The Grocery Gap Report

A few posts ago, we made a case for improving the food system in the US. Our interest in and research on the food system points to the reality that unhealthy system leads to an unhealthy populace. Our argument has been strengthened by a joint report from Policy Link and the Food Trust that was released this week. The Grocery Gap: Who Has Healthy Food and Why it Matters details how the color of one's skin and the income one earns has a drastic effect on the food choices that are then available. This in turn has a direct affect on health, as evidenced by the numerous studies cited in the repot. Some of the incredible findings revealed in the report:
- 23.5 million people in the US lack access to a supermarket within a mile of their home.
- eight percent of African Americans live in a census tract with a supermarket, compared to 31 percent of whites.
- Nationally, low-income zip codes have 30 percent more convenience stores, which tend to lack healthy items, than middle-income zip codes.
- For every additional supermarket in a census tract, produce consumption increases 32 percent for African Americans and 11 percent for whites, according to a multistate study.
- Residents who live near supermarkets or in areas where food markets selling fresh produce (supermarkets, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, etc.) outnumber food stores that generally do not (such as corner stores) have lower rates of diet-related diseases than their counterparts in neighborhoods lacking food access.

These are just some of the findings revealed from this report that has reviewed and compiled hundreds of studies from across the US on the issue of food, food availability, and health. The evidence continues to grow, that having access to healthy, fresh food is a privilege that falls along racial and economic lines. Further, the lack of such foods has grave consequences for people's health and well being, which only places greater stresses on all of our social institutions. It is becoming clear that through vast improvement of the US food system, there may result a much healthier nation.

You can read the executive report at the Policy Link website here>>>

Read the full report in our Scribd Library here>>>

photo courtesy of Civil Eats

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  1. Anonymous5:25 PM

    It's incredible, really, how restrictive access to healthy food can be. It's easy to take it for granted and complain about others' eating habits when you have the access yourself. What we find with this post is that eating healthy isn't necessarily a choice but a luxury. Which is a crime unto itself.

  2. Anonymous7:48 AM

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  3. You'd think something so basic as fruits and vegetables would be more readily available then processed things. Unfortunately that is not the case and I see it every day in the cafeteria.

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