I was first introduced to the concept of a “Food Desert” by Kaz Brecher through her work with Curious Catalyst.

I recently came across this video by Naked Juice and Wholesome Wave that got me thinking about Food Deserts again.

Having grown up in a small rural desert town we would take bi-weekly trips to the nearest Costco to stock up on enough food to last several weeks, but this was merely a preference and not our only choice as we had a local market down the street that offered decent food options at slightly higher prices for convenience.

Given my experience growing up and the amount of effort we put into buying our food I am still astonished that there are densely populated communities in Los Angeles that have little to no access to high quality food options. Its incredible for me to think of how limited I feel when one of the Trader Joe’s in my neighborhood is out of stock of my favorite peanut butter and I have the option to go to one of the four other locations in my area along with all the other large chain grocery store options and not to mention the Costco location 15min away from my apartment.

There were also several years in my recent past where I was living in Los Angeles without a car and took the bus everywhere. This meant that weekly trips to the grocery store where also by bus so I completely understand the need to have high quality food options within a one mile radius. I can imagine the difficulty of having to commute several miles by bus or by foot would be a serious obstacle for most families.

All this to say that food deserts are something that I will be keeping in mind as I make my weekly grocery shopping trips and as I start to think through how I can help address this reality for my city neighbors merely one or two communities away. Leave a comment on what you think of the Curious Catalyst idea or if you have any of your own ideas to help transform the food deserts of Los Angeles.