Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Food and Geography

A couple or three scary maps from the USDA's Food Atlas that fairly clearly lay out the correlation (if not the causation) between food choices and health issues.

(Hat tip to La Vida Locavore.)

First up, note the link between soda consumption and adult diabetes.

This one's interesting: direct-to-consumer (farmer to consumer) food sales. I'd have to really dig into US Ag numbers to make sense of this, but it sure doesn't look like there's a correlation between a region's agricultural output and the prevalence of CSAs and farmer's markets. In other words, the more a region makes, the more likely they are to ship it out. You'll find direct-to-consumer food sales not so much where the food is grown, but where the Wal-marts aren't. We grow a lot of food in southern California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina ... but we ship all of that food elsewhere (or, at least, package it for re-sale at grocers and big box stores). Meanwhile, in the Pacific Northwest, New England, and Colorado / New Mexico, folks are buying more of their food directly from the grower.


muddywaters said...

Interesting! I love it when you talk statistics.

I'd like to see soda machines pulled from schools, but administrators claim we'd lose too much revenue with such a move.

No parents voice concern about their children having access to junk food, but they'll raise a ruckus if a teacher has students read Huck Finn or if schools have students listen to a speech by the president.

You're right: People are illogical.

Sadly, the mighty dollar speaks louder than these statistics.

oneordinaryday said...

Wow. That's really interesting. I read the other day that one of the issues Michelle Obama wants to tackle is vending machines in the schools. It's definitely a double-edged sword, so to speak. Certainly unhealthy for the kids, and the schools are struggling for the revenue.