There are many food deserts in our country today. “A food desert is an area that does not have a supply of healthy foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. This is due to the absence of mainstream grocery stores and farmers’ markets within a convenient traveling distance, such as less than one mile of walking distance from a person’s home” (Harmon, 2019). We have built thousands of McDonald’s and Burger King’s that are in fact affordable, but aren’t giving the needed nutrition these communities are deprived of. The fast food restaurants are thriving in these areas while healthier options are more scarce. The problem is transportation. These impoverished people can’t just drive to the nearest health food store to get their nutrients because they may not have a car or enough money for gas. This is not a rural vs urban conflict. This is a problem with our system.
Even if there are grocery stores in these areas they “do not meet the needs of their residents. They tend to offer little or no fresh foods. They also may have limited food choices. For example, people with food allergies and restrictions, such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivities, may have a hard time finding foods they can consume” (Harmon, 2019).
We as a country have taken steps to combat this social conflict. For example “Pennsylvania passed the Fresh Food Financing Initiative, which offered financial assistance to grocery stores that opened new locations or expanded fresh food supplies in food deserts.”(Harmon, 2019). The purpose of this law was to put more healthy grocery stores in food deserts in order help those communities. The a federal government has taken steps to combat this aspects that come with food deserts such as obesity (Harmon, 2019).
But studies have shown that we can’t just keep throwing money at our problems we have to band to together as a community to fix these issues. According to Gloria Howerton and Amy Trauger “Economic development that integrates community organizing and place making activities are keys to mitigating social exclusion in food deserts, and call for further research in the roll of place in shaping access to food”(Howerton & Trauger, 2017).
Harmon, A. (2019). Food desert. Salem Press Encyclopedia of Science. Retrieved from: http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?vid=2&sid=c163e045-8a1d-40af-97af- 16a9e70cb5fe%40sdcvsessmgr01&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPXNzbyZzaXRlPWVkcy1saXZlJnNjb3BlPXNpdGU%3d#AN=87324136&db=ers.
Howerton, G., & Trauger, A. (2017). “Oh honey, don’t you know?” The Social Construction of Food Access in a Food Desert. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 16(4), 740–760. Retrieved from: http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&sid=c163e045-8a1d40af97af16a9e70cb5fe%40sdc-v-sessmgr01.