Just as I was finishing up my post on food deserts, this map fell into my lap.
See that? Think it’s cool? If you click this link, you can visit the interactive version, which allows you to explore, in depth, county by county (parish?) every city in the US. While it may have inaccurate spots, it is still a good guide. There have been reports of certain suburban areas being inaccurately painted as food deserts which makes sense – most suburban areas have high car usage, which would likely compel someone to declare “it’s not a fod desert!” Uh, it is – you’re all just privileged enough to not feel the effects of it.
Quoting The Atlantic:
According to government agencies assigned to look at food availability as part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, a “food desert” is defined as a low-income census tract with limited-access to healthy food. In urban areas, that means it’s more than 1 mile away from a large grocery store or supermarket or 10 miles in the case of rural ones. The map of these census tracts show how common these food deserts are across the United States.
The graphic is an overview from the recently launched Food Desert Locator, which provides detailed information about food access. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, 13.5 million people fit the criteria of living in one of these areas. But don’t let the area on the map fool you: the vast majority of these people live in urban areas–82 percent according to the ERS.
So… can we stop playing blindfolded games with this silly “There’s no such thing as a food desert!” back and forth and be about the business of figuring out how to get more grocery stores in areas that need them, since there is obviously a need?