Food Deserts by MARM

                                                               Food Deserts
                               By MARM (Megan, Ava, Reese, and Maggie)            

         The issue of food deserts is becoming a worldwide problem. People in lower income communities do not have the opportunity to go the mainstream stores because of transportation and financial restrictions. These restrictions disable homeowners from access to common grocery stores that supply fresh fruits and vegetables. These big grocery stores choose higher income communities to locate their stores. This benefits the stores financial standing. This opens space for convenience stores selling liquor and snacks, such as chips, and candy. Usually the big stores are located up to 10 miles away from the low income houses, and low income families don’t have the resources to get to the big stores. Although this “gas station” food fills the bellies of the residents  in the communities, the food does not have the nutrients   and this leads to health related problems that can be costly.

          There are many causes for the problem of access to fresh markets in lower income communities. One big  idea that this problem is caused by is a simple fact. Money.  Markets tend to want an establish their  stores in wealthy neighborhoods where there customers have money to spend. In lower income communities, people don’t have a lot of money to spend on fresh produce, so there is less consumer demand. Therefore, less money is made by the company. An additional cause of the problem is the access to food stamps in markets. Markets are not always considerate of people’s income by not permitting food stamps. By using food stamps the market is giving food away for free or they reduce the price of food.   Having markets in wealthy areas means more items are  priced and sold for the entire cost. As a result more  money  is made  by the company. Another cause of this issue is access to transportation. In a place where there are not food deserts, commuting and transporting to a market is convenient and fast. But  the citizens that live in  food deserts have difficulty finding a market close to their home or work.  For example, people in rural food deserts  usually  travel up to 10 miles away to get to a market. There are  many causes for the problem of access to markets in lower income communities we just need to find solutions for them.
             The lack of mainstream grocery stores in low income areas can be very costly to the health and well being of residents. Since there are no common grocery stores or the stores are too far away, there are more fringe stores that sell junk food and liquor. This leads to residence buying junk food and eating lots of unhealthy and sodium rich food. The stores that accept food stamps attract a large crowd of lower income people that need to buy food for the family. This junk food leads to many health related problems. Members of food deserts can get diabetes, dietary cancers, and obesity. Statistics state that in food deserts, the obesity of people is 50% higher than the average in the United States.
         Not having enough healthy grocery stores and markets in food deserts is a big problem, but there are many people who have experimented with  solutions. Food stamps have been tried and has helped some people in low income families who don’t have enough money for healthy, fresh food. Although food stamps have helped some people, they don’t help everyone because not all stores accept them. Getting food deserts more free public transportation is another solution that people have attempted. Researchers found that when families have an easy way to get to healthy, fresh food they purchase. Another problem that is recurring often, is the problem of  establishing  transportation  systems in food deserts.We think a great solution to this problem is a community garden. People could easily contribute to the garden by watering and planting food. It would also provide healthy recipes about the plants in the garden written by the community. It would be open to the entire public and you could collect produce for your family, keeping in mind other people will be using the garden as well. The community would have to be very committed because hard work is needed to make their garden thrive. They would also need a park that is willing to give up some land for a garden and some tools for people to use to maintain the garden. The residents would also need a leader to be head of the garden project. They would oversee  planting projects and watering as well as figuring out other details mentioned above. Although it may seem like a community garden is very simple and pointless , but is is something  that could help many peoples lives. For people who live in food deserts healthy food is  faraway  and too expensive. A  community garden could bring the people  free healthy  produce and recipes.  This could bring the people  closer as  one community. Food deserts are a big problem in this world but there are many ways you can help the  people living in these difficult places.

 Sources

 

“Food Desert.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 01 Aug. 2014. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.

This was good for  a little background information on  different topics that we could research. It broke the information in clear stanzas.

Kadvany, Elena. “East Palo Altans Work to Fix ‘food Desert'” | Palo Alto Online |. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2014.

I think this sight was very helpful because it told us information about areas nearby us so food deserts seem easier to relate to. I also thought it helped give some interesting points that can be said about many food deserts, not only East Palo Alto.

 

“TEDxWindyCity — Mari Gallagher — Food Deserts.” YouTube. YouTube, 03 Nov. 2010. Web. 09 Jan. 2014.
This was used for background information on the food desert topics, and provided us with interesting information and stats. It helped me deepen my knowledge on the topic, as well as convincing me that it was a problem in the world.

“Food Deserts.” PBS. PBS, 05 Oct. 2012. Web. 09 Jan. 2014.

This was a good source for specific information about a specific food desert. The video had a lot of information about lots of food desert topics. It helped me deepen my knowledge of food deserts and made me more interested.

Drawn by Maggie C

Drawn by Maggie C

Drawn by Reese K

Drawn by Reese K

 

Drawn by Ava A and Megan T

Drawn by Ava A and Megan T

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_noodles

An example of what the stores that accepted food stamps looked like.

 

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Comments
  • Cali Triantis

    I never realized that this is a problem. Thanks for spreading the awareness, because now I want to do something about food deserts (a community garden is a great idea)!

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