Food deserts: The Common Denominator to leading issues of the urban community


Why Do We Need To Address The Impact of Food Deserts?

 Someone asked me to invest in a food truck where I live. We spoke about it and I said only if its vegan food. When looking at the issues in Camden, NJ, a food truck selling deep fried foods, burgers, cheesesteaks, pizza, hot dogs, etc., is not needed. We have too much of that already.

I recently saw a photo being shared of guys who bought a corner store in NYC, and some were excited because they were Black. Meanwhile NYC is home of the #1 food deserts in the USA. What I saw, were foods I wouldn’t buy or feed myself let alone the community. Even behind them they had over the counter pain killers/drugs that I wouldn’t use nor give anyone.

If you want to make money that's cool, however when contributing to the #1 issue that is damaging the community it's a problem.

Some don’t care as long as its lucrative, but if you are concerned about the community and uplifting the people, just making money can’t be the objective.

There are too many ways to make money and be successful in 2019 without perpetuating systemic issues that the community is already suffering from.

I talk about poor nutrition often, some get it, some don’t. Many claim to be "woke" until someone points out the food they have been conditioned to believe is part of their culture is poisoning them, then they are upset and don’t want to hear it.

Here is a breakdown of why Food Deserts are the most problematic concern yet those “working for the community” rarely address it.

“Food deserts” are geographic areas where access to affordable, healthy food options (aka fresh fruits and veggies) is limited or nonexistent because grocery stores are too far away.
About 23.5 million people live in food deserts. Nearly half of them are also low-income.
Residents living in food deserts also have a hard time finding foods that are culturally relevant and that meet their dietary restrictions.

People living in the poorest SES (social-economic status) areas have 2.5 times the exposure to fast-food restaurants/corner stores with packed foodsas those living in the wealthiest areas.
I’m going to point out issues in Camden, NJ but anywhere food deserts exist, similar stats will exist.

Racism in Food and the Commercial Push Over Proper Nutrients

 Dairy industry is racist. Lactose intolerance is more than just stomach issues. Dairy is leading cause of ADHD, asthma, acne, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, obesity, osteoporosis, arthritis, etc.  

Lactose intolerance by Ethnic Background 

70-75% of African Descent 

95-98% of Asians 

74-75% of Native Americans 

33-35% of Caucasian  

Schools still serve cow’s milk for breakfast and lunch via Aramark yet no scientific study exists confirming milk helps bones. Calcium is a mineral found in the soil, biologically no animal can produce calcium. Camden City Aramark, received funding recently from a Dairy Company for athletic resources, ironically enough, so will continue to push dairy products.  


•Camden, NJ, 7th worst Food Desert in the country yet many feel, violence is the focus, but never address why.  

•Camden County Deaths in 2015 

•Heart Disease, 24%, 1,125/4,654 

•Cancer, 21.7%, 1,011/4,654 

•Homicides, .007%, 34/4,654  

Poor Nutrition and it's Influence on Crime, our Youth and Failing Schools in Camden, NJ


In 2013, ranked as most dangerous city on FBI database 

•10.4 square miles with a population over 70,000  

90% of our serotonin is in our digestive system. Serotonin is responsible for our moods; a Healthy Body equals a Healthy Mind.  

In the late 1990s, San Bernardino County was short on prison space and agreed to open an EXPERIMENTAL facility called Victor Valley MCCF The Experiment? They would feed the inmates a PLANT BASED diet.  

The Result? They found that the recidivism rate of prisoners (rate of re-arrest) went from the state average of 95% to 2%!!!!  

From 2010-2017 there have been 1008 deaths by overdose in Camden County.  

Statistics show those who eat a clean plant-based diet on average live 9 years longer than those who meat, dairy, eggs and processed foods.   

The reason is because those who pay more attention to the ingredients of the food they put in their bodies, they are less likely to be involved in at risk behavior and/or feed poison to themselves or their family.  

 I have been working with youth over 13 years and as a Behavioral Specialist every youth I have encountered or heard about all had 1 thing in common and that is an unhealthy diet.  

In 2009, Camden County had the highest juvenile arrest rate (14.9%), the third highest violent arrest rate (9.1%), and the fifth highest juvenile drug arrest rate (8.3%) of any New Jersey county, with the most juvenile offenses concentrated in Camden City.  

According to a July 2011 report of the Juvenile Justice Commission, Juvenile Arrests in New Jersey 2009, the proportion of juvenile arrests for violent index offenses was more than double that of the statewide youth population (28.4% vs. 12.0%, respectively). In 2012, there were 507 juvenile arrests in Camden City, including 78 or 15.3% for violent crimes.  

I have worked in every public middle and high school in Camden, NJ. I see the same issues with behavior, attendance and curriculum. They feed the kids the same food from Aramark, the company that also feeds our prisons. Nutrition is not the focus. No one working in Aramark is required to learn about nutrition.  

In 2014, Nearly 90% of Camden’s schools, 23 out of 26, are in the bottom five percent performance-wide in all of New Jersey, including the three lowest performing schools in the state.  

Camden has the highest high school dropout rate in NJ.  

Yet, Camden County Vocational School in Pennsauken, NJ is doing well. ·

 · One of the 100 Best High Schools in the United States in 2004 and 2005 by U.S. News & World Report.  · Title 1 Distinguished School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the only high school in the state to receive the honor in 2012. 

· Bronze Medal from U.S. News & World Report in 2012 and 2013. 

· Named a New Jersey School of Character 2013, one of three high schools statewide to receive this honor.  

This school is not doing anything extra, most of the students come from the middle schools in Camden, NJ. The teachers and administration are not doing anything that isn’t being done in the Camden schools. However, they cook all their food. Their culinary program has the students cooking all their food. That is the difference!!!  

Teaching Compassion, The Most Important Lesson for our Youth


Teaching compassion is the most important thing you can teach children. The first form of Hate children are taught is that some animals matter and some don’t. All the animals are sentient beings and want to live. They feel pain, happiness, love, and fear. If you educate children where the food comes from, they will choose to not eat meat, dairy and eggs. That is why companies disguise the food so it’s not identifiable.  

Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans.   

It is estimated that, each year: 970 billion – 2.7 trillion fishes are caught from the wild, of which. 450 billion – 1 trillion fish are caught to make fish meal and fish oil. 37 – 120 billion farmed fish are killed for food.   

Every year over 1 billion animals are killed for leather and over 50 million are killed annually for fur.  

Each year, more than 100 million animals—including mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birds—are killed in U.S. laboratories for biology lessons, medical training, curiosity-driven experimentation, and chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics testing.   

Cultural Awareness, Everyone is Woke, Until They Are Told "Soul Food is Slave Food"


In Ancient Egypt, Kemet, vegetation was traded as a from of currency. African diet was more colorful like everything in African culture and incorporated more plant-based foods. In the Caribbean and Mexico there were no cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens or goats that existed prior to the 1500s and European colonization. During slavery, Africans were fed foods they refused and were forced to eat.   

They eventually began deep frying the rotten foods to make them edible. Also, heavy seasonings became incorporated in Black culture as a result of generations of slaves eating disgusting foods to make them taste better. When people of the African Diaspora speak of cultural dishes many of these foods were not cultural by choice, they were forced.  

Although non human sentient beings are voiceless and viewed as property, being vegan is about trying to make a difference for all animals, including humans, that may be oppressed.   

It took about 250 years for the United States to realize slavery was wrong because its in the bible.  

So with animal rights, many are aware they have feelings like happiness, fear, pain, love, etc., and are not accessories but living sentient beings that have every right to live and be free as their human counterparts.   

Martin Luther King and Correta Scott King, Malcom X and Betty Shabazz, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, Cesar Chavez, Dick Gregory, and several other legendary leaders refrained from consuming meat because of the health concerns within our communities but more so due to the understanding of the horrific industry that causes torment to sentient beings.  

As the social issues listed above, history has proven that the law may be behind the times. Just because something is tradition or legal doesn't mean it was ever morally correct.   

Our Diet is Not Only Killing Us, But The Planet and all Her Inhabitants


Over 51% of greenhouse gases are from animal agriculture while only 13% are from the entire transportation industry.   

91% of the Amazon Rain Forest has been destroyed due to animal agriculture which is 1-2 acres of rain forest gone every 60 seconds.  

Waste from dairy 2,500 cows equals waste from a city of 411,000 people.  

It takes over 660 gallons of water to make 1 hamburger. That is the equivalent of 2 months worth of 15 minute showers.  

Over 51% of all large fish have been killed and by the year 2048 all ocean life will be gone due to the fishing industry and animal agriculture.   

1/3 of the Earth's habitable land is currently occupied by animals raised for food. That area is equivalent to the entire continent of Africa or 3 times the size of the United States.   

82% of the world's starving children live in countries in which their surplus grains are shipped to feed animals raised for food in developed countries.   

Wake Up!!!! Let me know where the lie is? I'll wait.