We came across this term in a segment on NPR about the top health concerns of Latinos. It was coined by Alex Ortega, a public health researcher and professor of public health at UCLA, to describe areas where healthy food is hard to find.
Ortega is one of several people involved in an interesting effort in East Los Angeles to learn more about how the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables relates to overall health and diabetes in particular. The project involves multiple facets including lifestyle adjustments and education about nutrition.
The initial results will not be a surprise to those familiar with a key tenet in Eat Drink Vote: that voting with your fork helps to create a healthier food system. The project in East Los Angeles finds that when healthy food choices have a level playing food - meaning that the in-store support for less healthy food options is decreased - shoppers will make choices that contribute to a healthier diet.