A food desert is a location in which a wide variety of nutrition food is not generally available (Wrigley et al. 261). Food deserts exist in places such as inner cities and isolated rural areas (Morton and Blanchard 1). The purpose of the paper supported by this annotated bibliography is to argue that food deserts do not exist because of discrimination against the poor, but because of forces related to supply and demand. This hypothesis ought to be kept in mind when considering each of the sources (Just and Wansink; Wrigley, Warm and Margetts; Jetter and Cassady; Epstein et al.; Schafft, Jensen and Hinrichs; Bitler and Haider) described in the annotated bibliography.
2. Annotated Bibliography
Bitler, Marianne, and Steven J. Haider. "An Economic View of Food Deserts in the United States." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 30.1 (2011): 153-176. Print.
Bitler and Haider’s work is important for numerous reasons. First, Bitler and Haider concluded that there is insufficient empirical work demonstrating rationales for the existence of the food desert. The existence of this research gap is important, because it justifies scholarly studies exploring the question of why food deserts exist in the first place. Second, Bitler and Haider called the concept of a food desert into question, suggesting that insufficient empirical rigor has been brought to bear on the question of exactly what constitutes a food desert. This point is particularly important, because defenders of the argument that food deserts result from a conscious attempt to deprive the poor of access to nutrition food might be equivocating on the definition of food deserts in order to make their point. From this perspective, Bitler...
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... into unhealthy shopping. As Just and Wansink pointed out, very food environments are actually this stark; so-called healthy eating environments contain some bad choices, and so-called unhealthy eating environments contain some good choices. Thus, instead of labeling environments themselves as good and bad, Just and Wansink preferred to conceptualize individual food purchasing decisions as good and bad. One implication of this approach is that a food desert cannot be assumed to be responsible for bad food consumption decisions; that responsibility, according to the behavioral scheme defended by Just and Wansink, rests with the individual consumer. Thus, Just and Wansink’s article can be used as part of a choice-oriented theoretical account of food consumption decisions that replaces the rigidly deterministic account offered by Schacht et al. and Jetter and Cassady.
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