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USDA Plays With The Numbers [VIDEO]

I learned something new today, how to do magic the US governments way. This was “my” initial impression. Here’s the scoop, according to a new USDA (US Department of Agriculture) study and website finds that 10% of the country is now in what they labeled, a “food desert”, that’s right like the Mojave or Sahara. The Food Desert Locator is an online map that shows areas through out the United States where, the USDA says, low-income families have little or no access to “healthy fresh foods.”

But no need to fear because after the USDA discovered this, they show you how they took 10 million people off the “food desert” chart in a short period of time. They do it so well that magician Criss Angel might have missed the slight of hand.

 

A Food Desert Inner City Grocery Shopper
YouTube.com

In 2009 the official figures for the number of people living in “food deserts” was 23.5 million, but by May 2011 the new numbers show that now, 13.5 million Americans live in food deserts. A 10 million person decline in only two and a half years WOW!

Although this might suggest that the initiative is off to a superb start, sadly it does not in fact represent one single solitary beansprout bought or consumed by an obese American. This is because in America, the definition of a food desert is where at least 20% of people are below the poverty line and 33% live more than ONE mile from a supermarket. By simply “extending the cut-off” in rural areas to TEN miles, the USDA managed to rescue 10 million people from the dreaded “food desert”.  Did you get that?

First discovered in Scotland in the 90s, food deserts have come to define the inner-cities as “fatty food oasis’s”. USDA officials paint images of only fast-food restaurants and convenience stores serving unhealthy junk food to an already obese population that has never, seen nor tasted the likes of fresh cabbage, beansprouts and or squash.

The USDA states that the growing childhood obesity problem in America directly relates to food deserts. Furthermore, estimating that childhood obesity in America has tripled since the 80′s. Now, the annual cost of healthcare for obese children is nearly $150 billion.

  • Official figures for the number of people living in food deserts already show a decline, from 23.5 million in 2009 to 13.5 million at the launch of the website in May.
  • Although this might on the face of it suggest that the initiative is off to a superb start, sadly it does not in fact represent a single additional banana bought or soda shunned.
  • This is because in America, the definition of a food desert is any census area where at least 20 percent of inhabitants are below the poverty line and 33 percent live more than a mile from a supermarket.
  • By simply extending the cut-off in rural areas to 10 miles, the USDA managed to rescue 10 million people from desert life.

Some academics would go further, calling the appearance of many food deserts nothing but a mirage — and not the real problem.

  • Research by the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington found that only 15 percent of people shopped for food within their own census area.
  • Critics also note that focusing on supermarkets means that the USDA ignores tens of thousands of larger and smaller retailers, farmers’ markets and roadside greengrocers.
  • Together, they account for more than half of the country’s trillion-dollar retail food market.

No surprise, then, that neither USDA nor the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has been able to establish a causal link between food deserts and dietary health.  In fact, both agree that merely improving access to healthy food does not change consumer behavior, says The Economist.

In the real world, yes we have a hunger problem in America and we must fix it. The fact still remains that no matter how far or close we live from good food and or that bad junk food we still make bad decisions on what we eat. So, who’s up for pizza tonight?

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