In a country characterized by an abundance of food, we still have millions of people living without access to fresh and healthy foods. Access issues are often due to the systematic problems associated with how food is distributed throughout neighborhoods, lack of transportation to grocery stores, or healthy foods being out of a family’s price range. Those facing food injustices are often afflicted disproportionately by food related illnesses. Most of the illnesses are preventable with nutrition education and access to a healthy diet. Many organizations and non-profits work hard to bring healthy food to these areas in need.
Food Insecure Areas
As part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity, the US Department of Agriculture collected data and created this map that locates food insecure areas. USDA also defined “food deserts” as areas lacking fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthy food options, generally in impoverished communities. The first step to combatting food injustice issues is defining which areas are considered at risk. Then organizations can target these areas and work to improve access to healthy food.
In theory, all of these issues should be preventable by having a healthy diet complete with fresh fruits and vegetables. However, for individuals that live in areas without access to healthy food items it is extremely difficult to maintain a healthy diet and there are many consequences that plague these people because of their living situation.
• At least 2.8 million people die every year because of obesity (World Health Organization)
• 44% diabetes result of being obese
Increased premature deaths resulting from diet related diseases
Check out these TED talks to hear from people what it’s like to live without readily accessible healthy fresh food and learn what creative steps some groups are taking to battle food insecurity.
Inequalities from our history transcend to the present and manifest itself in the distribution and ownership of land, crops, and farms.
This group reminds youth that food originates from the earth, not the grocery store by handing over the tools and engaging them with farming.
Food is a universal need, and in this case farming was used as a vessel to break barriers. Prisoners became farmers and check out how it went.
This powerful TED Talk opens listeners eyes and ears to what it’s truly like to live in an area with food insecurity. “I live in a community where I can get a semi-automatic weapon faster than I can get a tomato.”