Sen. Cory Booker, the new chairman of the Senate nutrition subcommittee called for a permanent food box program to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to communities "in desperate need for healthy produce." Booker also said $20 billion a year should be devoted to USDA climate mitigation programs and that a moratorium should be imposed on mergers in the agricultural sector.(No paywall)
A study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity "suggests that living in a food swamp — a neighborhood where fast food and junk food outlets outnumber healthy alternatives — is a stronger predictor of high obesity rates" than so-called food deserts with limited access to nutritious food, says ScienceBlog.
The L.A. Times has named its first-ever Restaurant of the Year, but it didn’t go to the usual high-end suspects. Instead Locol — a burger restaurant started by renowned chefs to serve customers in Watts, where unemployment and gang violence are rampant — is the winner.
Whole Foods and Starbucks are opening locations in Chicago’s crime-ridden Englewood neighborhood as part of a $20-million project to bring better services and products to the area. “The typically upscale Whole Foods will occupy an 18,000-square-foot store in the newly constructed Englewood Square shopping complex during a notably violent year in the neighborhood, one of the city’s poorest — it served as the setting for Spike Lee’s controversial “Chiraq” movie, and median household income is under $20,000, according to Census data,” says MarketWatch.
In central Illinois, the Green Top Grocery, scheduled to open in a "food desert," would improve the diets of shoppers and the incomes of nearby farmers, says Iowa Farmer Today.
Many poor neighborhoods are close to a supermarket - 86 pct are within a mile, says Tufts associate professor Parke Wilde in his U.S. Food Policy blog. That's a shorter distance than commonly thought and a shorter trip than faces higher-income people, according to research by Wilde and colleagues.