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.
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: