Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio said, “This is what people don’t understand: obesity is a symptom of poverty. It’s not a lifestyle choice where people are just eating and not exercising. It’s because kids – and this is the problem with school lunch right now – are getting sugar, fat, empty calories – lots of calories – but no nutrition.” Like Chef Colicchio, celebrity chefs around the world are trying to raise awareness for poor diets. Many of these celebrity chefs are working closely with schools and food retailers to promote healthy eating and educate people what a proper diet consists of. There are multiple factors to why obesity occurs, but a major factor is food deserts. Food deserts are areas that lack affordable and nutritious food, but are typically full of fast food restaurants and convenience stores. These restaurants and stores offer food that lacks almost any nutrition (Britanica). I believe one way to help solve the issue of food deserts is with my app idea, “Chef it Up”.
One of the biggest issues with food deserts is the lack of grocery stores. Many stores will be incorrectly classified as a grocery store. These markets don’t even sell any fresh fruit or vegetables, just quick to make food (Alviola, 2013). The app “Chef it Up” is an interactive meal service and planning guide for families. Users will select the meals they wish to eat for the following week from a list of menu options. “Chef it Up” will then deliver all of the ingredients needed to make the dishes. Users then have a full week of meals that are both healthy and delicious.
Many food deserts are riddled with fast food restaurants due to the inexpensiveness and convenience of how fast it is. Often times, people find themselves not wanting to cook after a long day at work, so they go to whatever is the easiest to eat. “Chef it Up” will also provide the option of premade dinners. These meals would just have to be heated by oven or microwave, and would have significantly more nutrition than fast food. Another reason fast food is a go-to in food deserts is because they are typically in low-income areas (Britanica). Fast food is typically very cheap, so the draw to it increases. “Chef it Up” will offer local produce which is rather inexpensive. “Chef it Up” will also accept food stamps due to the larger number of food stamp recipients in low-income areas.
Food education is another issue in food deserts. Since children grow up eating junk food that just has to be heated, they have smaller desire and need to learn how to cook. “Chef it Up” would team up with celebrity chef’s and create video’s showing how to make every meal offered on the app. This app is made for both adults and children to use on their own or together as a family.
“Chef it Up” is an interactive and educational app that shows anyone can cook a healthy and delicious meal. Convenience is a large issue for food deserts. It’s inconvenient to travel to the grocery store due to transportation restrictions and distance, but its convenient to go down the street to the 7/11 to pick up something with little to no nutritious value. “Chef it Up” combats this convenience by bringing the food directly to your doorstep. “Chef it Up” is a potential first step in riding the world of food deserts.
Alviola,Pedro A., IV, Nayga,Rodolfo M.,,Jr, & Thomsen, M. (2013). Food deserts and childhood obesity. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 35(1), 106-124.
“Food Desert” (2015). In Encyclopedia Britannica