Fixing Food Deserts

Otherwise known as food deserts, for the lack of fresh produce and healthy food choices, efforts are being made to remedy the problem.

Thanks to Micelle Obama for taking up the cause and creating awareness, grocery stores are being built in once forgotten areas.

“Simply providing fruits and vegetables may not be enough if [they] don’t meet the expectations of those people who are supposed to buy them,” Jonathan Blitstein, a research psychologist at Research Triangle Institute and lead author of the paper, tells The Salt.

In other words, low-income shoppers dislike wilted lettuce just as much as anyone else. Not shocking.

Providing a wide variety of choices as well as well maintained and fresh produce will go a long way to encourage people to buy fresh, healthy ingredients to prepare for their families.

Food Stamp Challenge: Living on $30.00 a week

Living on food stamps is a reality for one in four families in the United States.

Making healthy food choices is just one issue.

The other is, can you buy enough food for $30.00 to last a whole week?

One reporter took the challenge for one week and discovered how difficult it really is to feed yourself with $30.00 a week.

One in four families – according to the Food Research and Action Center – worry about having enough money to feed themselves and their families. And for those who may get the help of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or food stamps, it still may not be enough to buy the minimum amount of food the United States Department of Agriculture says people need to survive.

Feeding the Hungry in New York

Feeding New York’s low income families is the mission of Gina Keatley.

Having once been homeless herself she knows the needs of the hungry; hungry for knowledge, hungry for food and hungry for the flavors of healthy nutritious foods.

Educating parents and children is her strategy to break the cycle of hunger.

By giving away fruits and vegetables and demonstrating healthy cooking techniques, Keatley is a huge part of the solution to poor nutrition, obesity and diabetes among the poor.

Would Taxing Junk Food Lead to Healthier Choices?

Eating healthy may require some help from Uncle Sam.

The United States government indirectly subsidizes junk food through national corn and soy bean subsidy programs, which help keep down the cost of highly processed food items containing corn and soy. Subsidization is clearly possible: all we have to do is switch the focus of subsidy programs to more beneficial foods, making it easier for everyone to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies.

This tactic has been bandied about regarding soft drinks and saturated fats but now, perhaps, a more unilateral approach is necessary.

Subsidizing health foods may be the incentive consumers need to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Check out the film making team of Joav and Shirah Potash.
They have produced the documentary, “Food Stamped” which highlights the stumbling blocks food stamp recipients face when planning to provide healthy meals for their families.

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