The White House has released a video featuring food deserts.
A TEDx Talk from Chicago further discusses food deserts in detail
There is a new wave of information documenting the geography of food deserts. Scientific American just published their study on food deserts with maps and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a zoomable map of food deserts down to the census tract.
|Food deserts and health issues. Maps from Scientific American. Click to enlarge.|
A professional partisan professional, non-geographer stated to me that food deserts are "overhyped myths" by "the First Lady to pretend she cares so she can rally votes for Obama [for the upcoming election]." She further claims that rural areas include farms and people who are use to having to travel more than a mile for almost everything. The partisan professional went on to claim that the correlation on the various maps do not fully match up and that the Department of Agriculture map did not reveal its data on convenience stores et al versus grocery stores.
My food geography studies are fairly limited so I honestly have to say I do not know enough to make any judgement call on food deserts in the United States. It is undeniable there are regions where food access can be somewhat difficult but whether or not this translates into the health issues as claimed by some seems up for question.
If there are any geographers who have experience in food geography I would love to hear from you in either the comments forum or through a guest post.