Thursday, September 20, 2007

This was a cool story

From the New Communities Program website talked about making fresh foods on urban farms around the city or farmer's markets around the city (one farmer's market you can go to on the south side was one located near Seaway National Bank at the main branch on 87th and Langley). Anyway I really liked this paragraph...

In South Chicago, a fruit and vegetable garden on the border of a racially divided area has forged relationships among diverse residents. In Englewood , an organic farm replaced an ugly vacant lot and became a job training site for ex-offenders and others.
Of course this story addresses an issue that I and I imagine many over Chicago area residents have read about in the newspapers. How people in poor neighborhoods lack access to a good supermarket. In some corner stores in neighborhoods without supermarkets the best food you can get maybe cold cuts, cereal, potato chips, popcorn, candy, Hostess cakes, etc. The stuff people should be eating, especially young people, such as fruits and vegetable you might not find at a corner store in an impoverished neighborhood.

Here's a little more about what this article is driving at...
The three initiatives come at a time of rising concern over poor nutrition and obesity in low-income areas. A recent study identified many African-American communities in Chicago, including large sections of South Chicago and Englewood, as "food deserts" because of their poor access to grocery stores.

Those residing in food deserts were more likely to become obese, even after accounting for education and income. They were also significantly more likely to suffer from diabetes and heart disease and face premature death, the study found.

"It's easy for people to say 'You should eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day,' but that's very difficult to do when you don't have access to fresh produce," says Chris Kierig of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children.
I'm sure uniniated probably would like to know what quantifies a food desert. What does it mean to have "poor access to grocery stores"?

Anyway a good article worth bringing to your attention.

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