Here is an article I found on the New York Times website. It's an editorial from this past March.
Michelle Obama’s recent pitch for fresh vegetables and her avowed interest in community gardens have given new life to those who are trying to replace cheap, fast foods with healthier fare. She could go one step further and greatly improve the health of the urban poor by adding her powerful voice to local efforts aimed at bringing fresh groceries into poorer neighborhoods.
There are communities across America where it’s almost impossible to find a fresh apple or an unfried potato. These neighborhoods are known as “food deserts.” Full-service grocery stores are often many blocks away and hard to reach, and what’s left are mostly fast-food outlets or chain drug stores selling products that, while cheap today, can extract huge health costs in obesity and diabetes later on.
Some cities are trying to bring back the corner grocery in these underserved areas. In Pennsylvania, the Fresh Food Financing Initiative has been particularly successful and has begun encouraging similar programs throughout the country.
In New York City, where perhaps 750,000 people inhabit food deserts, officials are just beginning to find ways to help. The city has expanded its licenses for carts selling fruits and vegetables, provided $2 bonuses for people using food stamps at greenmarkets and encouraged bodegas to offer healthier items like low-fat milk.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, among others, are looking at promising ideas like zoning and tax incentives for grocers willing to take a chance on poorer neighborhoods. The Manhattan borough president, Scott Stringer, points out that the city offers tax abatements “if you sell Big Macs but not if you just sell the lettuce and tomato.”
The urban poor face many difficulties, but too much fast food and not enough fresh produce only add to their troubles. Bringing fruit and peas and farm eggs to the cities’ food deserts sounds like the right campaign for a strong first lady trying to make a healthy difference.
here is the direct link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/21/opinion/21sat4.html
--posted by Maria David