Sunday, July 31, 2011

Healthy Eating from Convenience Store Shelves at Three Times the Cost: A Public Health Dilemma

1. Food desert A food desert is any area in the industrialized world where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain.

These groceries cost three times what they would in a typical suburban grocery store.  Less healthy food is  far more affordable in an urban convenience store.  This is having an impact on the health of people living in cities.

A convenience store culinary creation--avocado and shrimp on a toasted whole grain bagel drizzled with olive oil.  Ingredients were gathered from various convenience stores along Wells Street and Wisconsin Avenue....

Dining recommendations for Milwaukee's West Side (University Hill):   what Marquette students and their neighbors eat....

High priced and old:   produce from a neighborhood convenience store...

The closest grocery store on foot:  MetroMart (like Wegmans for folks on the East Coast and just as pricey).  Metromart is located 1.6 mile from Milwaukee's West Side.  A round trip bus ride downtown will cost you $4.50.

For more on the complexity of food deserts, friend and fellow AAAS Fellow wrote a great article in the LA Times this summer:  The problem extends beyond the lack of fresh food in some city neighborhoods; it's also a proliferation of fast food restaurants in the inner city.  Given the choice of fresh food or fast food, according to Daniela Hernandez's article, people choose the latter.