Monday, April 29, 2013

Access to Food Access: WICked Local

USDA research on food access has shown some pretty frightening statistics.  For instance, 23.5 million people in the U.S. live in low-income areas that are more than 1 mile away from a supermarket or large grocery store.  In 2008 86% of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) redemption were redeemed at these grocery stores.   Not only is this statistic alarmingly high, but on top of that, how much of the food being purchased is promoting good health?  In a culture where more is better, many people tend to substitute cheaper unhealthy foods for nutritious fruits and vegetables that they have no idea how to even cook.
Woof, so many barriers.

As I brought up in my last post, farmers markets are a great way to make sure you are getting fresh, healthy food, though can be expensive and less accessible to those who need it most.

Many programs are available that combat these barriers such as using SNAP benefits at the farmers market, or WIC (Woman Infants Children) that provide food vouchers for those who lack the access.  But there are still issues that stand in the way.  How does one use the voucher?  Where can you use it? What vegetable is healthy and filling, and HOW THE HECK DO I COOK THIS GOLDEN RADISH? (is that even a thing?)

Media can hold an important roll in passing along information and mimicking desired behavior.  I recently came upon a video tutorial for how to use WIC food vouchers at the farmers market.  It was very easy to understand, and made a trip to the farmers market seem way less intimidating.

Though the video is slightly cheesy, the presenter does a really great job making it clear and easy to understand.  The virtual tour also makes it less intimidating by calmly showing all the exciting parts of the farmers market, and showing it in a positive frame.  Not only that, but at the end she shows how much she was able to get, and how you can prepare it simply!

It is interesting to compare this trip to the farmers market to The Barefoot Contessa's trip.  I wonder if Ina was at that farmers market? Maybe local food wouldn't seem so elegant and elitist if they framed it more like Sarimin Rivera from WIC... They could call her show WICked Local!

N/P 4/30

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