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What Is a "Food Desert"?

Can You Walk to Your Local Grocery Store?

The first lady recently launched the Let's Move campaign to put an end to childhood obesity, and among other things, she's moving in on food deserts. The term "food deserts" describes areas, both urban and rural, where there is no access to a supermarket, which means no fresh produce. These areas are "nutritional wastelands" where processed and packaged foods rule. The White House estimates that about 23.5 million Americans live in food deserts.

A well-balanced diet requires at least five servings of fruit and veggies daily, and with no grocery store produce aisle nearby, meeting that healthy mark can be a serious challenge. I live in an area full of wonderful markets and must say I take it for granted that I can walk to the grocery store to pick up lettuce, apples, broccoli, or green beans whenever I need to. What about you?

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Join The Conversation
jessfish25 jessfish25 5 years
There is a grocery store in walking distance & I do try to walk there sometimes; but I prefer to buy the majority of my foods at Trader Joe's which is not in walking distance :-\
Allytta Allytta 5 years
oh, forgot, there's a small tesco's on opposite my house :) i rarely shop there, as they don't even have tomatoes sometimes, but they have fresh salmon and French beans. weird stocking i guess
Allytta Allytta 5 years
it's 0.2 miles away. it's not as big as i'd like, but i an take a bus to the big one if i really need to. they did discontinue healthy range of chicken kiev that i loved last week, so I had a lot of complaints about that. they needed to make room for new tikka flavour chicken kiev. *rolls her eyes*
jultritz jultritz 5 years
I don't have a car so I have no choice! Every few weeks I do a really big shop and stock up on cat litter and diet soda and I get that delivered. Otherwise, I grab my reusable shopping bags and hoof it on over.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 5 years
We drive. The 14km round walk does put us off a bit. :(
superfoxml superfoxml 5 years
I have two markets right by me, but I live on a mega busy street and I'd get murdered by some jerk speeding and not looking.
socalbeachgal socalbeachgal 5 years
The grocery store I go is about 1.5 miles away but too far to walk with bags. I've been known to walk it for a only a few items.
inlove23 inlove23 5 years
I wish!! =(
arcticpuppet arcticpuppet 5 years
no :[
bethinabox bethinabox 5 years
I could walk to my grocery store, but it's really kind of pushing it to walk that far, especially if I'm carrying more than two bags. I usually walk to the bus and take the bus there. I wish I had one closer though... and starting in June when we move into our off-campus house, it's going to be even worse!
insanitypepper insanitypepper 5 years
There's a store a little over a mile from my house, which I guess would be close enough for walking if it weren't for the extreme humidity & heat we have most of the year in Florida. Plus it's not exactly a pedestrian-friendly route since there's no sidewalk for about half of the trip. I would do it only in a dire situation.
dani19 dani19 5 years
I could walk there, but carrying all the bags back to my house... thats a lot! Its easier just to drive, if I just need one or two things walking is the obvious solution (when warm of course).
Meowphotog Meowphotog 5 years
The grocery store that is "walkable" to me is over priced and I have to cross a 4 lane road to get to it and that can be kinda dangerous considering the idiots that drive down it periodically. I wish I lived in a great location where I could walk to EVERYTHING.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 5 years
In theory, I could walk (I have 4 grocery stores less than one mile away) but in reality, there's waaaay to much traffic. It's only a 5 minute drive to both Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, though, so I'm good.
Purrsnickety Purrsnickety 5 years
When I lived in Brooklyn, NY I always walked to the grocery store, fruit store, pharmacy or whatever, always with my granny cart in tow. Now I live in a part of Florida where there is no chance I can walk to the store. I am moving in July to a much area neighborhood with many more convenient stores so I'm excited to eventually be able to do errands on foot again.
J-Rabbit J-Rabbit 5 years
There's a grocery store close and within walking distance, but I only go there if I've forgotten something. Though it's not my preferred grocery store, I'm glad it's there.
Spectra Spectra 5 years
I live relatively close to a few grocery stores, but I usually just go once a week and load my car up with stuff and shop that way. If I didn't have a car, I could bike to several stores pretty easily to pick up produce.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 5 years
Yes, I can, and I do.
bengalspice bengalspice 5 years
my nearby grocery store is a pain to get to. i like in times square ... and it's such a pain to carry groceries through the theater crowds and drag a cart with me without banging into tourists.
MLH1 MLH1 5 years
I wish I could walk. Stupid Texas is so spread out, I have to drive 5/10 minutes just to buy groceries!
Lo-Lo291303 Lo-Lo291303 5 years
We have a 24 hour convenience/grocery store right in our condo! We also have a grocery store a couple blocks away, but it got torn down to make room for more condos! UGH!
Mila_83 Mila_83 5 years
I live in Manhattan as well.Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are about 15min away from my apartment and 10min away from my gym.I always walk.In spring,summer and fall I have beautiful farmer's market nearby so its a great bonus and opportunity to take a stroll.
amandaaa amandaaa 5 years
when i'm at school, there is a grocery store close to my apartment. i walked there once...i definitely would now but it's too icy and cold. it's not extremely close but not a terrible walk! can't wait for it to warm up.
weffie weffie 5 years
There are 4 or 5 I can walk to, but my favourite one (with all the good organic and veggie stuff) is a bit farther so I usually end up driving, especially if I need to buy anything heavy like cat food or potatoes.
Faylinn Faylinn 5 years
Normally I walk, but during the winter it's difficult to make the 1 mile trek because of the cold and biting wind.
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