Food deserts: Definition, effects, and solutions
Food deserts are areas in which individuals have limited access to nutritious and inexpensive food due to geographical limitations. This might be due to a lack of financial resources or the need to go further to locate nutritious meal alternatives. People who live in food deserts may be at increased risk for diet-related illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease because they lack access to nutritious foods. Multiple government agencies are currently sponsoring efforts to prevent regions from becoming food deserts as well as to enhance people’s access to food in areas that have already been declared food deserts by the USDA.
Areas where individuals have limited access to a range of nutritious foods are referred to as food deserts.
The USDA defines a food desert as an area where the poverty rate is greater than or equal to 20 percent, or where the median family income does not exceed 80 percent of the median family income in urban areas, or 80 percent of the statewide median family income in nonurban areas, as defined by the federal government.
In metropolitan areas, at least 500 persons, or 33 percent of the population, must reside more than one mile from the nearest big food store in order for the requirement to be met.
Between 2000 and 2006, the USDA identified approximately 6,500 food deserts.
11.5 million of these persons have poor incomes, making about a quarter of the total.
- Regions with inadequate access to nutritious and inexpensive food are referred to as “food deserts.” Needing a low income or having to drive further to acquire nutritious food selections might be contributing factors to this situation. Food desert residents may be at increased risk for diet-related illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease if they do not have access to nutritious meals. Multiple government agencies are currently sponsoring efforts to prevent regions from becoming food deserts as well as to enhance people’s access to food in areas that have already been declared food deserts by the government. Learn more about food deserts and how they affect people’s health by continuing to read this article! Areas where individuals have limited access to a range of nutritious meals are known as food deserts. Due to a low salary or living in an area where there are few options for healthy and economical meals, this may be the case. The USDA defines a food desert as an area where the poverty rate is greater than or equal to 20 percent, or where the median family income does not exceed 80 percent of the median family income in urban areas, or 80 percent of the statewide median family income in nonurban areas, as determined by the federal government. In addition to meeting certain other requirements, a region must qualify as a food desert. In metropolitan areas, at least 500 individuals, or 33 percent of the population, must reside more than one mile away from the nearest big food store in order for the program to be successful. Rural regions must have an average of 500 persons, or 33 percent of the population, who reside more than 10 miles away from a major supermarket to be eligible to participate. Over a 10-year period from 2000 to 2006, the USDA recognized around 6,500 food deserts. A total of 23.5 million individuals in the United States live in low-income neighborhoods that are more than one mile away from the nearest big food store, according to estimates from experts. Over 11.5 million individuals have poor earnings, making up a quarter of the population. According to a 2012 USDA research on food deserts, places that have the following criteria are more prone to become food deserts than other regions:
The survey also points out that rural areas in the Western, Midwest, and Southern regions of the United States are far more likely than rural areas in the Northeast to be classified as food deserts. This may be due to the fact that rural regions in the Northeast tend to be closer to metropolitan areas where food shops may be found. According to the analysis, rural regions with expanding people may be at a lesser risk of becoming food deserts in the near future. Experts have not yet achieved a consensus on the features of the populations who live in food deserts, which is a significant problem.
Researchers have found that some low-income districts have a higher number of food stores and that they reside closer to these stores than persons from wealthier backgrounds, according to the analysis.
It is the absence of mobility in rural regions that is the most important predictor of food insecurity.
Furthermore, because experts have not established a consensus on the features of communities impacted by food deserts, additional study is required.
Such analyses may aid policymakers in identifying places that are at danger of becoming food deserts, allowing them to put in place measures to improve access to nutritious foods. Maintaining a nutritious diet entails the following steps:
- Consuming a diverse range of foods from all dietary categories while keeping calorie consumption under control, minimizing intake of saturated and trans fatty acids, added sweets, and excess salt is recommended.
Foods that are considered healthy by the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include the following ingredients:
- A range of fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products
- Protein-rich meals, such as:
- Seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds, and soy products are all good choices.
It is possible that people who live in food deserts have restricted access to supermarkets and other food shops that sell nutritious and reasonably priced items. Healthful meals are sometimes available in convenience stores and tiny grocery stores; nevertheless, they are frequently out of reach for persons on a fixed budget. People who live in food deserts may consequently be more reliant on food merchants or fast food restaurants that offer a more cheap but limited choice of items to supplement their diet.
As a result, diet-related diseases such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease might occur more frequently.
- Obesity is on the rise, as is the prevalence of diabetes, as are other weight-related diseases, particularly in youngsters.
Numerous food deserts also have limited or costly access to health-care resources. In turn, this has a detrimental impact on the health of the individuals who live in these neighborhoods. People use a variety of phrases to express the availability of food to a community. Other instances are discussed in greater detail in the sections that follow.
A food swamp is defined as a place that gives ample access to nutritious and inexpensive food while also providing an oversupply of less nutritious food alternatives. Food swamps are more widespread than food deserts in Canadian metropolitan areas, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
A food mirage is a term used to describe a situation in which individuals live in close proximity to grocery shops that provide a range of nutritious foods but are unable to buy such goods. As a result, people must go further to acquire nutritious foods that are also within their financial means.
Food insecurity is defined as having restricted or insecure access to food as a result of a lack of financial resources. Families and individuals with limited financial resources may find it difficult to buy nutritious diets. In the United States, policymakers are actively seeking ways to enhance access to nutritious meals in food deserts around the country. The Community Food Programs Competitive Grant Program provides funding for long-term food projects that assist low-income communities in gaining access to nutritious and culturally appropriate diets and lifestyles.
Among the concerns that the Community Food Projects hope to solve are the following:
- As a result of financial restrictions, those who are food insecure have restricted or unstable access to food. Healthful meals may be out of reach for certain families and persons on fixed incomes, who may be unable to buy them. In the United States, policymakers are actively seeking solutions to increase access to nutritious meals in food deserts. A competitive grant program, the Community Food Initiatives Competitive Grant Program funds sustainable food projects that assist low-income communities in gaining access to healthy and culturally appropriate meals. This group of programs also addresses the larger range of economic, social, and environmental challenges that are associated with the food supply chain. In order to solve a variety of difficulties, the Community Food Projects are attempting to address the following:
- Affordably priced grocery stores and marketplaces, as well as backyard and community gardens, as well as food aid programs
- Encouraging healthy eating habits by providing education and training on food production, preparation, and nutrition
- Enrolling eligible residents in government nutrition programs
- Increasing access to local farmers markets
- Promoting safe and fair farm worker conditions
- Supporting sustainable agricultural practices that protect the environment, water supply, and habitats
- Assisting food industry entrepreneurs
- Celebrating and honoring diverse food cultures
- Encouraging resiliency in the face of adversity
The term “food desert” refers to a region where people lack access to nutritious foods. They are a huge problem that affects millions of individuals in the United States and throughout the world. According to experts, those who live in a food desert are at a higher risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and other weight-related diseases.
Community Food Projects are attempting to enhance food systems in areas that are considered food deserts. The overall goal of the organization is to assist in increasing inhabitants’ access to nutritious foods.
Definition of FOOD DESERT
According to the USDA Food Access Research Atlas, East St. Louis is a food desert, meaning that a large portion of the population is low-income and lives more than a mile away from a grocery store. 1 November 2021, Tara Adhikari, The Christian Science Monitor, Washington, DC What’s the most recent news from him? Is Cleveland’s Opportunity Corridor, which has been open for a little more than a week, already on its way to eradicating a food desert on the city’s East Side? —Laura Johnston, Cleveland, Ohio, November 24, 2021.
- —Seth Berkman, The New York Times, November 23, 2021 County Councilman Robert Wagner noted that the east part of the county is likewise something of a food desert.
- The concept of a food desert has changed significantly during the last three decades.
- —Michael Phillips, from the Chicago Tribune on May 6, 2021 Today, Babcock has established an urban farm in the center of a low-income food desert, which employs 45 people.
- —Joe Rubin, The New Republic, September 17th, 2021.
- Please provide comments.
In recognition of the problem with the term “food desert,” which according to the USDA is defined primarily by proximity to food providers without taking into account other factors such as racism, cost of living, people being time and cash poor, cultural appropriateness of available foods, people’s ability to grow their own foods and so on, the Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) has developed a model that takes into account all of these factors.
- Food Apartheid and Food Oppression are more appropriate phrases, according to the Food and Environment Project, but because food desert is the term that is most widely used, we have chosen to use it as our title.
- The Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture recently issued a report for Congress that found that 2.3 million persons (or 2.2 percent of all US families) live more than one mile distant from a supermarket and do not have access to a vehicle.
- However, economic forces have driven grocery stores out of many cities in recent years, making them so few and far between that a single person’s food shopping trip may require taking multiple buses or trains.
- As demonstrated by the Food Empowerment Project’s study, “Shining a Light on the Valley of Heart’s Delight(PDF),” it is easy to ignore towns that are located in food deserts when depending solely on statistics gathered by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Thus, a municipality with no supermarket and just two corner grocery stores that sell booze and food would be considered to have two retail food outlets, even though the variety of foods served may be relatively restricted and consist primarily of fast food.” Residents of food deserts may also have difficulty locating foods that are culturally appropriate for them, and dietary restrictions, such as lactose intolerance, gluten allergies, and other food sensitivities, may limit the food options available to those who do not have access to larger chain stores that offer a wider variety of foods and ingredients.
In addition, research have indicated that urban residents who shop for food at small neighborhood businesses spend between 3 and 37 percent more than suburbanites who shop for the same things at supermarkets, depending on the commodity.
For example, whereas the total price of fruits and vegetables in the United States climbed by over 75% between 1989 and 2005, the overall price of fatty meals decreased by more than 26% during the same period.
While unhealthy eating may be more cost-effective in the short term, the long-term consequences of limited access to healthy foods are one of the primary reasons that ethnic minorities and low-income populations have statistically higher rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other diet-related conditions than the general population in the United States.
Only twenty years ago, type 2 diabetes was almost unknown among those under the age of 40.
Among recent years, the incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased across all demographic groups; however, the highest increases have been seen in black and brown populations.
These are also the populations that are most likely to live in food deserts, and studies have shown a clear link between food insecurity and an increase in the number of people who develop diabetes.
In order to explain this discrepancy, researchers emphasize that the high-calorie foods that are most readily available in food deserts put residents living in these areas at greater risk for diabetes in the first place, and that having limited access to healthy foods also makes it more difficult for them to manage diabetes once they are diagnosed with the disease.
One of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease is a diet rich in unhealthy fats and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is characterised by the sorts of food that are typically accessible in food desert areas.
As a result of the higher incidence of obesity in food desert regions, even children and adolescents living in those areas are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (both now and when they reach maturity), according to the American Heart Association.
As part of the “Let’s Move” campaign to address childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama has set a goal of eliminating food deserts by 2017, with a $400 million government investment centered on granting tax benefits to supermarkets that establish in low-income neighborhoods as a part of the program.
Chicago– In food deserts, more than 500,000 persons (most of whom are African-American) live, and an additional 400,000 live in communities where there are a disproportionate number of fast food businesses and no grocery stores nearby.
Along with offering fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, bulk whole grains and beans, and soy-based meat substitutes, some of these stores (such as Fresh Family Foods, located on the city’s South Side) also provide cooking and nutrition classes to educate the public about making nutritious food choices.
- Because fewer fast food restaurants were available, there was a greater demand for more and better food options.
- So far, these measures have been successful in bringing the first new grocery to South L.A.
- New York City is a city that has a lot of things to offer.
- Increased rents and shrinking profit margins have caused supermarkets throughout New York City to close in recent years.
- Since 2008, the city has been operating its Green Carts initiative, which has been distributing inexpensive fresh fruits and vegetables to impoverished communities while also offering employment opportunities for vendor participants.
- What can I do if I live in an area where there is no access to food?
- To begin, it’s a good idea to talk about alternative choices, such as producing your own food or collaborating with local businesses to provide healthy, vegan meals.
You can also contact out to others who have worked on this subject if you want to learn more.
The Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture published a report in 2009 titled Bryan provided this information on August 25, 2017.
“Neighborhood features linked with the location of food shops and food service establishments,” by K., S.
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published its first issue in January 2002, with pages 23-29.
(Robert D.) (editor).
173.ttp: The following URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=NAcmSchlTOYC pg=PA173 lpg=PA173 dq=It+has–been+shown.
The date is June 12, 2008.
The LaSalle Bank commissioned the research.
” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2 diabetes: Causes.” CDC National Center for Health Statistics.
and Mortality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2011 Diabetes Fact Sheet from the Mayo Clinic.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes is increasing among children and teenagers.
According to a report published on December 6, 2017, the number of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes is increasing among children and teenagers.
Basics was accessed on the 6th of December, 2017.” The American Diabetes Association has a website.
“Bringing Healthy Fare to Big-City ‘Food Deserts.’ Diabetes Predictions for December 2009.
and Mortality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011.
Publications of the Harvard School of Public Health, 2015.
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lvlid=19(3/05/11) The Office of Minority Health.
Obesity.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report in 2008 titled “Everyone took a stand.” The White House Blog, published on February 20, 2010.
“Examining the Impact of Food Deserts on Public Health in Chicago,” a research project in which The study was commissioned by LaSalle Bank and completed in 2006.
“Would a Walmart be able to alleviate the food insecurity issues in West Oakland and Nashville?” The Los Angeles Times, 5 October 2010.
The New York Times, August 12, 2008.
The New York Times published an article on January 15, 2011.
A report published in The New York Times on March 20, 2009, with the sq=food percent 20deserts st=cse(4/02/11).
“Measuring food deserts in New York City’s low-income areas,” New York City Department of City Planning, 2008.
“Measuring food deserts in New York City’s low-income communities.” Page 697 to 700 in Health Place, March 2011. Vol. 17(2), page 697 to 700. Jeff. “Can other cities follow New York’s lead in introducing vegetable carts into food deserts?” The New York Times published an article on March 11, 2010.
What Are Food Deserts?
What you eat, and how much of it you consume, can have a significant influence on your long-term health. Healthy eating habits are essential in the prevention of a wide range of diseases. Healthy eating guidelines have been in place for decades, encouraging families to consume more healthy meals such as fruits and vegetables while avoiding junk or processed foods such as chips and fast restaurant cheeseburgers. Elvis Batiz / Photo courtesy of Flickr However, for many families in the United States, things are not quite so straightforward.
These places, which are referred to as food deserts, are a severe environmental health concern that can have long-term consequences for the lives of families.
Long-term health is greatly affected by what you eat and how much you eat. To avoid a lengthy number of diseases, it is necessary to maintain healthy eating habits. For decades, health professionals have urged families to consume more healthy meals such as fruits and vegetables while avoiding junk or processed foods such as potato chips and fast restaurant cheeseburgers, among other things. Elvis Batiz is a photographer who uses Flickr. It is not, however, so straightforward for many families in the United States.
They are known as food deserts and are a severe environmental health concern that can have long-term effects on the lives of entire communities.
When most public health professionals talk about food deserts, they’re usually talking to metropolitan surroundings – inner cities, for example, where higher land prices might deter many potential grocers from setting up shop there. However, whereas metropolitan regions account for around 82 percent of all food deserts, rural towns are not entirely exempt. As reported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), around 335,000 people in the country live more than 20 miles from a supermarket.
Food deserts are more prevalent in low-income neighborhoods, which are often the worst harmed by them.
According to the USDA, over half of all low-income zip codes (i.e., those with a median income of less than $25,000) qualify as food deserts.
Who Lives There
Low-income folks, particularly those who do not have access to a vehicle or who reside in distant rural locations, frequently have the most difficulty obtaining nutritious foods. For these folks, acquiring nutritious foods necessitates a longer drive to obtain them. That is, of course, assuming that driving is even an option at this point. According to the USDA, more than two million households living in food deserts do not have access to a motor vehicle. The cost of groceries is higher for residents of urban food deserts than for households living in the suburbs.
Despite the fact that lower-income families already devote a bigger proportion of their income to food purchases, living in a food desert implies that a salary will not stretch nearly as far as it would in locations where fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats are more readily available.
Food deserts are also more likely than other locations to have the following characteristics:
- More minority residents
- Higher rates of unoccupied dwellings
- Higher rates of unemployment
- Lower levels of education among residents
- Smaller population sizes.
Although living in a food desert is not the same as being food insecure, it should be highlighted that they are related. Not everyone who lives in a food desert has difficulty obtaining nutritious meals. It is usually still an option for those who have the means and chance to do so to go to a large supermarket or have goods delivered to their door step. Individuals who live in a food desert do not necessarily have limited access to staples such as whole grains and fresh veggies. In other circumstances, such meals may be accessible, but their high cost makes them prohibitive for some people to purchase.
Impact on Health
Ironically, obesity is the most serious public health risk associated with food deserts. Given the fact that those who don’t have easy access to good foods are more likely to eat less healthfully than those who do, this makes sense. A person’s weight increases as a result of poor eating habits, which in turn leads to obesity. Being considerably overweight or obese raises a person’s risk for a wide range of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, among other things.
- Excessive weight may even raise your chance of developing cancer, according to one study, which estimated that 481,000 new cancer cases were diagnosed globally in 2012 as a result of being overweight or obese.
- Aside from obesity, poor eating habits throughout a kid’s first few years of life can have a substantial impact on the ability of the child to develop.
- Nutritional deficiencies in nutrients such as iron, vitamin A, and iodine have been associated to cognitive issues, weakened immune systems, and stunted growth in children and adolescents.
- The chance of having a child born with potentially catastrophic birth abnormalities increases for babies born to mothers who do not obtain enough folate throughout the first trimester of their pregnancy.
- Another issue that is sometimes disregarded when discussing food deserts is the danger they bring to people who have dietary restrictions or food allergies.
- In the United States, around 200,000 people require emergency medical care each year after inhaling or drinking something they are allergic to.
- Even while studies have identified substantial associations between a lack of supermarkets and health problems like as obesity, current research is beginning to suggest that the relationship may be far more convoluted than previously thought.
Low income and low educational attainment have also been associated to obesity outside of the setting of food deserts, and some recent research has suggested that socioeconomic status may be a more relevant factor in nutritional outcomes than access to a grocery store in some situations.
What Can Be Done?
Food deserts have been on the radar of public health departments for some time now, and many have already begun implementing strategies and policies to deliver fresh fruit and other nutritious foods to areas that are currently without access to these resources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises numerous ways to address and avoid food deserts, including:
- Creating communal gardens
- Establishing local farmers markets
- And other initiatives Increasing public transit options from food deserts to established markets. Changing municipal laws and tax rules in order to encourage supermarkets and other healthy food shops to open their doors
• establishing local farmers markets; • establishing communal gardens. Increasing public transit options from food deserts to established markets; The rewriting of municipal laws and tax rules in order to encourage supermarkets and other healthy food shops to open their doors;
Food Deserts vs. Food Swamps
The creation of communal gardens; the establishment of local farmers markets; Improving public transportation from food deserts to established markets; Changing municipal laws and tax rules to encourage supermarkets and other healthy food vendors to open their doors;
A Word From Verywell
Understanding that every community is unique and, as a result, will require a unique combination of measures for solving both food deserts and food swamps is critical to effectively addressing both. It may seem nice in principle, but opening a food shop in every community may prove to be unfeasible or unneeded in fact, depending on the circumstances. Helping families find nutritious, cheap, and practical meals will necessitate the development of novel solutions, but it is critical to the preservation and improvement of the health of communities for future generations.
Definition of food desert
This indicates the grade level of the word based on its difficulty. This indicates the grade level of the word based on its difficulty. locality characterized by a high concentration of low-income people who are unable to quickly access establishments that provide reasonably priced, nutritious goods QUIZ IS IT POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO BE A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE “BLUE” SYNONYMS? Despite the fact that we could chat about this quiz until we’re blue in the face about the color “blue,” we believe that you should take the quiz and find out whether or not you’re a wiz at these colorful terminology.
Origin offood desert
The first recordings were made between 1995 and 2000.
Words nearbyfood desert
Food body, food chain, food combining, food conversion ratio, food court, food desert, food fish, food for thought, food-gathering, food grain, and food group are all terms used to describe food in one way or another. Dictionary.com Unabridged Random House, Inc. 2021, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc.
How to usefood desertin a sentence
- In Northern California’s trail towns, there isn’t nearly a food desert, but there isn’t quite an oasis either
- In our whole city, we’re dealing with food deserts, which are particularly prevalent in economically challenged neighborhoods. And there is absolutely something to be said for taking comfort in food, familiarity, and memories
- Getting in touch with a smuggler in Ventimiglia is much simpler than getting in touch with decent cuisine.
- Bringing up the subject of death is never easy, but a new sort of dinner party is making it a little easier with food, warmth, and familiarity
- In the scorching Arizona desert, normalcy, domesticity, and relaxation are welcome. Desert Golfing is the purest form of Angry Birds, since it is the distillation of the game’s core. After we had traveled through this desert, we came across multiple garisons, which were there to protect the caravans from the Tartars’ aggression. Even more frustrating, I have not had the first crumb of food produced with this grain presented to me since I first stepped foot on European soil. The general ordered a halt and instructed the soldiers to refuel and re-energise themselves with food and water. He was the first to say, “If thy adversary is hungry, feed him
- If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.” Their own and their servants’ industries are obligated to provide for their own and their families’ sustenance and rayment, and this is a legal requirement.
Residents of a food desert live in a poor location where they have limited access to nutritious meals. Whether in rural or urban regions, food deserts are related with a variety of geographic and socioeconomic issues, as well as with poor diet and health conditions such as obesity. Food deserts may exist in both rural and urban settings. The majority of what we know about food deserts comes from research conducted in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Food deserts were first described in the early 1990s in western Scotland, where they were used to explain the limited availability to healthy meals that inhabitants of a public housing area had to deal with.
Defining food deserts
A comparison is made between food deserts and physical desert regions since the search for and purchase of healthy foods is difficult to achieve in either context. Indeed, food deserts are sometimes difficult to navigate, particularly for those without access to a vehicle who rely on public transit. Furthermore, even when nutritious meals are accessible, they are frequently out of reach for many people. In spite of multiple research, which have been carried out not only in Britain and the United States, but also in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, the criteria that define food deserts and their limits, as well as the reasons for their existence, remain a mystery.
Socioeconomic factors and food deserts
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the origins of food deserts, research has revealed that economic variables such as supply and demand, as well as urban planning, which helps to connect consumers to food stores and transit services, are at play in the development of food deserts. These variables interact with one another in a complicated manner. When it comes to food items, for example, while the interaction of supply and demand typically decides which products are available and at what price, customer demand is significantly impacted by personal choice, which is in turn determined by individual behavior and socioeconomic variables.
Food deserts and health disparities
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the origins of food deserts, research has revealed that economic variables such as supply and demand, as well as urban planning, which helps to connect consumers to food stores and transit services, are at play in the development of food deserts. It is difficult to predict how these variables will interact in the future. When it comes to food items, for example, while the interaction of supply and demand typically decides which products are available and at what price, customer demand is largely impacted by personal choice, which is itself determined by individual behavior and socioeconomic variables.
Improving access to healthy foods
Some countries have taken steps to enhance availability to healthful foods in areas where food deserts have been identified. This includes the United States. These methods include identifying strategies to encourage the creation of healthy food stores in food deserts as well as connecting customers to outlets where fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as other nutritious foods, are available at a fair price and that are easily accessible. Farmers’ markets, exposure to healthy meals in schools, urban gardening and agriculture initiatives, and even online supermarkets that provide healthy goods for order over the Internet and delivery to easily accessible locales are all ways to accomplish the latter.
With the introduction of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 and a subsequent assessment of the frequency of food deserts in the United States, efforts to enhance access to healthful foods were stepped up in the United States.
A significant portion of the future financing for HFFI went to community-development financial institutions, which in turn lent money to food stores in food deserts to supplement their income. Kara Rogers is a model and actress.
What is a Food Desert?
If a desert is defined as a place where water is difficult to come by, a food desert is defined as a place where nutritious food is difficult to come by. The availability of nutritious foods in one’s surrounding area from sources such as supermarkets, farmers markets, and community gardens has an impact on one’s dietary choices and the amount of food one consumes each day. The consumption of these nutritious meals can lower one’s risk of obesity and diet-related disorders, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as cancer (SmithMiller, 2011).
Residents rely more on convenience stores and fast food restaurants for their food supplies because there are no supermarkets close by to purchase food (Spence, Cutumisu, Edwards, Raine,Smoyer-Tomie, 2009).
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a census tract is considered a food desert if it fits both of the following criteria (USDA, 2014a):
- Low-income community defined as one with a poverty rate of 20% or more, or a median family income that is at or below 80% of the statewide median family income, or both. The term “low-access community” refers to urban census tracts with more than 33% of the population living more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store, or rural census tracts (geographic region with 1,000 to 8,000 people) that are more than ten miles from a supermarket or large grocery store.
The Census Bureau’s 2010 food desert research differed from the USDA’s established definition, which is detailed above. It is necessary for 40 percent of the population to have an income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty levels for family size in order to qualify as a low-income neighborhood (Ver Ploeg et al., 2012). According to the other low-income classification, 29.7 million individuals reside in low-income census tracts that are more than one mile away from a supermarket, which is noteworthy.
Food deserts in the United States have been identified by the government, which has created a map of neighborhoods that have inadequate access to nutritious food options (USDA, 2014b).
- It was discovered that food deserts exist in 40 of the state’s 687 census tracts
- 154,623 Nevadans fit the requirements for living in a low-income food desert. People who live in a food desert in Nevada are overwhelmingly concentrated in metropolitan areas, with only 11 percent residing in rural regions.
Nevada census tracts are depicted on the Food Desert Locator map. The green census tracks represent low-income communities that are in a food desert because they do not have easy access to a supermarket or a major grocery store. (Revised in May 2014)
Consequences of Food Deserts Those
Living in a food desert may mean that you have fewer options for obtaining fruits and vegetables, and as a result, you may have difficulty meeting the Guidelines for Americans 2010, which recommend that you consume three or more fruits and vegetables daily, particularly dark-green and red and orange vegetables (USDA, 2010). Furthermore, people of food deserts who eat convenience store goods have diets that are heavy in sugar, fat, and salt, and low in whole grains and vegetables (Johns Hopkins Public Health, 2014).
These diets are related with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of mortality in the United States, as well as diabetes, stroke, hypertension, and increased weight gain and obesity, among other health problems (Spence, Cutumisu, Edwards, Raine,Smoyer-Tomie, 2009).
Influential Factors of Food Deserts
Another element impacting food purchases is the consumer’s neighborhood retail environment, which includes factors such as proximity to a supermarket and availability to public transit. Pricing, quality, variety, preparation time, where people buy, and the availability of culturally acceptable meals all have an influence on what foods people purchase and the possibility of a food desert developing in their community (Odoms-Young, Zenk,Mason, 2009 and Alkon, et al. 2013). Despite the fact that study results are inconsistent, we are acquiring a better knowledge of which aspects are most significant when making food purchasing decisions.
- It is possible that one mile is comprised of 20 blocks, and that this does not represent a “reasonable shopping distance” for the elderly, families with children, or individuals who are physically impaired.
- In order to prepare for this, rural inhabitants frequently stock up on nonperishable goods at huge retailers such as Costco.
- In fact, persons who live in low-income food desert areas who carpool account for 93 percent of the total (Ver Ploeg et al., 2012).
- Only 23% of consumers indicated closeness to their house as an essential factor in their purchasing decision (Nielsen, 2007).
- For example, small food retail sellers specialized in bread, cheese, meat, and fresh fruits and vegetables may still be found in certain big cities, such as New York, despite the city’s population growth.
- In the past, individuals who lived in rural regions supplemented their food supplies with produce from their own gardens.
- Consider that at the conclusion of World War II, an incredible 40% of all fresh vegetables consumed in the United States were grown in backyard gardens and community gardens (BrownJameton, 2000).
- However, these alternative food sources are in decline (SmithMiller, 2011).
The time available for food preparation diminishes even further in single-parent families and households where both parents work, hence increasing the likelihood that fast-food meals will be consumed (Smith, Ng,Popkin, 2013).
The “Let’s Move!” Campaign, led by First Lady Michelle Obama, is devoted to reducing the number of food deserts in America at the local level during the next seven years through grassroots efforts. A number of treatments and stimulants are now being investigated. In order to reduce food deserts, a multipronged strategy that takes into account not only restricted access to supermarkets, but also the complex interplay of many barriers, must be used. Effective solutions must be tailored to the needs of each individual community.
As a result, it is critical to involve members of the community in the process of identifying viable solutions.
For further information, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Residents should be instructed on how to cultivate their own food. Programs such as Grow Yourself Healthy, Food for Thoughts, and Master Gardener are available via the Cooperative Extension of the University of Nevada, Reno. Farmers markets should be encouraged to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) because of the high prevalence of poverty in food deserts. Increasing demand for locally grown small farm products by linking farmers with consumers such as local restaurants and farmers markets is a significant component of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Nutrition Action Plan. Among the many successful examples is the Producer to Chef Program offered by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Encourage donations to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada’s mobile van, which provides nutritious, free foods to underserved neighborhoods. In order to introduce private-owned supermarkets to underserved communities, public-private cooperation agreements should be established. Make it a priority to cultivate healthy food options in local neighborhoods where residents shop for groceries, such as by offering financial incentives to convenience stores to stock high-quality, culturally appropriate, and reasonably priced fruits and vegetables in ready-to-eat packaging, among other initiatives. The nutritional content of healthy foods must be comparable to the nutritional value of salty, highfat snack foods.
Fresh local produce is transported to regions in need via a mobile van that delivers nutritious, complimentary cuisine.
Food is delivered to those in need via a mobile van that distributes fresh local products.