Being a Public Health major, there is a big emphasis on food deserts. Currently, there food deserts right here in the Near West Side. Did you know that? However, the further South you go, the more food deserts exist. These locations are predominately home to the minority populations. The lack of access to fresh and nutritious foods can lead to many potential health problems. Therefore, most people in these communities experience chronic health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
What can we do? The best course of action would be to increase urban farming in areas living in food deserts. For example, there’s an urban farm in the community of Englewood. During the week, I ride the Metra Southwest Service line, which runs through Englewood. Whenever I am on the train, I notice the abundance of abandon and condemned homes. All this unused land while people in the community are living in a food desert. However, Englewood does have an urban farm called Growing Home. According to Growing Home (2015), 30,000 pounds of organic produce was harvested, and 618 neighbors attended their healthy eating workshops, cooking and garden demonstration event (2015). Thus, having this farm in the neighborhood offered resident reduce fresh, healthy foods for a reduction of price.
This plan would be beneficial because it would create more food secure areas. Also, there is an economic impact in food desserts. According to Brown and Jameton (2001) “Since economic factors are undeniably the single most powerful predictors of food security, successful urban entrepreneur gardens could be said to benefit the nutritional health of a community indirectly by providing income and employment opportunities for low- income households and thereby contributing to their ability to purchase a healthy diet” (Brown and Jameton, 2001). Therefore, not only are they encouraging healthy eating, but they are creating economic opportunities. The benefits of urban sustainability are methods of food cultivation are low on energy and transportation. Therefore, foods don’t require transportation from countries to states and saves cost. Urban farming could be a solution to the abundance of food deserts in Chicago.
Brown, K. H., & Jameton, A. L.. (2000). Public Health Implications of Urban
Agriculture. Journal of Public Health Policy, 21(1), 20–39.
Gallagher Research & Consulting Group, M. (2006). EXAMINING THE IMPACT OF
FOOD DESERTS ON PUBLIC HEALTH IN CHICAGO (Rep.). Chicago, IL: Lasalle
Growing Home Impact at a Glance. (2015). Retrieved February 18, 2016, from