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How to Eat Healthy If You Live in a Food Desert

Eating healthy is an essential part of maintaining optimal overall health. However, eating healthy is not an option that is as readily available to everyone. In fact, BIPOC communities are more than twice as likely than their white counterparts to live in a food desert. A food desert is defined as an area where twenty percent or more of the population lives in poverty and have limited access to healthy food. In these areas, there are a lot more fast food plaes to eat at rather than grocery stores.

Diets that have low protein, fruits, and vegetables can lead to an increase in both physical and mental health problems. Similar to many other health disparities, BIPOC communities are more likely to have health problems. Change needs to happen at a systemic level in order for these communities to have better access to resources so that they are able to maintain their health. But for the time being, how can you eat healthy if you currently are living in a food desert?

  • Buy frozen produce

  • Look for community gardens

  • Buy produce with a longer shelf life

  • Buy in bulk items such as lentils, brown rice, beans, oats, seeds, and nuts

  • Explore ways to preserve food

  • Grow your own

A great resource that I would like to share is that Thrive Market offers free membership to low income families. Despite healthier options being more difficult to access in food deserts, it is still possible to eat healthy. While it is important that we are having more conversations surrounding wellness at a societal level, it is especially important that our conversations are inclusive of BIPOC communities as well.

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