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Do You Live in a Food Desert?
The folks at Walk Score have been rating the walkability of neighborhoods across the US for a while - providing a numeric rating for how easily residents of a given neighborhood can go about their daily business on foot.
No Walk Score has taken a look at access to food. They've applied a similar logic to the question of which neighborhoods are in comfortable five-minute walking distance of grocery stores, and which neighborhoods look a little more like a food desert.
Walk Score has so far released only lists of the top and bottom five large cities in terms of access to food, so Tacoma doesn't show up on any maps just yet. The scoring system, and some criticism of it from Next City did get us thinking though, about how various neighborhoods around here would measure up.
The Next City critique points to a number of problems they see with the Walk Score algorithm, not least of which is quality - is your corner quickie-mart really every bit as good as a full-service grocer when it comes to defining food deserts? That's just one question; access to food - and especially to healthy food - is an even bigger question.
(On a related note, PLU is hosting what sounds like an interesting event: a multi-day Food Symposium, beginning today, and continuing into the weekend, addresssing questions of food access, both locally and globally.)
We may not be on the Walk Score food desert rankings, but you know better how your neighborhood rates anyway - do you live in a food desert? What criteria would you apply in judging how good the food access is in a place?
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