Do you know what a Food Desert is? A Food Desert is a geographic area where access to affordable, healthy food options (aka fresh fruits and veggies) is limited or nonexistent because grocery stores and the lack of suppliers of fresh foods, such as meats, fruits, and vegetables are too far away.
This classification figures in the type and quality of food available to the population, as well as accessibility of food in comparison to the size and location of the food stores. In return the available foods are often processed and high in fats and sugar. Yuck!
Healthier foods are generally more expensive than unhealthful foods, particularly in food deserts. According to The Harvard School of Public Health, healthy diets in America are going to cost you approximately $1.50 more per day than eating unhealthy, assuming you have the same access to both. If all you have regular access to is fast food or convenience store produce, that price goes way way up! While inflation has strained the food budgets of many families regardless of their financial status, the higher cost of healthy foods often puts them entirely beyond the monetary means of many lower-income people. Not fair!
The good news is that public awareness of the food issues posed by food deserts is growing, thanks to the efforts of community activists, entrepreneurs and government officials committed to increasing people’s access to healthy food options. It is more important than ever for schools to integrate an AFNR (Agriculture Farming Natural Resources) curriculum at an early age to help teach and foster an appreciation for Urban Farming in the areas hit hardest by food deserts and provide healthy, fresh food options. Educating our youth will help to ensure that healthy food is available to all!