Think of a time while being at home, opening your fridge knowing you have a variety of options to select from(snacks, fruits and vegetables). Now imagine a place where access to foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables is absent. Does that sound like a place you are at now/Is what you imagine closer to you than you think? Is it impossible to eat healthy when being miles away from home? Sounds like you are living in a food desert. Food deserts are consecutively defined as an area that has limited access to nutritious and exceptional food. With that being said, college would be perceived as a typical common food desert. According to Doug Meneely in the paper Conceptualizing College Campuses as Food Deserts, he states “”This research explores the idea of a new conceptualization of food deserts that fits college campuses. In particular, we argue that despite college campuses often being located within areas that are not themselves identified as food deserts, they can be experienced as such by students who may be particularly constrained in their ability to access food due to restrictions on both physical mobility and financial resources(Meneely 1).”” You would think finding good quality of fruits and vegetables would come easy staying on a college campus; However, living at Tuskegee University it is very difficult. Kickin Chicken, Austin’s, C&K wings and McDonalds are the popular fast food spots to dine at. But for many students due to socioeconomic status, the Cafe is their only option todine where it is almost impossible to find any fresh produce and hardly any variation. Living in these unpleasant predicaments where there are not affordable healthy options can cause months or even years of unhealthy eating. This then leads to what we freshman fifteen/obesity.If you are living under these circumstances, like me, here are three tips for overcoming lack of options:
Many believe that if there are any grocery stores available in an isolated college town, most students can’t afford the healthier, more expensive foods in the grocery store. Therefore, students would settle for cheaper, but filling, foods. Although this may be true for some, eating healthy is not more or less expensive than purchasing junk food; it is in fact the same price. According to Marge Dwyer at Harvard School of Public Health, “”the healthiest diets cost just $1.50 more than unhealthy diets…however eating and drinking food that is loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners will cause you to eat more (Dwyer 1).”” So you will be spending more for a unhealthy diet meal per day. Before you make that trip to the grocery store, make yourself a list and include the basics of a healthy meal. Start of with your vegetables including cabbage, collards greens, and carrots, etc… Then include your fruits. Buying frozen fruits and vegetables, can be helpful as well that you can will keep for months. For more filling foods try to add dishes including fish, oatmeal, salads, eggs, soups etc.. These foods are very healthy and will help energize your day. While you may not have a car on campus to get to the store, there are ways to finding someone to take you where you need to be. Maybe there is a friend or a person that you know that can help drive you into starting a new food journey!
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