The food we eat

Screenshot 2017-04-20 06.26.16My favorite supermarket is definitely Trader Joe’s.

Farmers market? Orange Farmers Market in Orange, Conn.

And if I want to purchase my ‘ethnic’ food products, I head to aisle 4 in ShopRite. I have several options and the privilege to shop where I want for my groceries.

But what happens to people who live in urban areas and do not have access to supermarkets? And what about people who can’t afford to shop at Trader Joe’s? Or buy their groceries in bulk? They don’t starve, but they fill their bodies with empty calories and fattening foods because they are cheap.

Screenshot 2017-04-20 06.25.18HBO produced a short documentary, The Weight of the Nation, that addresses just how much this impacts the lives of those who are living in a ‘food desert.’ With little to no access to fresh fruits and vegetables — and fast food chains on every corner — how exactly is this population supposed to be healthy or fit? With health initiatives being enacted all over the country, including former First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, there seems to be little to no effort to provide these areas with the fresh fruits and vegetables that they need.

Most lifestyle blogs today advocate for veganism or eating all organic foods. Some people look down on others for what they eat, yet little thought is put into the location of supermarkets, or whether there’s effective transportation to buy groceries in bulk, affordable organic and fresh produce.

These factors and more all need to be addressed when discussing health and wellness, especially in low-income neighborhoods. The next time you take a trip to the grocery store, consider how privileged you are to be able to feed your body fresh foods, and consider the children being raised on Big Macs and Quarter Pounders off the dollar menu at McDonald’s and think about how we can eliminate food deserts in our communities.

By Kayra Clouden

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