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May 05, 2011



Access to grocery stores would be a major improvement...and one that is probably worth providing public assistance for. It isn't, however, the entire solution. We're talking about a generation or two that don't know how to cook. Of course, they think heating something up in the oven or microwave is cooking. They also don't know about nutrition. It's a multi-faceted problem that will require a more comprehensive solution than making grocery stores more accessible.

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I've been thinking about this for awhile. I think this map needs to be adjusted to eliminate the areas that are primarily industrial. There is very little population in the industrial areas, so it's not surprising that they tend to be food deserts.


Bub -- agree on the industrial areas. Certainly there are many in most urban areas that would make sense that would be void of many resources.

As for your other comment, I agree that the solution is much more complex than just "building grocery stores" -- but as somoene who lived in the downtown area void of a real grocery store for many years, you do change your behavior to accommodate for the void. I could afford to make the Farmer's Market my primary shopping destination (for a lot of things, including meat) -- which isn't an affordable option for many. And the alternative ends up being convenience stores....which isn't a good primary food source.


Brent - Improving access to good food options for low-income residents can be done without building more grocery stores. Farmers' markets and/or "mobile" markets with set routes and schedules would be a major step forward.


Not sure how practical Farmer's markets are for year-around service in the midwest but agree that mobile markets could be a step in the right direction.


I like your blog entry, and I think low access to healthy, affordable food is a big issue in our city that a lot of people aren't aware of. I live in a food desert myself.

I was just checking the number you cited from the USDA's data and in double-checking your source found that the number is actually the total population of Jackson county according to their data. The number of people with low access to a supermarket or large grocery store in Jackson county, according to the USDA, is 48,344. You can download their data to Excel and total it there. (Not trying to be snarky in correcting you, we were just going to quote your blog so I thought I'd double check it first.)

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