GEOG_130 (6/26)

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University of California - Berkeley
GEOG 130
Nicole C.List

GEOG 130 (6/26) Food: Equity and Social Justice ● Specifically in cities Key Points ● Access to healthy food is worse in neighborhoods of colour and of low income ● Systemic problems; not isolated cases ● What we take for granted depends on where we live ● Diets not only depend on taste, it depends on access as well ● Low Income communities are “food deserts” ○ Little accessibility to fresh, healthy food ○ Lack supermarkets ○ Food from fast food outlets, convenience stores, liquor stores ○ If perishable, generally unaffordable (small store) ○ Lack of culturally appropriate food ○ Lack of community gardens ○ Lack of reliable public transportation ○ “Bodega” corner stores ● What are some of the structural problems? ○ Loss of agricultural land ○ Suburbanization and consolidation ■ White flight causes shopping habits to change (stores follow) ■ Creation of Supermarkets (large) versus smaller stores = people could shop at one place and less often ■ Locations consolidated into a single chain ■ Older stores closed ○ Food distribution systems ■ Food distribution centers instead of little trucks delivering one commodity ■ Loading docks cause stores to grow in size ○ Zoning and other jurisdictional problems ■ Areas “zoned” for certain uses ■ Restrictions on what can be sold in certain places ○ Government subsidies ■ More money is given to cash crops that feed into fast foods = cheaper to feed the family on the short term ○ Urban Development Patterns ■ Lack of parking ■ Neighborhood not monetarily viable ■ Streets are too narrow ■ Pattern reinforced by zoning that makes it hard to bring in resources to older cities ● Not cost effective to have smaller stores ○ Market Misinformation ■ Grocery chains often bypass low-income neighborhoods because they use the same tools to evaluate inner city markets as suburban markets, missing many important factors ● “Money spent on food” includes money spent going to outside restaurants ● Neighborhoods w/ illegal activity do not report income ○ Leakage ■ Go to other neighborhoods to buy their goods ■ Neighborhoods have their own credit system that makes them work in low income neighborhoods ● Concentrated Buying Power ○ Retailers look at an area’s average household income ○ For low income neighborhoods, needs to look at specific neighborhoods instead of areas ● Undocumented Income ○ Income not taxable or recorded as household cost = data is not recorded ● Why does this matter? ○ Health issues in communities with less access ○ Issue of equity of choice ● De
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