MonthFebruary 2018

February 28, 2018

Brandi Chang, Patricia Graham, and August Jeffrey.

Defined by the American Nutrition Association food deserts are “parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.” Food deserts are caused by many factors, they are typically in areas where people often do not own a car and they arise in communities of color combined with low income. Studies show that wealthy districts have 3 times as many supermarkets than poor districts, white neighborhoods contain an average of 4 times as many supermarkets when compared to black neighborhoods. Grocery stores in African-America communities are usually smaller and have less selection.

About 23.5 Million people live in food deserts, nearly half of them are also low-income.  Due to limited options, many people living in food deserts have a hard time finding good that are culturally relevant and that meet their dietary restrictions, more often than not, people tend to get meals from fast food restaurants. Food deserts are not the only reason for the unhealthy eating habits of low-income neighborhoods. It also comes down to income and education and nutritional knowledge. When low-income people moved from neighborhoods with lower quality stores to neighborhoods with healthier options, their eating habits had almost no change.

Having people not be able to get the type of food they need is not fair to them, because there is nothing they can do to stop buying the packaged food that the small corner stores sell because that is all they have to choose from. The effect of these people buying the fast-food is that they become unhealthy, which is unfortunate. The relationship between food and social class here is that when these low income families live in these rural areas, in is a double negative because they only have the choice to buy unhealthy food which causes them to live even worse lives, this is a bad problem that America has that needs to be fixed.

USDA Food Desert Locator Map:

Top Worst Urban Food Deserts in the U.S.:

  1. New Orleans, LA – ” Researchers at the Congressional Hunger Center report that there are only 20 grocery stores in New Orleans, compared to 30 before Katrina, which means the average grocery store in New Orleans serves 16,000 people — twice the national average”
  2. Chicago, IL – ” In a typical Black neighborhood in Chicago, the nearest grocery store is roughly twice as distant as the nearest fast food restaurant.”
  3. Atlanta, GA – “When examined along racial lines, researchers found that there are four times as many supermarkets in predominantly white neighborhoods as in black neighborhoods.”
  4. Memphis, TN – ” The poll also ranked Memphis #1 for hunger in the country with a startling 26 percent of people in the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area saying they couldn’t afford to buy food for their families in the last 12 months.”
  5. Minneapolis, MN – “Researchers say food deserts, which covered about one-half of Minneapolis and nearly one-third of St. Paul as of 2006, are largely to blame.”
  6. San Francisco, CA – “In Hunters Point, some 40,000 residents travel miles to the nearest grocery store.”
  7. Detroit, MI – “Data from Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group, reports more than 550,000 Detroit residents live in areas defined as food deserts.”
  8. New York, NY – “A 2008 study conducted by the New York Department of City Planning estimates that as many as three million New Yorkers live in communities without enough access supermarkets.”
  9. Camden, NJ – “Camden, which consistently ranks among the poorest and most violent cities in the U.S., has just one major supermarket, a Pathmark near the city’s eastern border with Collingswood, and a smattering of other farmer’s markets, according to Camden.”




Florida, R. (2018, January 22). Food Deserts Exist. But Do They Matter? Retrieved February 28, 2018, from

Gallagher, M. (2011). USDA Defines Food Deserts. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from

Grant, A. (2017, January 25). Food Desert Information – Learn About The Causes Of Food Deserts And Solutions. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from

America’s Worst 9 Urban Food Deserts. (2016, November 08). Retrieved February 28, 2018, from

Food Deserts. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2018, from

11 Facts About Food Deserts. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2018, from


February 26, 2018

In my family, everyone is a huge fan of sweet things, anything from ice cream to cookies to cake. The U.S. is no stranger to foods containing high sugars and high calories, which makes sense as to why my family has such a huge sweet tooth. More often than not, you’ll find my sisters’s, mom’s, or grandma’s stash of sweets which consists of mainly candy, chocolate, and cookies. I think that people see others around them eating a common food and decide to pick up on it until eventually everyone is eating the same thing. While there may be some differences in what people prefer, sour vs. sweet candy or chocolate vs. vanilla, everyone has the basic likeness of sweet things. Food helps people bond and find similarities between each other, notice how at major family events like a wedding, birthday, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, there is always a variety of food where people are free to eat and bond with each other.

February 21, 2018

People tend to assume I am of Latin decent because all of my friends are Latin and speak Spanish. When I meet people for the first time they ask if I am some type of Spanish, which I am however, it is a very small amount. I do not take this as an offense, I think it’s cool how people assume I am a certain race because of the way I look, dark hair and dark eyes. When people come up to me speaking Spanish I respectfully say I don’t speak Spanish and they respectfully apologize. I have no problem with this.

Other than that, people tend to think I am stuck up and are intimidated by me and my friends. My friends and I are always together in a group of four and we are always in our own world. We tend to laugh a lot and joke around a lot. Because of this, people tend to avoid us because they feel intimidated. I understand where the intimidation comes from, I myself would be intimidated too. When people actually get to know me, I am super friendly and easy to get along with.

February 16, 2018

APA Refrences:

Gebhard, J. G. (2010). What Do International Students Think and Feel? Adapting to U.S. College Life and Culture, 23. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

Mack, T. (1997, May). Culture Shock. Forbes, pp. 188-190.

** not needed in APA ** Mar, H. (2011, June 30). Telephone interview.

Simpson, J. C. (2006, May 8). Chronicle of Culture Shock. Time. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.

Wright, R. (2005, March). Going to Teach in Prisons: Culture Shock. Journal of Correctional Education, 556(1), 19-38. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier

February 14, 2018

Link to Audio File:

Background Music (Copyright Free):

Audio Script:

Growing up with 4 sisters, a single mom, and attending an all-girls catholic high school, there has always been powerful women in my life to support and encourage me. My mom, being one of these women, is very wise, intelligent, and protective of her children. Many mom’s in today’s society fear for their daughter’s safety every waking day. Being a woman in today’s society is a dangerous thing. There are unspoken rules a woman must follow in order to stay safe. My mom would never let me go out past midnight unless I was with a group of 3 or more friends and there must not be any guys with us for the reason that they could sexually assault or sexually harass us. I was not allowed to wear revealing tops or shorts, skirts, and dresses that were considered too short. I had to always be aware of my surroundings and carry my keys in my hand in case someone decides to attack me. Other rules are an unspoken topic in our society that only women hear about. They tell us to act like a lady but think like a man. Be a boss but don’t be bossy. Wear something sexy but if it’s too sexy you’re a slut. Wear makeup but don’t wear too much makeup. Have curves but don’t be fat. There must not be a single unshaved hair on your body. Don’t have sex on the first date but give him what he wants or he won’t like you. Don’t get pregnant and don’t have an abortion. Get married but don’t get divorced. Out of all these unwritten rules, the worst rule of all is that if he rapes you, it’s your fault. They said you were asking for it, you made it up, you didn’t say no. All these rules were written for the approval of men. Our lives should not be based off of what men want and think. We as women shouldn’t have to learn how to be respected through our appearance. Men should be taught how to respect women. Men should be taught not to objectify women. Men should be taught not to rape. Society deals with this problem by blaming women for not doing enough to protect themselves when in reality we should be educating men how to respect others.

February 12, 2018

My story is about how I grew up in a very noisy household and now that I am a legal adult and on my own, it’s strange to hear silence. I begin by telling my story, and how I ended up in a bustling city yet there’s still a big cloud of silence present. I am going to elaborate on the topic of silence vs. noise. I think it’s best to speak you mind rather than to be silent. Silence has some benefits and is useful in some situations, however, silence does more bad than good, in my opinion. The topic of silence is a very common problem in today’s society where we see people not speaking up for others when they should.

The topic of silence indicates some tension where people are afraid to speak up for others. People should not be afraid of using their voice, they should want to break the silence. Learning experience involving silence would be learning when to break the silence and learning when to embrace the silence. Silence is present in many, if not all cultures. Many things are silenced such as those who are afraid to “come out”, children who are married off at such a young age, etc. While it may not be easy to break silence, it must be done. Silence prevents those from using their voice and stating their opinion.

February 09, 2018

Free Writing:

Growing up with 4 sisters, my life has always been hectic. There was never a dull moment at home, in the car, in the store, and so on. Whether fighting over clothes, arguing about who’s right and who’s wrong, or racing in Mario Kart, there was always noise in the house. There was always something to do in the house. Now that I have moved out, 520 miles from home, an 8 hour and 41 minute car ride away or a 1 and 1/2 hour plane ride away. I find myself with an ample amount of time at hand situated in a tiny dorm room full of silence. I cannot bare to hear the silence. I have to break the silence by listening to music, watching a show, or exploring the city. Silence is something I am not accustomed to and it’s not something I’d like to be accustomed to. The ability to communicate is a basic human function that is utilized on a daily basis. Noise is productivity, entertainment, enjoyment. Silence is stagnant, boring, uncomfortable. I think it’s best to use your voice, to break the silence, to speak up.

Ideas and Words That Can Be Developed Further

  • The benefits and drawbacks of silence
  • The benefits and drawbacks of noise
  • Why do we need silence?
  • Why do we need noise?
  • Example of when you need silence
  • Example of when you need noise
  • What does silence mean to me?
  • What does noise mean to me?

February 07, 2018

Audio Essay:

  • Main Expectations
    • Compose an essay that is compelling to others about some period in your life
    • Provide unexpected insight into human beings
    • Explore important roles that music plays in your life – Trace how it shapes your experience and understanding
    • Use your voice as an instrument
    • Mix and edit voice/sound tracks in skillful ways
    • Create audio essays free from distracting audio elements
    • Cite your sources
  • Strengths I have:
    • Creativity
    • Experience with technology
    • Experience with audio editing
  • Challenges I may face
    • Finding a focus for my essay
    • Choosing music
    • Communicate my message
  • Addressing these challenges
    • Brainstorming
    • Gathering my ideas on paper

February 05, 2018

In Response to Karla Nunez:

In Karla Nunez’s summary on “Black and Blue” by Garnette Cadogan, she speaks about how issues of minority groups often go ignored unless the minority group brings awareness to these issues. She explains that minority groups need more recognition and support from other communities in order to lessen racial inequality. Karla also speaks from experience to being treated differently due to her background.

On the topic of “Scenes and Un-scenes: Class Dismissed?” Karla discusses how it is very important that we pay close attention to the media because sometimes when the news is reported, either information is lacking or it isn’t reported at all. She believes that minority groups are feeling more inequality based on political issues.

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