From Food Deserts to Supermarket Redlining: Reframing Discussions of Food Access

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Join the Department of Social Sciences for this Great Problems, Great Minds seminar series event featuring guest speaker Jerry Shannon, an associate professor in the Department of Geography and the Department of Financial Planning, Housing, and Consumer Economics at the University of Georgia.

For the last 20 years, numerous studies have analyzed the food environments of low-income neighborhoods with the goal of identifying so-called food deserts, places where healthy food is inaccessible due to price, quality, availability, or acceptability. While this research has found disparities in access to food retailers, the links between these measures and health outcomes have been tenuous. Shannon argues that the concept of food deserts distracts attention from two crucial factors: the active role of major food retailers in creating segregated landscapes, and the agency of neighborhood residents in creating and procuring food for themselves and loved ones. Shannon will also share alternative methods for mapping out food access.

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