Maya Szymanski: It may be a food desert, but the soil is still good

aFood deserts exist in most urban areas in the United States. In a recent survey, about 23.5 million people live in food deserts, and over half of are low-income.

New York City alone accounts for 750,000 of that population. This means that millions of people live in areas that are more than a couple miles from a grocery store. And that’s not taking into account the quality of the food being offered in these areas. This leaves the most convenient places to acquire food are fast food chains and markets that lack fresh food.

Simply said, foods that are bad for are not bad because they do not have a lot of nutrients. They are bad because they are crafted from poison made to taste good and last forever. And that is exactly what millions of people live on because they do not have the money or resources (transportation/close proximity to fresh food markets) to live otherwise.

Obesity rates are higher in food deserts. Public health is more important and to be healthy, we need vitamins, clean water, clean air, and natural substances — most of which are unavailable to the low-income populations.

We are blind to the starvation of our own country; disregarding body size, these people are malnourished, meaning their bodies are lacking nutrients to operate healthily.

aSustainable farming and self-sufficient gardens seem to be the fastest solution to this issue. There is no money in these areas for healthy option markets. Sustainable farming in one answer to the low-income families. From an article on the importance and critical nature of sustainable farming:

In the world of agribusiness, the “family farm” of Jefferson and Smith is considered economically obsolete…The natural food movement of the 1960s wasn’t just about avoiding foods produced with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. It was a rejection of industrialization of the American economy and society, including foods produced with industrial technologies.

 Michelle Obama has worked to make this a reality for urban areas. In 2009, the First Lady initiated a movement to increase the country’s community gardens.

There are communities across America where it’s almost impossible to find a fresh apple or an unfried potato…The urban poor face many difficulties, but too much fast food and not enough fresh produce only add to their troubles. Bringing fruit and peas and farm eggs to the cities’ food deserts sounds like the right campaign for a strong first lady trying to make a healthy difference.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s