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Old 03-06-2011, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,005,188 times
Reputation: 7193

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If you live anywhere that forces you to drive (you can't walk or bicycle to the stores) to buy your daily food then you live in a Food Desert!

This becomes ever more important when you combine high unemployment and high fuel cost since not only will it be hard for you to buy food it will be harder to resupply the stores with foods.

IMO this is a ticking time bomb that will be forced into public view with todays rising fuel prices very soon. In my small rural midwestern town (pop. 3300) we have gone from 4 grocery stores in 5 years to one that must charge outrageous prices since they have to pay outrageous prices as an independent grocer. I now must drive either 25 miles or 35 miles to get to grocery stores that have a selection of food beyond milk and some basics!

Just look around your area of the country to see that many places that had grocery stores now do not have any or, if they are lucky, just one as we do.

CDC Features - Food Deserts

Structural Barriers to Local Food Part I: Rural Food Deserts | Food Mapping

Mapping food deserts | MSU News | Michigan State University


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGv3z...layer_embedded


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g78Qg...eature=related

IMO the time is now for people to start buying food in bulk since the average home only carries about a week's supply of food on their shelves. Business will no longer be conducted as usual.
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:29 PM
 
18,856 posts, read 30,455,105 times
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The average home only carries one week of food? Interesting. I am finally above average in something! I could probably go a month without going to the store. I would run low on fresh veggies and fruit, but I have canned food, and things in the freezer. I think most people have more than a week of food in their home. I live in a city, and have not noticed food prices going higher. Gas though, that is going higher, but not as high as it was 3 years ago.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Arizona
507 posts, read 767,227 times
Reputation: 1216
I have about a weeks worth of food in my house. I could probably stretch it to two if I cooked all the dried beans and we used canned milk. I moved from a home where I lived for 15 years and I always had a months worth of food and an extra freezer for meats, etc. I've come to realized that it's so much easier to plan a weeks menu to shop for (based on store sale ads of course) and have a good supply of staples. I also don't throw out as much food as I did when I shopped at the big box stores as I use it within the week. I do stock up on items when they're on sale but I know every 4-6 weeks certain items will be on sale.

I wish I could walk to the grocery store! I live on the county line so there's no walking from my home city to the next. It is only a mile to the stores but I would have to walk on a busy freeway. I am lucky that I have many stores to choose from unlike the OP. Within 3 miles of my home I have Food4Less, 2 Stater Brothers, Walmart (yuck), Target, Vons, Ralphs, and Costco as grocery store options, life as it is in heavily populated Southern California.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:46 PM
 
4,628 posts, read 9,028,496 times
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I drive an hour one way to get to a store which carries more than basics like milk, eggs and bread. I keep about a month's worth of food in the pantry. I stock up on shelf-stable almond and rice milk, different rices, different types of flour, dry soup blends, etc. Fortunately, my land lord has a very large organic garden...so this spring I'll be freeze drying a lot of fruit and vegetables. *** I also find that my food costs have gone down now that I have to plan for at least two or three weeks in advance. I think I waste much less food, as well. The nearest town used to have two grocery stores. Now there's only one and it is poorly stocked. Yes, this is definitely a food desert.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:54 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,573 posts, read 51,786,623 times
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I probably could survive several weeks if not months on the food I have at home. No fresh food, though, but all the canned and dry I could stretch and still have a variety of nutritious dishes from it. I also have a garden, so if really in need, I could grow basic fresh produce there. My freezer holds bread, meat, veggies and fruit. I get water delivered from Sparklets.
I know, it is hard to shop when someone does not have car or is on tight budget.
Maybe small market stores will re-emerge again? Such concepts would be attractive to many shoppers. Where is a need there is a will, and market needs dictate new trends. Many people want traditional grocery stores in their neighborhoods. People could shop near home and, in some cases, never have to get into a car.
Municipality should start to think in terms of developing a collection of small shops, such as a specialty butcher or bread stores, and small rural towns like OP's could get back village feel if there is a store there.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,005,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
I probably could survive several weeks if not months on the food I have at home. No fresh food, though, but all the canned and dry I could stretch and still have a variety of nutritious dishes from it. I also have a garden, so if really in need, I could grow basic fresh produce there. My freezer holds bread, meat, veggies and fruit. I get water delivered from Sparklets.
I know, it is hard to shop when someone does not have car or is on tight budget.
Maybe small market stores will re-emerge again? Such concepts would be attractive to many shoppers. Where is a need there is a will, and market needs dictate new trends. Many people want traditional grocery stores in their neighborhoods. People could shop near home and, in some cases, never have to get into a car.
Municipality should start to think in terms of developing a collection of small shops, such as a specialty butcher or bread stores, and small rural towns like OP's could get back village feel if there is a store there.
There was a time when my small town was the business center of our rural county. A person could buy all their needs from the many stores here. Now that is all gone and no one can make a go of it due to the die off of the surrounding manufacturing business located within 40 miles. No jobs= no money to shop local=small businesses die off. It's happened all over America.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 40,273,555 times
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I could probably eat a long time on the food I have. I hope so, I don't plan on going grocery shopping for the next 6 months! Except for my sodas, I expect that I have everything I will need to eat until after I've taken my trip--trying to save what money I can so that I can go.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,222 posts, read 6,992,930 times
Reputation: 6603
Stockpiling a one year supply of BASIC food for your family is cheap and smart. Buy things like grains, beans etc in bulk and save a ton of money. If you live in farm country borrow a pick up truck and head to a nearby elevator during harvest time. Take along a few dozen quality HEFTY thirty gallon bags. Don't fill them to the top though. Fifteen pounds per bag will be about all most small adults will want to handle. Wheat harvest is typically early July in Kansas and Nebraska a week or two earlier in Texas and Oklahoma and a couple weeks later in states farther North. For bread and baking hard red winter wheat is your best bet. During harvest time there will be long lines of trucks waiting in line. Find a smaller farm truck with a slide up gate for easy loading and chances are pretty good you can buy all the Wheat you need for $20/Bushel (60@ Bushel).

Soybeans and other dry beans are usually sold by the hundred weight (CWT). An offer of twice the elevator price for several bushels will get you enough for everyone in your family and a large part of the neighborhood. I recommend a smaller farm truck because that truck will probably be a local farmer that is a family member of the farmer. The huge semi's are usually owner/operators or hired drivers and they do not own the grain you would be buying. Sweet corn and dent corn are two totally different types of corn. Learn the difference before you try to buy corn off a truck.

A hundred dollars or so will buy you a good hand cranked mill for making corn meal or Wheat flour. Don't insult the farmer by offering him a small premium above the current elevator price. You can pay three or four times the price the elevator offers and still save a bunch over local health food stores or bulk supermarket sellers. You will have to learn how to clean grain but Mother Earth News has a couple good articles about how to do it in their archives. Is it worth it to go to all this trouble? Make it a family adventure by taking the kids with you and teach them how things are done in the real world. You might all have fun.

GL2
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Liberal Coast
4,271 posts, read 4,985,032 times
Reputation: 3861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palenaka View Post
I have about a weeks worth of food in my house. I could probably stretch it to two if I cooked all the dried beans and we used canned milk. I moved from a home where I lived for 15 years and I always had a months worth of food and an extra freezer for meats, etc. I've come to realized that it's so much easier to plan a weeks menu to shop for (based on store sale ads of course) and have a good supply of staples. I also don't throw out as much food as I did when I shopped at the big box stores as I use it within the week. I do stock up on items when they're on sale but I know every 4-6 weeks certain items will be on sale.

I wish I could walk to the grocery store! I live on the county line so there's no walking from my home city to the next. It is only a mile to the stores but I would have to walk on a busy freeway. I am lucky that I have many stores to choose from unlike the OP. Within 3 miles of my home I have Food4Less, 2 Stater Brothers, Walmart (yuck), Target, Vons, Ralphs, and Costco as grocery store options, life as it is in heavily populated Southern California.
Not all areas in Southern California are like this. Where I live, the closest grocery store is 1.7 miles away. The next closes is over two miles more away. In those four miles we have all of Stater Bros, Fresh and Easy, and Target. Yes, I live in a poor area where grocery stores are not put in.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,024 posts, read 10,138,347 times
Reputation: 8868
I live in Niagara Falls Ontario. I'm always astounded by the huge number of full service food stores there are in this city. Within a couple of miles of my house there is at least 10 of them. Within a mile 5. It's great for the consummer because these stores are madly competing for the shoppers dollars. Lately I have even seen some NY plates in the parking lots. The prices for meat have been way low lately. 99cents a pound for pork loin chops. $5 for a fair sized chicken, $3 a pound for surloin steaks and lots more really good deals.
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