Food Deserts: A Case Study

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Food deserts are located in every state of this country, from large cities to isolated towns. A food desert is defined as a large, populated area with little or no access to healthy food sources. They are most often found in impoverished areas of large and highly populated cities where the only available food sources are fast food restaurants and convenient stores. The citizens in these areas are left to rely on processed foods heavy with fat and sugar for sustenance. Low-income citizens of urban settings do not often own cars, so wholesome food is even harder to find and transport. Food deserts can even be found in very rural areas of the country, where the nearest grocery store could be over an hour’s drive away. These nutritionally barren…show more content…
Fudge (2014) stated, “By growing food locally and giving underserved urban neighborhoods access to fresh produce, jobs are created, local economies are strengthened by circulating dollars within the community, the harmful effects of food deserts are reduced, and consumers become engaged in learning how food is grown.” They are simple to set up and easy to maintain, it is only a matter of acquiring suitable locations and getting local farmers involved. They can be constructed in abandoned lots or buildings, providing an aesthetic advantage to the neighborhood along with other numerous benefits. The community is also given a great opportunity for economic growth; the local farmers gain a lot of support while jobs are simultaneously created for some of the neighborhood’s citizens. These markets can promote a sense of community as the nearby citizens come together to shop for healthy food and learn to make better dietary choices. Most importantly, farmers’ markets stand a good chance of improving the overall health of the people in these impoverished areas. Merely providing an outlet for fresh fruits and vegetables gives the locals an opportunity to improve their dietary decisions. In recent years, the knowledge of the existence of food deserts and their impact on society’s health has steadily come to light. As a result, numerous organizations have slowly begun gaining momentum in the application of farmers’ markets and…show more content…
A study performed by Wang, Qiu, and Swallow (2014) determined that “community gardens and farmers’ markets can help increase fresh food access and relieve food desert problems.” Another study, run by Walker and colleagues (2010), examined two low income urban communities with farmer’s markets to determine the effect that the markets had on the overall health of the community by surveying the Los Angeles communities for over two years. Most citizens lived within 4 miles of a market and most claim to be regular shoppers. The majority of these citizens reported positive changes in their eating behaviors and physical activity levels and many wished to see continued growth in the farmer’s

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