Low-income & low-grade Food

After consideration of many topics, it seems that food justice is the topic that is most interesting.   The food business has always thrived and created an unlimited amount of ways to make food interesting for all types of people from many cultures and backgrounds but it is important to recognize those that may not be as fortunate. The specific topic of food justice that will be focused upon is nutrition and affordability for low-income families.   These families usually have a difficult time affording the right food or being educated about what’s right and what’s wrong to eat. The cheapest food is usually the worst type of food. This is one thing that has to change for these low-income communities. The lack of funding in these communities can lead to unhealthy conditions and obesity. According to Hillary Burdette, “Fast food restaurants may also be more concentrated in low-income neighborhoods. The proportion of children’s meals consumed at fast food restaurants has increased in parallel with the childhood obesity epidemic, and consumption of fast food has been frequently implicated as an important cause of childhood obesity” (Burdette. 2004). You tend to see more fast food restaurants populated within areas that are of lower-income because they usually are more affordable. This is definitely a strategy they use when building these restaurants in neighborhoods like this. People just want to survive and will do whatever they believe will contribute to that survival.

According to Eileen Kennedy and Lawrence Haddad’s article, Lessons learned and future priorities, “We now know that national food self-sufficiency is a poor proxy for household food security. It is common to have 20-30% of the population consuming less than 80% of caloric requirements even when the per capita supply of food within the country is at or above 100% of needs.’ It is the household’s ability to obtain food that is critical in ensuring household food security. Of course the ability to obtain food is related to the household’s purchasing power, which in turn is related to the household’s income” (Kennedy 2). The household’s income is the determinant of food security and it is unfortunate that it has to be that way. People should be assisted more or at least be supplied with the education on how to eat better on a budget.   There are ways to supply the correct resources. One way is through the use and operation of food deserts. “The term “food desert” was reputedly first used by a resident of a public sector housing scheme in the west of Scotland in the early 1990s to capture the experience of living in a deprived neighborhood where food was expensive and relatively unobtainable. The phrase first appeared in an “official” publication in 1995, as part of a report from a policy-working group investigating grocery distribution and food retailing on behalf of the Low Income Project Team of the UK government’s Nutrition Task Force. Since then the term has been increasingly used by academics, policymakers, and community groups as shorthand to describe populated urban areas where residents do not have access to an affordable and healthy diet” (Cummins 2014). This is what low-incomes families need more of. Food deserts and less fast food restaurants can be a huge contribution to prevent obesity in these neighborhoods. This is what makes food justice so important.

Citations:

1.Burdette, H., & Whitaker, R. (2004). Neighborhood playgrounds, fast food restaurants, and crime: Relationships to overweight in low-income preschool children. Preventive Medicine, 38(1), 57-63. Retrieved February 22, 2015, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743503002330

2. Kennedy, E., & Haddad, L. (1995). Lessons learned and future priorities. Viewpoint, 2-6.  Retrieved February 22, 2015.

3. Cummins, S. (2014). Food Deserts. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society, 1-1. Retrieved February 22, 2015.

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