Food issues
When entering any grocery store in any city/town or obscure spot on the map, it doesn't take significant degree of observation to realize how blessed we are with the varied and plentiful food supply in this country. The same when you try to decide which of thousands of restaurants available within 20 miles of your location you would like to have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Unfortunately we take it for granted. Our ability to produce, cleanse, regulate, package and distribute food to our fellow citizens is unprecedented in human history. In addition to convenience and variety, public health has improved significantly due to elimination of food and water borne illnesses. On the opposite side of access to varied and plentiful food supplies are decisions on how much food is needed and which are the best foods for your individual health. As a result of poor choices, childhood obesity has grown in this country. In addition, we are facing worldwide population growth and the resulting increase in demand for safe food. The challenge for us to maintain the convenient and healthy access to plentiful and varied food supplies is to do things necessary to make sure the planet can sustain needed levels of production, minimize waste and make personal food choices that are in our best interest. Follow the public discourse below.

What Is Food Insecurity? And Tips for Healthier Living in a Food Desert

from The Cleveland Clinic:

What is food insecurity? When you hear terms like “food insecurity,” you may picture bare cupboards and going to bed on an empty stomach day after day. Having to go without food or not knowing where your next meal will come from is certainly one kind of food insecurity. But the problem doesn’t end there. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s definition of food insecurity is, “the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.” In other words, food insecurity can be a matter of not knowing if or when you’ll eat next. But it’s also a question of whether you have the means to get the healthy foods that your body needs.

Food deserts Food deserts are communities where options for getting things like fresh fruits and vegetables is severely limited for residents. Maybe there aren’t appropriate shopping options in the community. In some food deserts, people have to rely entirely on corner stores, convenience stores and gas stations for their groceries. And getting nutrient-rich foods from those stores can be challenging, if not outright impossible. Or maybe there’s a grocery store with healthy produce within the community, geographically speaking — but you can’t get to it because of transportation challenges or other issues.

Food swamps Food swamps are similar to food deserts in that access to healthy options can be limited. But the difference lies in food swamps’ extremely high number of things like fast food restaurants and high-calorie, highly processed meals and snacks. Picture a food swamp like a teeter-totter. On one side is a 2-year-old representing nutrient-rich food. On the other side is an NFL linebacker representing “quick-and-easy” drive-throughs and packaged snacks. The balance is clearly out of whack.

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