For so many of us in the US, we live in a time where anything you could ever want or need is a click away - or a quick trip to the store. Grocery stores are stocked with every kind of food known to man, while online retailers promise next day arrivals of their merchandise or even same-day online grocery purchases through Amazon and Whole Foods. Those privileged enough to live in this reality consider it a dream come true, but for many marginalized communities around America, they experience a very different reality as they find themselves surrounded by a modern food desert.
Food deserts have been classified as a region with very limited access to fresh and nutritious affordable foods. The people that live in these regions are often without a local grocery store, and even if this was one they often have no form of transportation to get there. This often forces people within these communities to eat from fast-food restaurants, rather than eating healthy well-balanced meals. And to make things even worse, small corner shops/liquor stores are considered “food supply stores” to prevent the government from stepping in, yet these stores often only sell packaged and highly preserved foods.
The USDA reported that roughly 23.1 million people are currently living in these deserts. These people typically qualify as low SES, people of color, and they tend to develop food-borne illnesses due to their nutrient-poor diets. Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other health issues are all much higher in these areas compared to other regions of the United States.
This is because micronutrients (otherwise known as vitamins and minerals) are ESSENTIAL to our health. Deficiencies lead to serious health problems, and these nutrients are found in all food. Micronutrients are mainly found in whole fresh fruits and vegetables. They can be accessed using supplements, but are usually not absorbed as effectively by the body. Fast food often lacks these nutrients as well, because the food they use is grown/raised using nutrient-poor food to save money.
With so many people suffering due to a need for vitamins and minerals in these food deserts, we hope to be able to make a change with our FAVES. Our candy contains fruit and vegetable fibers. A single roll provides nearly 2 and a half servings of fruits and veggies (out of the recommended 10). FAVES also last on the shelf for up to 3 whole years, meaning they won't spoil and they can be sold in stores that cannot carry produce. We know that there is a lot to be done to solve the food desert issue, but we hope in the meantime we will be able to help!