The definition of a food desert is any area where a significant number of people reside more than a mile away from a grocery store in an urban community and in a rural community more than ten miles away from a grocery store. In some cases, it includes lower income areas where a majority of the population don’t have access to transportation and/or reside 20 miles from a grocery store. The USDA has created an interactive Food Access Research Atlas Map that highlights by color, which communities in America fall under these definitions. They have used a combination of census information along with supermarket and retail food statistics to create a map that offers a variety of detail choices for food access around the country. The interactive part, allows the user to create a more in-depth map of specific areas, based on the criteria available for the community.
The first thing that you notice when you look at this map, is the amount of color coded areas that display those people that reside more than ten miles from a supermarket. A majority of the large coded areas appear to be West of The Rocky Mountains, with the Midwest and East Coast offering a speckling of smaller communities that fall into this description. You have the ability to select specific layer indicators to show each specific level, based on the criteria you are seeking. The green display shows the original food desert guidelines, which are one to ten miles from food access. Gold is .5 to ten miles to food access. Red is one to twenty miles and yellow is lacking vehicle access to food.
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5 Responses to “Food Shortages in America: The Scary Facts about U.S. Food Deserts”
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I grew up in the city and fresh fruits and vegetables were only available in the grocery store. My Mom was a country girl and said they were old, stale and low quality. On weekends we would drive into the country to find roadside stands and she was in her glory. We were poor, but at least we had a car.April 14th, 2013 at 6:22 pm
We never know how lucky we are until we find out that the people we might pass on the street, are actually hungry.April 13th, 2013 at 10:21 pm
People in other countries that come to visit think all Americans have access to unlimited amounts of food. Some countries are still in the dark ages and those people that come here will spend hours wandering around a grocery store here. Just goes to show you that we have problems too, they are just hidden.April 12th, 2013 at 8:47 pm
I will never again dislike going to the market. It’s usually not my favorite place, but now I realize I am lucky.April 11th, 2013 at 2:32 pm
I never knew there were that many areas that didn’t have access to food. You always assume that because someone lives in the country, near farms, that they can get as much food as they want. I guess we assume too much.April 10th, 2013 at 8:07 am