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How to Make Healthy Choices in a Food Desert

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Unfortunately, a major agricultural problem that America is facing is food deserts. These are areas where people lack access to fresh food, and unfortunately, we are seeing this predominantly in Black communities. In the U.S. alone, 6.1% of our population is dealing with this.

Until this problem is resolved, there are a few steps you can take to ensure the health and well-being of your family.

1-Stock Up

Because of food deserts, families are forced to drive to neighboring cities to grab food supplies that should be available in their own areas. Nonetheless, one great way to not feel like you are lacking resources is to bulk up on as much healthy food as possible.
While fresh food doesn’t last that long, healthier foods like canned vegetables and frozen fruit can last for weeks (at least). Stocking up will minimize the overall amount of food trips you will have to make and provide a daily source of nutritious food. It is also a cost-effective method, you just have to make sure that you are strictly budgeting each month.

2-Fast Food

This might sound crazy, but a lot of fast-food restaurants do have healthy options on their menu. It’s true! And in food deserts, there are more fast food chains than farmers markets. So, remove that stereotype in your head that all fast food is bad for you. Research the products that they are selling. You might be surprised at how much healthy food was right under your nose.

A staff member is seen at a Taco Bell restaurant in London. Taco Bell is an American multinational chain of fast food restaurants founded in 1962 by Glen Bell in Downey, California. (Getty Images)


As Clark Atlanta University says, ‘I’ll find a way or make one’! Invest in your own health by creating your own garden inside of your home or in your backyard. Not only are you growing healthy food on your own, but you are in control of making sure of where your food is coming from and ensuring its purity. Produce in grocery stores is exposed to so many people and can be grown with a lot of preservatives. Better to be safe than sorry.

4- More for Me

It may sound stupid, but cooking bigger portions while located inside a food desert is actually a great idea. Because you are cooking meals that can last for several days, you are minimizing the need for going out and getting more supplies, thus saving money and maximizing on only eating healthy products.

It’s better to eat off of a nutritional meal for a few days and go to the grocery store once a week, as opposed to running out of supplies mid-week and having to rely on unhealthy local foods to get you through.

A discount sign is seen at a supermarket in central Manchester, Britain, Sept. 21, 2023. (Getty Images)

5-Speak Out

Want to make the world a better place? Well, it starts with you. Be a voice in your community. Make it clear to your city/state that your community does not deserve to have to fend for themselves in a food desert. Take to social media and make your voice heard!

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