Many neighborhoods don’t have access to healthy fresh foods, causing people to have to go out of their area to find better choices.
Some that don’t have travel access or the means to commute have to rely on what is available and affordable.
There are widespread food vacuums that exist, and communities in the midst of one don’t have whole foods stores, supermarkets and garden fresh farmer’s markets. Another thing they often don’t have is the necessary nutrients essential for health and development.
Though these areas are globally widespread, there is a common factor that seems to exist in many of them – An overwhelming majority of food vacuums are in areas where there is a lower socioeconomic dynamic. Poorer populations exist in rural as well as urban areas, although inner city dwellers often don’t have the land space for a garden, forcing a deficit in options for obtaining fresh produce.
Places that don’ t have grocery stores nearby cause people to do their shopping where they can, often in gas stations, convenience stores and even liquor stores because these are many times more marketable and profitable than healthy foods stores. These stores are not usually known for their variety of healthy options but for sugar filled empty calorie snacks, and the rare healthful item that is offered is often overpriced and sometimes less than quality.
When considering the food waste issue, it seems inconceivable that in one part of a geographic area people are throwing away their dinner leftovers while just around the corner some meals, which do not constitute an actual wholesome meal but could be a preservative laden snack, doesn’t lend to many leftovers. Further, those living in severe economic struggle combined with food scarcity at times can’t afford to shop at convenience marts for their meals.
Food justice forces are taking a stand for the right for all communities, regardless of financial status, to have access to fresh food choices. Nourishment should be affordable and developed with respect to the land and people who grow and consume it. Communities that employ food justice models create a sustaining local network as well as healthier residents.
The food justice movement recognizes that the current way food is disturbed is skewed and needs to be proportionate so that all receive proper sustenance. It seems in the marketable mainstream we have largely become a society where things are not valued as important unless they can turn a profit.
When children, simply by living in a particular area, do not have healthy food selections while others may have several shopping options nearby, it just makes no sense that this unjust distribution continues. It doesn’t take a lengthy research report to explain that without adequate and proper nutrition people, children especially, are vulnerable to developmental and learning deficiencies with lasting effects.
Though many organizations work every day to bring light to this issue and provide proactive, much needed solutions, there are still many more people and places that no one is collecting data on, no one has rallied an organization to help and provisions from the local gas station will be for dinner.
Putting health and basic needs at the forefront can lead to stronger communities.
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