Please define food desert. Discuss the health implications of food deserts and why this is an environmental justice issue.

Please define food desert. Discuss the health implications of food deserts and why this is an environmental justice issue. Answer why healt…

Define Food Desert


Write a 2–3 page paper discussing food access as an environmental health and an environmental justice issue. Please define food desert. Discuss the health implications of food deserts and why this is an environmental justice issue. Answer why healthy, affordable food may be difficult to obtain in food deserts. Provide suggestions to alleviate this environmental health issue.

For your information, you can look at the United States Department of Agriculture food access map.

Food Desert


Defining a food desert is not an exact science; elements like geography, race, socioeconomic status, and transit accessibility all play a role. Food deserts have had a severe environmental health impacts that can have long-term consequences for families. Food deserts are vast sections of the country where traditional grocery stores are few or non-existent.

Food deserts are primarily prevalent in low-income communities. They can be found in urban, suburban, or rural areas. While there is no universal definition, food deserts are defined as areas where residents lack affordable access to nutritional foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Instead of grocery farmers’ markets, these communities frequently feature suitable stores and gas stations with limited space for a shelf that is meant for healthful selections, rendering nutritious foods inaccessible to many families.

The deficiency of desert food causes more harm than good. Consumption of fast food foods regularly can lead to obesity, health concerns, and even life shortening. Moreover, this is only the start. To live one’s life to the fullest, one must restrict junk food consumption, which not only has a destructive bodily impact but also has the potential to become addictive.

Fast food has a plethora of drawbacks. The majority of desert food is deep-fried, which means it is rich in calories and fats. The majority of the people today are not qualified athletes; therefore, they will not burn off the calories taken during one of these meals physically (Su et al., 2017).

Therefore, fast food causes more harm than good. Consumption of desert food foods regularly can lead to obesity, health concerns, and even life shortening. It is an environmental issue because food deserts can indicate more outstanding long-term issues, such as environmental issues.

Significant sectors of the local population cannot obtain fresh, healthy food in a food desert, which can be defined by location, income, or transportation time/access. That is a threat to food security.

Drought, groundwater depletion, and climate change are all examples of environmental issues that can drastically reduce food production and boost food expenditures over time. As a result, public health issues such as obesity and hunger may worsen, potentially leading to the terrifying situation of people going hungry (Su et al., 2017)

Residents who reside in the food desert areas find it hard to find culturally suitable foods for them. Dietary limitations, such as gluten allergies, lactose intolerance, and other food sensitivities, limit food options for those individuals that lack access to bigger stores with more variety.

Research has shown that city dweller who always purchases food at small locality businesses pay between 4 and 38 percent more than those who dwell in sub-urban areas who buy similar things at supermarkets. Healthier meals are more expensive than unhealthy meals, especially in food deserts (Allcott et al., 2019).

For instance, while the total price of vegetables and fruits in the United States climbed by approximately over 75% between 1989 and 2005, the price of fatty meals reduced by 25%.  This kind of inflation has put a burden on many families’ food budgets irrespective of their socioeconomic situation. The rising cost of healthful foods often puts them out of reach for many low-income people.

People in the society residing in food deserts have always had inadequate access to nutritious and inexpensive food. This has been attributed to a lack of funds or the need to go further to locate healthy food options. People in food desert areas have inadequate access to a variety of nutritious diets. This could be due to inadequate access to nutritious and affordable meals or a limited budget.

Food desert residents may have restricted access to supermarkets and other food shops that sell healthy and affordable goods (Allcott et al., 2019). Even when healthful goods are available at convenience stores and small grocery shops, they are typically out of reach for low-income people.

Individuals who live in food desert areas rely more on food merchants and fast-food restaurants that offer an affordable but limited selection of items. Poor diets heavy in sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats may be connected to a lack of healthy foods and easy access to fast food. This can exacerbate dietary-related illnesses like high blood pressure and heart disease.

To solve these problems, you will have to untangle a slew of causes that have been buried for years. One of the tools used to combat this is education, which is often aimed at youth. Initiatives like the Edible Schoolyard Project and the Healthy Harvests Initiative teach children as young as kindergarten the importance of good nutrition by teaching them how to grow their fruits and vegetables in small sustainable gardens (Allcott et al., 2019).

Professional chefs are striving to enhance public school menus while teaching students about the benefits of healthy eating as part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, which aims to endorse education in urban centers through school programs. Using a map to detect local food deserts can be a fun and helpful approach to involve your society in a long-term conversation about an essential aspect of their life.

It can also add a fascinating backdrop to reporting on associated environmental issues, such as urban gardens and zoning, water conservation, local food production, incorporating food stores in economic progress efforts, and transportation planning.

The final way of solving these environmental issues is to use the popular mobile and web communication channels effectively; these are found in an internet search. It can also make effective use of popular mobile and web communication channels.

food desert


Allcott, H., Diamond, R., Dubé, J. P., Handbury, J., Rahkovsky, I., & Schnell, M. (2019). Food deserts and the causes of nutritional inequality. The Quarterly Journal of Economics134(4), 1793-1844.

Su, S., Li, Z., Xu, M., CAI, Z., & Weng, M. (2017). A geo-big data approach to intra-urban food deserts: Transit-varying accessibility, social inequalities, and implications for urban planning. Habitat International64, 22-40.

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