“East Palo Altans work to fix food desert”, Elena Kadvany.

<http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2013/09/07/east-palo-altans-work-to-fix-food-desert>

This really helped me learn the different effects of what junk food can do to you and what it means to be a food desert.

“Food Desert”,wikipedia,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_deser

This website is perfect to get the overview of what a food desert is in detail and helps introduce other similar topics such as fast food and how fast food affects people’s health. This website is helpful because it explains each topic in great detail.

TEDxWindyCity — Mari Gallagher — Food Deserts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEWriN6kh3c

This source was useful because the lady speaking was very clear and not repetitive even though she was very monotone.

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Comments
  • Avery VanNatta

    This was a really informative and interesting post! I think this is a really persuasive post because it gives really good reasons why we should help but it also gives good background information about what you are helping. I think the idea of a community garden is great and I thought it was really interesting that most people who grew up in food deserts would opt for junk food and unhealthy stuff. The only thing that I think would make it a little bit better is that in the first and second paragraph you repeat some of your ideas but it wasn’t that noticeable. Good Job!

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