Food justice-Food desert and food waste

There are a lot of unfair existing in this world between people. Although in theory humans are created equally, but in fact this is an ideal thought. Inequality between people has never been eliminated, but ignored. As a foreigner, from my observation, American have a high obesity rate comparing with other countries. In my country, China, obese people generally symbolize rich, because the poor cannot afford enough to eat so that normally they look quite thin. But it is the opposite situation in the United States, Gottlieb and Joshi argued that “the omnipresence of this cheap, fast food has had a major impact on human health and is a prime contributor to the obesity epidemic that is ravaging communities across the globe” (2014). The low income group of people cannot afford health and fresh food, so they more usually eat fast food and processed food such as canned food every day. Most of these foods contain less nutrition but high calories and fat; people’s body get overweight easily. On the other hand, the group of high income people that can afford fresh food look thin because they eat healthy food every day. But I think people should have the same rights in choosing foods, the price difference between health food and unhealthy food is large enough to impact Americans’ health. So there is a phenomenon called “food desert” usually existing in urban areas and low income communities. “The term is used to describe populated urban areas where residents do not have access to an affordable and healthy diet” (Cummins, 2002).

Despite some people are suffering under food deserts, food waste problem is still existing. There is a food waste data on six Swedish supermarket was analyzed in the article “Carbon footprint of supermarket food waste”, “In total, 1570 t of perishable food (except bread) were wasted in the departments studied in the six retail stores during the three-year period (2010-2012)” (Scholz, Eriksson, and Strid, 2014). I have seen several times that stock employees take away food like bananas, potatoes, and other vegetables and fruits from the stock; and then put on new and look like perfectly fine food into the stock. Also, in the Deli area, I saw the employees mixed all the rest of food together into a box and took them away. I don’t think these foods would be sold again. Why these groceries keep doing this every day, don’t they feel this is inappropriate? Groceries do have promotions to help selling argi-products, but there are still many foods are tossing away every day. Even though, not all the stores would choose promotion to dispose foods because tossing away food is easier and faster therefore cheaper than sorting and selling it (Scholz, Eriksson and Strid, 2014).  Other solution like computer software exists to help stores plan daily food amount for their salad and hot bars. Many clarity organization should be encouraged to ask donation about the sort of “not perfect food” from big grocery companies. Stores can gain good impression and raise awareness of their business by donating, thus gaining more customers.


Bernau, C. (2011). Robert gottlieb and anupama joshi: Food justice. Human Ecology, 39(4), 547-549. doi:

Scholz, K., Eriksson, M., & Strid, I. (2014). Carbon footprint of supermarket food waste. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 94, 56-65. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from

Cummins, S., & Macintyre, S. (2002). “Food deserts”—evidence and assumption in health policy making. BMJ : British Medical Journal, 325(7361), 436–438.


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