The issue of “Food Deserts” has become a recognized problem.  The USDA has produced a map that outlines areas that they define as food deserts.  The USDA did this so that researches could have access to data from a reliable source; the information on their website is some of the most recent in the nation.  It is important to understand what data the USDA is using in the map.  There is a link to download some of the info which will help to clarify some of the terms they use.  Overall I think that this tool is helpful; it puts in perspective the areas around us that are recognized as food deserts.  However, I think that there are still areas that could qualify as food deserts that are not included, or at least some of their areas are on the conservative side.  It is not a conclusive data tool, but it helps give some idea to us as to what is going on.  I would strongly recommend that readers use this information to locate an area that they can visit.  Find a food desert near you and spend a bit of time in the area, see what kind of food is available to the residents there.  Spend some time checking out the map at least and comparing it with another map of the area online and see what kind of businesses are near it.

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