Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Myth: Most everyone in our country has access to healthy food.

Answer: BUSTED!

Many people in the U.S. who live in low income neighborhoods live far from a grocery store. These areas are known as food deserts. In these areas, these is little to no access to healthy foods, but there is an abundance of fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer foods high in fat and sugar. You may be surprised to find food deserts near where you live. You can search for them by going to a new website called The Food Desert Locator. Click anywhere on the map to see locations of the food deserts, including what county it is in, as well as the number (and percentage) of people in that county with low access to healthy foods.

French fries
fresh fruits and vegetables

A collaboration between MU Extension and Old North St. Louis Restoration developed a strategy to open a food co-op to provide access to healthy foods and a link to rural producers. This is the first co-op to open in a predominately low-income neighborhood in Missouri. For more information, go to

Visit for more information about nutrition and health.

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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