Real Food Deserts and the Need for Urban Agriculture by: Julia Lang
Intro/ History:How did we get to our current food landscape? • -Industrial Revolution: • People leave the farm for industry • Dawn of industrial agriculture • -Urbanizing Population • World population urbanizing: • In the year 2000 we reached over 50% of the world’s population living in urban areas.
Current Society: • Now that we are mostly in cities, where does our food come from? • Agro-business • Other countries • Food manufacturing corporations I just want my food to come from the ground, preferably near to me : (
Grounds: What’s the Problem? • Grounds: • Urban populations living in areas labeled as food deserts. DEF: Food Desert: a district with little or no access to foods needed to maintain a Healthy Diet. • “access” can be seen as physical, financial or Food Desert: ( play video 3:32) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_bTceBbjIU&feature=related
Lack of Access to Real Food: Stats • Like Oakland, San Jose has similar spatial mismatch when it comes to people and food. • According to the Santa Clara Health Profile of 2010 • “fresh fruits and vegetables are geographically difficult compared to access to fast food. There are only 27 farmers’ markets and 35 produce stores in Santa Clara County compared to 918 fast food, pizza, and sandwich stores.”
Local Repercussions: Stats • In Santa Clara County: • 55% of adults overweight • In 2007-08, 25% of middle and high school students overweight or obese • Obesity, Heart Disease, & Diabetes >in low income, minority, and less educated populations.
Warrants: Why should we try to change this? • -Clearly our most disenfranchised populations are paying the price for lack of access to food, and the price is their health. • - The need for social change is clear when people’s well being and even mortality are at stake.
Conclusion/Solution: It’s not Hopeless! • There are tons of awesome projects replenishing food deserts with local, sustainable, and accessible produce! • All throughout the Bay Area, and even right here in San Jose there are urban agriculture projects
Locally, San Jose has its very own Veggielution Community Farm. This project is open to the public and allows volunteers to bring home a fresh bag of produce each time they volunteer. To get involved in creating a local food system in San Jose to combat issues like Food Deserts go to http://www.veggielution.org/ or ask me if you are interested! These projects merge spatial mismatch of people and food, to create healthy viable community. Take Action
References • Websites: • http://www.veggielution.org/ • http://www.peoplesgrocery.org • Documents: • Palen, J John. The Urban World 8th Edition. The Political Economy of Place. Paradigm • Publisher, 2007. Print. • Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. New York: Penguin, 2008. • Print. • Santa Clara County Public Health Department ( 2010). Santa Clara County 2010 Health • Profile Report. http://www.lizkniss.org/SCC/docs/Public%20Health%20Department%20(DEP)/news/attachments/SCC_Health_Profile_Report_7.20.10.pdf