February 28, 2018

Jenna, Denise, Tori

What is a Food Desert?

In the United States today, urban areas have formed a new classification within called food deserts. This new term is meant to symbolize areas in which access to fresh food is extremely limited. Food deserts are more often in correlation with impoverished areas. Food deserts create areas where the only available goods are “a wealth of processed, sugar, and fat laden foods that are known contributors to our nation’s obesity epidemic” (American Nutrition Association). Which poses a threat to the general health and wellness to a portion of the U.S. population. To get a better idea of how large the affected portion of our population is, Food Empowerment Project released statistics representing its relevance in numbers. They say around 750,000 New York residents are considered to be among those living in food deserts while an estimated 3 million people live in areas where fresh produce is scarce or hard to obtain because of distance.

Relationship Between Food and Social Class

The type of food we eat has a direct correlation with our environment. Our food is effected by our friends, family, gender, age, where you live etc. Some people do not necessarily have the means to eat certain diets or even want to. Low-income groups  tend to also eat an unhealthy diet. This is because the food that they have access to are places that are cheap and unhealthy. Fast Food and other types of places that sell junk food are mostly located in poorer neighborhoods. They also market to poor people. A great amount of people who are in poverty, are people of color. If you look at the commercials for fast food places a majority of the time, you see people of color. Healthier foods are more expensive and a lot of the time people who are in lower-income situations aren’t able to gain access to those foods. I believe that is partly why there is a rise in obesity amongst children. Families who are struggling will try to get food that can last rather than looking at the health benefits.

Focused Area

In many communities throughout San Francisco, such as the tenderloin and the Bayview district, access to fresh fruits and vegetables is almost nonexistent. The only stores accessible to people tend to be filled with candy, chips, soda, and sports drinks. A new initiative in San Francisco, HealthyRetailSF, looks to provide corner stores in food deserts with some financial assistance to stock their store with fruits and vegetables. The importance of having accessibility to fresh produce is crucial to one’s health, as Johnson explains, “Closer proximity to stores selling fresh goods and dairy translates to a healthier diet, studies show. For poorer communities that suffer higher rates of diabetes and obesity, accessibility to nutritious food is often the first step in changing a junk food culture.”


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



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



Johnson, L. (2016, October 28). SF helps stores turn corner on health in food deserts. Retrieved February 28, 2018, from https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-helps-stores-turn-corner-on-health-in-food-10421045.php


Eufic.org (2004, October 3). Why we eat what we eat: social and economic determinants of food choice. Retrieved February 28, 2018 from:


February 26, 2018

Food and Social Class

In my family  we mostly eat chicken and pork. It kind of seems like the stereotypical black family thing but my mom doesn’t eat red meat and I do not like fish. So, there is not a lot of options left for commonly used protein. We also eat a lot of fruit and vegetables with our meals or just as snacks. Even when we get popsicles as a little treat to keep in the freezer, it’s always the all natural real fruit ones. Both of my parents work a lot so growing up I did not have a lot of home cooked meals. My mom always brought home food after she got off of work or when my parents were out of town, my brother and I went and got food. It wasn’t until I moved in with my dad, I started eating more home cooked meals. Growing up my brother and I were athletes and my dad worked out a lot so, a lot of our meals switched between pasta and chicken–with pork on occasion. I’m not completely aware of how social and cultural status are represented with my parents diet other than it’s pretty stereotypical that we eat chicken a lot. In my opinion, food and eating habits contribute to formation of social norms because people seem to define others by what they eat. The place that I grew up in and the people that I was around, tended to eat more healthy–with the exception of pizza–I come from a beach town so its all about the healthy organic stuff and the healthy snacks that are the most popular food products.

February 21, 2018

Seeing and Being Seen

I was tokenized in my high school. I was in ASB and they wanted people to go to a City Council meeting to show that the school that I was at in Redondo Beach had diversity. They picked one white person, one black person, one arab person, one asian person and one hispanic person. The school wanted to be seen as diverse and show that they are doing it right–even though all of us knew that the school wasn’t truly diverse like this. I don’t think that I have been tokenized very often throughout my life but this moment is one that sticks out to me.

Whenever I ask my friends why they thought when they first meet me is that I am a ‘bitch’. They never give a good reason why but they always say that it’s because of the way I look. A lot of people are shocked to realize that I’m nice and a really likable person. At first when people would tell me this I would be taken back and low key hurt by it but I soon realized that theres nothing I can do about people assumptions about me and I learned to move on. However, when I go to the mid-west people are sometimes shocked about how educated I was and that I didn’t talk ‘ghetto’ like they thought I would. At first I was very hurt about how much stereotypes actually cloud people’s perspective of the world. But I learned that I can’t change everyone’s biases all at once so I try to ignore most peoples opinions of me.



Gebhard, Jerry G. (2010). What do international students think and feel?          adapting to U.S. college life and culture. Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

Mack, Toni (1997, May). Culture shock. Forbes, 188, 188-90.

Simpson, Janice C. (2006, May 8). Chronicler of culture shock. Times, 156.

Wright, Randall (2005, March). Going to teach in prisons: culture shock. Journal of Correctional Education, 56, 19-38.


February 12, 2018

Brief Audio Essay Pitch

Being biracial you think you’d have the best of both worlds. You’d be welcome to so much culture that you couldn’t handle it sometimes. You’d be exposed to all types of food, music, dancing, and different cultural activities. However growing up in a community where being mixed was not common, caused a lot of people to group me in with what they saw fit who I was without accepting the entirety of me. As I was growing up, I lived in a predominately white and asian community so, many of them were confused when I they found out that I was mixed. I look like a black woman, yet my last name is Spanish but I only speak English. This confused a lot of people and being young, kids tend to ask more questions or not having a filter to what they were saying to me. While growing up I did not necessarily feel welcomed by the black community because I don’t “talk like a black person” or “my name isn’t black enough” or “you’re too privileged to be black”. But, the Latino community did not make me feel anymore accepted…. to be continued…

February 9, 2018

Essay 1: Free-write 

Even though we’ve been talking about doing this audio essay for a week now, I still have no idea what I want to talk about. It’s suppose to be non-fiction and something that I’ve done or I’ve experienced but, I hate talking about myself. I do not like telling people about myself because it just makes me feel uncomfortable. The only thing I can think of that I could potentially talk about is my struggle with my racial identity growing up. It’s not something people usually talk about but I feel like it may be interesting to others. I want to be able to add in different kinds of music because music was a huge part in growing up and people used to judge me for liking certain kinds of music because they didn’t think that it matched with my ethnicity. The only worry I have about talking about this is that I won’t be able to fit it in in 3 minutes or less.

Essay 1: Outline

  • Topic: My racial identity
    • being mixed
    • other people’s attitudes towards me
      • music
      • how I act
      • how I speak
    • my mom’s views
    • the internal struggle with identifying with one group or the other
    • not feeling accepted in either community

February 7, 2018

Audio Literacy

  • We have to compose an essay about and a time/period/event that contributes to our identity
  • Must focus on music or soundscape
  • Reflect on your cultural, racial and language identity

Looking at this assignment right off the bat, I believe I will struggle with coming up with something that shows my experiences through life. I am black and Puerto Rican, however I do not believe I grew up with much culture. I didn’t grow up in a traditional Hispanic household and I didn’t grow up learning about black culture. To help me out with this challenge, I suppose I can think about times where I struggled with racial identity because I was listening to what other people were telling me who I am and, who I’m not. Something that I think will come easy to me throughout this essay process will be the music aspect. I love music and I feel like it will come naturally to me when it comes to picking music to match the words I am trying to convey. I believe this assignment is a cool way for the class to learn about people’s backgrounds and where they come from.

February 5, 2018

In Nicole Lianto’s summary of the readings, she expresses similar issues that I mentioned in mine. The differing behaviors that people acted towards Garnette Cardogen from when he was in Jamaica to when he was in America was drastically different solely because of one thing–his race. It’s sad to believe that people are racially profiled in 2018 because people think our nation has come such a long way from racism. However, racial bias is still very much apart of our culture and we need to stop being so shocked that it happens, and accept that it does. Once people accept that racial bias is an issue, that is when people are able to start getting others to change. I agree with Nicole when she said that we should not use stereotypes to swayed our opinion on someone. Not all blacks, whites, asians, latinos are the same and, we do not need to treat them with the racial bias that was imbedded in our minds at a young age.

Moreover, Nicole’s response of “Scenes and Un-Scenes: Class Dismissed”, explains how people tend to believe anything these days without looking up hard facts. Nicole explains that today, people are becoming more open with talking about different issues because of tv shows, music and ads. Although I agree with that, I think there is still a ton more people can do to add to the conversation. People become blind to issues that are happening all across the country when they hear it repetitively, and they begin to wonder whether or not these issues are really a problem. I believe that people do not like to discuss different topics, whether it comes to race, politics, LGBTQ+ issues etc. because they have a fear of being too controversial.

February 2, 2018

Juan, Al, & Tori


  • Diversity is important
  • People tend to ignore other people’s views because they don’t like being challenged
  • People forget to take into account other people’s opinions
  • People want to feel accepted and fit in with the environment around them