Do You Live in A Food Desert?
Over the past eight (8) years we have seen First Lady Michelle Obama exercising and planting gardens with children, and ensuring that our children have healthy food in schools. Let’s Move, a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, is dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. One of the goals of this initiative is that children born today will grow up healthier and be able to pursue their dreams by living healthier lives. A component of the Let’s Move initiative that I will focus on are food deserts. http://www.letsmove.gov/blog/2011/05/03/interactive-web-tool-maps-food-deserts-provides-key-data
The USDA defines food deserts as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods. Food deserts are usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers. Food deserts can also be found in rural or urban areas, where there is abundance of quick marts that provide unhealthy foods and have low quantities of fruits and vegetables for consumption. The people they serve generally don’t have transportation to travel outside the food deserts, limiting their food intake options.
Some of the foods we receive at Land of Promise are from food banks that participate in Foods to Encourage (F2E). According to data from Feeding America, F2E are designed to more accurately evaluate and describe the nutritional contributions of the food categories in network food banks’ inventories. At Land of Promise, we have seen increased access and distribution of F2E. There have been increases of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat lean proteins.
To determine if you live in a food desert, the USDA has a map outlining our nation’s food deserts: http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/usda-defines-food-deserts.
"In the end, as First Lady, this isn’t just a policy issue for me. This is a passion. This is my mission. I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition."
- First Lady Michelle Obama
“Let’s All Eat Together”