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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Addressing Food Deserts Is No Simple Task

Quality, choice and mobility are just as important as making fresh produce more available.

sand dune, desert

Photo: Lawrence Murray (Flickr)

What are some environmental factors that help you choose nutritious foods?

Quality, Choice

Tackling food deserts is complicated.

A recent study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition looked at 495 individuals in six low-income Chicago neighborhoods. It turns out, like anyone else, low-income shoppers want good quality produce and options.

These results, though hardly surprising, mean it’s going to take a lot more than just throwing fruits and vegetables on store shelves to convince people to actually buy them.

Transportation, Temptation

Echoing these findings, Roland Sturm at the RAND Corporation is challenging the idea that access to healthy food necessarily leads to healthier people.

He argues transportation also plays a huge role in consumption habits. (His research has focused on California, where local availability isn’t as big of a concern since much of the population drives.)

And there’s always the familiar problem that when any of us are faced with the choice between candy and fruit, candy often wins.

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Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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