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  • cagnade

    Food deserts are a serious problem that is affecting our nation's health, but a root cause that was not described is the simple fact that fresh food spoils rapidly, while a bag of Cheetos lives forever, or at least 18 months. Grocery stores are already well known for operating on razor-thin margins - in other words, profits of about 1% to 2% - so many small groceries minimize their risk by not carrying products that might, after a few days, have to be thrown out at a total loss. There is policy that can be implemented to mitigate this such as not taxing fresh fruit or providing subsidies, but I do not see a "big-box" conspiracy going on here. I do agree though that I find it ironic that Naked Juice is sponsoring this, as I do think of them as "one of the bad guys" too

  • Rodrigo Mejia

    While not necessarily a solution, it's important to support your local eateries. In large cultural corridors--where Latino or Asian populations are concentrated--it's not hard find a wide-ranging variety of restaurants, small stores with fresh produce, and some semblance of a market atmosphere that keeps people mobile.

    I live in Southern California, where places like East L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley are fitted with all kinds of food-related offerings sensitive to the cultures they serve and the people who live within them. More than just having food available, offering food that has some contextual weight is important to get everyone signed onto a balanced and varied diet. The more you support your local eateries, the more the food around you reflects what you want and the chances of extending your food choices increase. Again, while not a solution to eliminating food deserts, localized food is just a part of why we eat and where we eat.

    *Growing up in Northeast Los Angeles, I was excited to see a Super-A-Foods supermarket open in my neighborhood. When I visited the store with my family, it was easy to see the store catered to the Latino community around it and we felt instantly attached to it, immediate fans (it's an odd and wonderful feeling to cheer for a carniceria, but it was instinctual). It's one of my earliest food memories.

    • Bora Chang

      Thank you for your input, rdrigomejia! Yes, agreed, it's absolutely important to consider people's heritage and cultural identity through food, as is supporting local businesses and asking them to provide fresh produce and healthier fare. Important pieces of the puzzle.

  • Chelsea Spann

    I so agree with this - food deserts are a problem and significantly contribute to the obesity issues (ironically). All and any donations do help. Availability is the first issue, but it's the education of how to prep or serve these foods that is equally important. How do we not only provide the opportunities to purchase food but also to educate and demonstrate as well? Naked Juice is obviously setting a great example. My hope is that others also see the importance of this issue and take action. Thanks for donating Naked Juice!

    • Bora Chang

      Thanks for your comment, Chelsea! Many great organizations across the country are tackling this problem with cohesive strategies that are thoughtful and sustainable. Stay tuned as we cover more on this topic!