Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dinner at the Kwik-E-Mart: Food Deserts in America

Slate has an interactive graphic about a hot-button topic in food policy circles - food deserts. A food desert, loosely defined, is an area where a significant percentage of the population has no car and does not have a supermarket within walking distance (usually considered to be 1 mile). Here's the main graphic, but head over to Slate for the interactive version:

Food deserts are a widespread problem - 2.3 million American households have neither a car nor a supermarket within walking distance, meaning that they often have to rely on unhealthy foods from convenience stores or other unreliable sources, or that getting food from supermarkets is a burden. As the map above makes clear, it's a problem concentrated in central Appalachia and the deep South, with some very isolated pockets in the West. One more food policy problem to add to the agenda ....

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