The Food Environment Atlas tells you if you are in a food desert, or an oasis

Perhaps in the last year you’ve heard mention of the term “food desert” to describe an area with a dearth of grocery and fresh food options.  There are plenty of towns in the US that don’t have a grocery store, and folks drive 20—30 minutes to the next town to get food.  And even then their options for eating healthy, or eating on a budget, or gov’t assistance such as SNAP / EBT are limited.

The Food Environment Atlas aims to collect statistics on food availability, assistance programs, production, as well as socio-economic factors, and present that information in a searchable map, organized by county.

While the user interface isn’t exactly “effortless” i am mostly just excited to have access to this kind of data.  This stuff, besides being real interesting to look at, can be super helpful in identifying communities in need of more or better food options. Portland, OR is in fact a food oasis, so it’s sobering for me to see some of these statistics for the surrounding area, outside of our little green seed.  Even in counties adjacent to ours.

Check out your area, how does it match up?  I’ll bet you learn something.  Share your learnings in the comments, i’m curious.

This one via Mark G. thnx, Mark!

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