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Making better food choices

Eating is one of the pleasures of life. Enjoying food forms our cultural and social experiences. But we've seen a big change in diets in the past generation: Fast food and eating out, supersizing portions, processed foods, corn syrup in food and drinks.

At the same time, the rise of obesity in America has become epidemic. 

Cleveland non-profit organization Burten, Bell, Carr introduced this mobile farm stand in 2013

Cleveland has too many food deserts—neighborhoods where a resident walks out her door and cannot find fresh food for 2-miles around. Cuyahoga County is also suffering from a 'hidden hunger crisis' where obesity grows as 'empty calorie foods' replace fruits and vegetables. 

Access to and a desire to eat fresh food is a huge health issue for the 197,136 residents living in poverty in the county. All Americans need to increase fruit consumption, USDA found, by 132%, legume consumption by 431% while reducing high-starch foods by 35%.

Meanwhile, most fruits and vegetables travel 1,500 to 2,500 miles and come from places like Chile, Mexico, Argentina, and Equador. Many of these countries lack safe standards for the application of pesticides or other chemical inputs. 

Food is not in the right places for low-income populations, but it is not abundant enough for all populations. This speaks to enormous opportunities for fruit and vegetable production both within urban neighborhoods as well as on rural farms to enhance the health and welfare of county residents.

Read more about a vision for a healthy diet based in local food

Local, healthy diet resources

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