Food desert is a term that is used to identify a region that has scarcity of healthy foods. There are certain facts that are used to identify a region as a food desert (Getz, 2008). The first fact is when a person is moving for a long distance so that he or she can be able to access food. Secondly, the food prices in that region especially the grocery is high. Thirdly, people are often faced with hunger while in these regions. Finally, the only food that is available is not healthy. For instance, chocolates, burgers, and fries. The word was first developed in UK at around 1990 to describe those regions that often had a scarcity in healthy foods (Getz, 2008).
The Colorado Desert can be described as a food desert. Despite it being a desert, there a number of people who live in this region. The main problem is that there are no stores selling grocery items or foods in this region (Rocky Mountains PBS, 2010). The few that do so sell the produce at extremely high prices. This region does not have any sources of healthy foods. According to reports, Colorado Desert is one of the worst hit areas among the food deserts in the United States. Although there are a few rivers and streams that people could use to avert the situation, the situation is continuing to worsen (Rocky Mountains PBS, 2010).
Barnum and North Park Hill are considered among the worst hit areas by the healthy food crisis (Auge, 2011). These areas are referred to as food deserts. According to data, people who are living in this region are suffering from obesity due to eating unhealthy foods. These areas do not have grocery stores and the only few stores that are remaining sell their goods at very high prices. Measures are underway to help and change the situation from what it was in the past to present. However, the situation is still not changing. Instead, it is continuing to worsen with most of the people, especially the children, growing fat and obese (Auge, 2011).
The people staying in these regions are mostly whites. According to the United States Bureau of Statistics, more than eighty percent of the people who live in this region are whites. In Colorado, the overall population is estimated to be five million one hundred and sixteen thousands seven hundred and ninety six as per 2011. The whites alone are presumed to be eighty one point three percent while the remaining percentage is occupied by the other communities (US Census Bureau, 2011). These demographics are almost similar to those of Denver. Metro Denver has a population estimate of two million four hundred thousand people. In this population, eighty percent are estimated to be whites and the remaining percentage is shared among the other communities. According to the United States Bureau of Statistics, the two regions have been rated among the fastest growing cities in America, with a continuous increase in population (Home to Denver, 2000).
The first initiative that should be taken by the people living in these areas of Denver and Colorado is to plant groceries at their small farms. This is where the people of Denver and Colorado should be given seeds to plant in the small farms (Getz, 2008). The government should start this initiative because it will reduce the cost of healthy food prices and at the same time increase the amount of healthy foods in the region. Another solution is the provision of grants by the government to the supermarkets that could not afford expanding to the food desert regions. This way the people will easily access the healthy foods at a lower cost as compared to the situation. Finally, education is a key factor when it comes to the improvement of these food desert regions. Low income earning families should be encouraged to take their children to schools so that they can learn more about diets and improve. Additionally, they are the ones who are expected to educate their parents in dietary issues from what they learn at school. In this case, the situation in Colorado and Denver will be immediately averted (Getz, 2008).
Auge, K. (2011). Denver Task Force Addresses Fresh-Food Deserts. Denverpost.com. Retrieved from: http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_19485843
Getz, L. (2008). FoodDesert: Where Healthy Options are Only a Mirage. Great Valley Publishing Company. Retrieved from: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/092208p48.shtml
Home to Denver. (2000). Denver the City. Retrieved from: http://www.hometodenver.com/Stats_Denver.htm
Rocky Mountains PBS. (2010). Food Deserts in Colorado and Beyond. Retrieved from: http://www.rmpbs.org/panorama/index.cfm/entry/770/Food-Deserts-in-Colorado-and-Beyond
US Census Bureau, (2011). State and Country Facts. Retrieved from: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/08000.html
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