America’s supermarkets allow access to hundreds of different packaged foods, fruits and vegetables. It is important to add that not everyone living in the U.S. has access to food and specifically healthy food. There are thousands of people living in food deserts in the United States. If there happens to be food nearby it usually consists of a corner store or fast food, which is nothing close healthy or nutritious. These food deserts exist everywhere from the city to the country.
Even when you go to the supermarket to get food, most of the fruits and vegetables are nothing like the natural plant, flower or root. Many of these so-called “healthy foods” are filled with harmful chemicals and pesticides. Have you ever wondered how you are able to eat a banana, pineapple or orange in the middle of winter? Preservatives and chemicals make it so a banana can travel hours and days to a different location. This is why it is so important to eat foods that are in season. These foods that are available to us but are not in season are damaging to our health and the workers growing, retrieving and preparing these fruits and vegetables.
There is a big demand for fruits and vegetables in places that are far from the original crop. This mass production of fruits and vegetables has major effects on the surrounding environment. In drier areas of the country, water can be scarce. Crops and mass production farming take a lot of resources that are limited to that area.
Look up the major crops in your area or state. Since these crops of food are closer by, they most likely will be sent to places near them. The delivery becomes faster and more efficient. If you are in an area that has a lot of crops and fresh food, take advantage of that. In an area where there are more farmlands, there are even more options for fresh and wholesome foods.
Not everyone has the ability to do this or has access to it, especially in major cities and heavily populated areas.
If you are able to access and afford a plant-based diet, do not shame or look down upon others for their inability to eat healthier foods. Plant-based diets are unrealistic for a lot of communities around the U.S. It is important to support others and fight for more access.
Too often we picture the vegan and healthy individual as someone who is white and female, which leaves a lot of people out of the picture. This movement towards “traditional”, native and natural foods will only happen with the help of all groups and people.