Amanda, Midori and Margarite
What is a Food Desert?
A food desert is typically a neighborhood or community that lacks access — usually due to far distances — to markets or grocery stores containing nutritious food.
How do food deserts affect health?
In an article titled, “The Socio-Economic Significance of Food Deserts” the author explains the correlation between food deserts, health issues like diabetes, and the socio-economic aspect in regards to those who generally live in food desert areas. The author states that “In 2004, 2.4 million households were located in food deserts”. The high amount of households that are subject to living in areas without easy access to healthy food options illustrate that this issue affects a large amount of America’s population. Generally in these areas substitutes for the lack of fresh healthy food tend to be unhealthy options like fast food (The Socio-Economic Significance). Additionally, this article brings up the issue related to a rise in obesity and diabetes rates due to food desert areas. In areas where the number of food deserts was low, the cases of diabetes were significantly lower than those in areas with high amounts of food deserts (The Socio-Economic Significance ).
The Socio-Economic Significance of Food Deserts. (2011, June 29). Retrieved February 28,
2018, from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/the-socio-economic-significance-of-food-deserts
What is the effect of implementing a new supermarket in a food desert?
Daniel Monroe Sullivan did a study through Portland State University about the effects of adding a grocery store to a food desert. He did his research on a neighborhood in Portland and wanted to see whether or not racial identity affected how often a person would visit the new supermarket in a food desert. After his research, he found that Whites (non-latinos) and people with a college education were more likely to go to the supermarket. He also found that non-whites were more likely to have lived in the neighborhood longer. His research suggests that when it comes to Food deserts, white people are more likely to live close to a supermarket and look for better alternatives to fast food. Based on the results of his research Sullivan suggests, “My findings also contribute to the retail gentrification literature by showing that the racial differences are not limited to stores selling non-essential goods. but also include those that sell basic goods. Some American scholars help explain these racial boundaries by arguing that alternative food practices in the U.S. are dominated by whites, associated with whiteness, and are perpetuated by white privilege”. This is correlated with a persons social class because the White people that live in this neighborhood most likely moved to the neighborhood due to gentrification. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more accessible to people who do not rely on food stamps, and can afford to make weekly trips to the grocery stores.
Sullivan, D. M. (2014). “From food desert to food mirage: Race, social class, and food shopping in a gentrifying neighborhood” Advances in Applied Sociology, 4(01), 30. Retrieved from https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1033&context=soc_fac
Who can afford to shop at Supermarkets?
Food is a way to relieve stress and sets aside time for us to take a moment throughout the busy day and relax. Yet, this stress-free way of eating is not always accessible as so many individuals are forced to rely on junk food in order to sustain life and prevent starvation. Although it is very common for individuals who are living in poverty to consume junk food versus nutritious food, being healthy comes with a cost. This is portrayed in the article What Food Says About Class in America written by Christopher Anderson, as he discusses the rise in supermarket foods from 2004 to 2008. He states: “While food prices overall rose about 25 percent, the most nutritious foods … rose 29 percent, while the least nutritious foods … rose just 16 percent” (Anderson). It is not that these individuals are unaware of what foods they need in order to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but rather the fact that there are very little means of affording the luxury of having access to healthy fruits and vegetables.
Anderson, C. (2010) “What Food Says About Class in America” Newsweek. Retrieved from