Are we getting enough veg? Can we get enough veg?

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Here’s a very interesting story from today’s Independent about the problems in some areas of the UK in actually getting hold of enough fresh fruit and veg.

An academic has been researching the problem, and has come up with some alarming results:

‘Food deserts’ depriving towns of fresh fruit and vegetables

Dr Shaw began his research in 2000, plotting the location of residential areas and shops on 500sq m grids. Since then he has checked around 6,000sq km, covering the whole of Birmingham, much of Hampshire, Somerset, Shrewsbury and parts of north London and Stevenage. In each area, he has visited shops to see if they sold 10 or more items of fresh produce.

He found that around 20 per cent of rural areas and 25 per cent of urban areas were “food deserts” where people have to walk more than 500 metres to reach a shop selling a good amount of fruit and vegetables.

In 1997, Tessa Jowell, then a health minister, defined a food desert as an area “where people do not have easy access to healthy, fresh foods particularly if they are poor and have limited mobility” and said, ideally, there would be a supply of fresh food within 500 metres of every home. Read full story here…

Of course, there’s always the veg box option (here’s the one we use and one we’ve used successfully in the past) – if you can access such a service and feel happy doing so. Otherwise it could be a pretty bleak outlook.

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