Science

Atlanta Food Deserts See Drought In Fruits And Vegetables

Georgia State University graduate student Nicole Ryerson teaches a volunteer how to take stock of fresh food in stores. Ryerson has studied the availability of fresh food in Southwest Atlanta.
Georgia State University graduate student Nicole Ryerson teaches a volunteer how to take stock of fresh food in stores. Ryerson has studied the availability of fresh food in Southwest Atlanta.
Credit / Courtesy The Community Mapping Center at GSU

Rose Scott and Denis O'Hayer talked to graduate student Nicole Ryerson and urban farmer Eugene Cooke about the problem of food deserts and possible solutions.

Imagine that you couldn’t bite into an apple or couldn’t cut open a vine-ripened tomato, not because you didn’t want to eat an apple or a tomato, but because you had no way to buy one.

It’s easy for Americans to take for granted the ready supply of fresh fruits and vegetables at their local grocery stores, unless they don’t have a grocery store in their neighborhood. That’s exactly what residents in some neighborhoods in Atlanta and other cities across the nation are facing.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, calls these kinds of neighborhoods “food deserts.” The agency defines a food desert as an “urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.”

On “A Closer Look,” Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer interviewed Georgia State graduate student Nicole Ryerson about her research into the availability of fresh food in parts of Southwest Atlanta. They also spoke to urban farmer Eugene Cooke about some of the possible solutions to the problem of food deserts.