The existence of food deserts, areas with low-income populations who have low access to healthy food options, has become a problem in United States, affecting major cities within the country. Food deserts are mainly created by the closure of large supermarket chains in poor areas, which forces the people in that community to shop at convenience stores and gas stations, which in contrast to vegetables and fruits, offer packaged foods that are low in nutrition and high in calories.
These food deserts negatively impact the community in various ways. One is the negative effects on health of the people and the increase in nutrition related health problems such as obesity and diabetes. The second effect of food deserts is the racial segregation that goes along with it. According to multiple studies that were done regarding food deserts and their relation to race, areas that have a mostly African Americans have fewer supermarkets per person than areas that have a dominant white population. This segregation also extend to socio-economic status, since low income neighborhoods within urban communities, the people who need access to fresh and healthy food the most, have less supermarkets than affluent of middle level income neighborhoods. Continue reading Can Urban Agriculture Eradicate Food Deserts?
Chemical fertilizers, E.coli, mono-cropping, fast-food restaurants, unethical treatment of animals, high fructose corn syrup, natural, genetically modified, Monsanto, Tyson, exploitation of small farmers, obesity, diabetes, food safety… These are some of the words that accurately describe the current state of the food industry in the United States. There are a handful of big suppliers, who control the majority of the food system, who use highly mechanized processes to produce food that contains chemicals. Small scale farmers are forced to go out of business since they can’t compete with the massive multinational corporations, the dollar menu at McDonalds is cheaper than buying vegetables, and diabetes in the US is at an all-time high (Clemens). As more and more of the hidden costs of how agribusinesses work start to surface, the amount of people who question these methods start to increase. One of these people is Will Allen, who is the founder and owner of the non-profit organization Growing Power Inc. Allen is trying “to create an alternative to the nation’s centralized food system by teaching people how to grow food, cook food and embrace a way of living that’s sustainable.” (Allen, xiii) This paper will look at the actions of Growing Power Inc. through the lenses of consequentialism and evaluate this viewpoint in terms of its sufficiency to explain the situation. Continue reading The Growing Power of Urban Agriculture