Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Can America’s Urban Food Deserts Bloom?

In the introduction to “Can American’s Urban Food Deserts Bloom” Gray writes “it’s also raising an intriguing proposition: Can an inner-city supermarket profitably specialize in fresh produce and meats and, ultimately, be a model solution to urban American’s health crisis?” The author begins the article to define “Food Deserts” term by giving a real example located on Chicago’s South Side. Basically, he discusses an important issue for those whom suffer of seeking for healthier food such as fruits and vegetables because they live far away form the cities. Therefore, these people feed themselves from the fast food which is obviously considered unhealthy food and leads to fat disease. The author shows us how this disease has been increased among the population in the U.S. According to the article, the writer says “Experts have declared roughly half of Detroit (pop. 916,000) a food desert and estimate that nearly 633,000 of Chicago’s 3 million residents live in neighborhoods either lacking or far away from conventional supermarkets like Jewel, Pathmark, and Winn-Dixie. The paucity of affordable, healthy food options in urban communities is ironic in a country with an abundance of food.”

Then, the writer gives an example of the food deserts stores which is own by Karriem Beyah. The store is located in Chicago’s South Side and called “Farmers Best Market”. Karriem started his business in the black neighborhood where he lives, but unfortunately he realized that people, who live in the neighborhood, do not appreciate the value of healthy food. Karriem says “I’d have to have a higher class of African Americans, that recognize the value of fruits and vegetables.” Then, Karriem decided to open his store in another neighborhood after he felt frustrated of the black neighborhood. He found that Latinos neighborhood is better because they want to purchase fresh fruits and vegetable and in the same time they have a big numbers of folks. The store provides healthy food for the neighborhood, and the owner tries to achieve neighborhood’s needs of a great food. On the other hand, the store does not make that much profit for its owner. Karriem attempts to reach people by advertising through the black radio stations to obtain their attentions and educate them about the healthy food. He says “We are trying to teach the children how to eat properly”. He believes that his idea will be successful in the future.

Watch this video for Urban Deserts: Fresh-Food-Free Zones at Farmers Best Market
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By Khalid Alnassar

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