When you picture someone being stranded on a desert with no food in sight, you would never think that a similar situation could be possible in a city, especially a city like Chicago. A food desert is defined as geographic areas where residents don’t have access to affordable and nutritious food within a convenient traveling distance. According to foodispower.org, Chicago has more than 500,000 residents who live in these food deserts and an additional 400,000 residents who live in areas filled with fast food restaurants yet no grocery stores. This is often the case within areas of low-income where people can’t afford cars to drive out to a grocery store. Many long term health affects of food deserts are obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many other diet related disease.
One possible solution to food deserts could be by planting urban gardens. According to Brown and Jameton, an average garden can produce $240 worth of food for no more than $9. Another interesting project that is being implemented are produce buses by Rham Emanuel according to the Chicago Tribune. These buses will operate in 13 on the Chicago Southside and Westside locations using mostly locally grown produce (90%). Fortunately, public awareness of this problem is growing thanks to community activists and government officials among others. As more people will be aware of this problem, new solutions can be generated.
Brown, K. H., & Lamenton, A. L. (2000). Public Health Implications of urban agriculture. Journal of Public Health Policy, 21(1), 23-23. Retrieved February 19, 2016, from https://us130urbansustainability.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/public-health-implications-of-urban-agriculture_brownjameton.pdf.
Food Deserts. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2016, from
Ruth art, B. (2015, July 10). Emanuel tries again to start produce bus in food deserts. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 19, 2016, from http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-rahm-emanuel-produce-bus-0711-20150710-story.htm