Investigating the Accessibility to Select Organic Food Sources Based on Food Desert Characteristics within Deland, Florida

Authors: MacKenzie Quinn*, Stetson University
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Social Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: food deserts, food justice, GIS, organic
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Increasing our understanding of organic food consumption and food security is vital in a time of global emergence of food deserts. The term “food desert” can be defined as an area in the United States with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly such an area composed of predominately lower-income neighborhoods and communities, yet literature clearly indicates that the definition is fickle. This study sought to synthesize the defining characteristics of organic food deserts to identify the presence of organic food deserts within the focal City of Deland, Florida. Using geographic analysis programs, such as ArcMap, grocery locations were geographically studied against socioeconomic, population density, minority, and educational attainment provided by United States Census Bureau Tiger File tract and block group data. In conjunction with census data, organic food availability was identified using an Organic Food Product Index survey instrument to spatially depict those areas within Deland that lack access to organic food products. The results contradicted my original hypothesis since grocery stores located within low socioeconomic neighborhoods failed to offer equal access to organic food products, as the research found that stores along the OFPI value range were randomly placed within the city.

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