~posted by Kara
Our region is ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to organic farming and produce provided to our population. But even though we spend six billion dollars on food, we only spend 2% of that on local food. One of those reasons is food deserts.
Food deserts are something I knew all too well growing up in White Center. My mom and I mostly shopped at the Food Giant located on Delridge, which is now a Home Depot. When that went away we went to the Albertson’s on the edge of White Center and finally a few years after that the QFC in Westwood Village where we could find much better quality produce and meats. But all this was possible because we had a car.
A new initiative is in the works called the Kitchen Cabinet is being led by West Seattle’s Dow Constantine. The idea is to have more people in our region eating the food grown in our region.
Another reason is that eating cheap isn’t always healthy. One of my favorite cookbooks that came out this year was Thug Kitchen; they have a blog too! Many people are shocked when I tell them it’s a vegan cookbook, but its recipes are budget friendly and easy to understand. Some of the problems I’ve come across with healthy eating are weird ingredients that are sometimes hard to find. Thug Kitchen makes the effort to decrease that stress and makes you take charge of what you eat!
In Seattle we are lucky to have farmer’s markets, some open all year long. One great program already in effect is the Fresh Bucks program, which takes your EBT dollars and stretches them a bit farther at Farmers Markets across the city.
Another great vegan cookbook, and blog, is The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Anglea Liddon. Angela also has simple and nourishing recipes with ingredients that are easy to find. These meals will leave you feeling energized and healthy, both body and mind. Keep in mind for those carnivores out there of how delicious these meals would taste with a steak by its side. Just because its vegan doesn’t mean you can’t change it up!
Do you live in a food desert? See for yourself!