Food deserts are areas with low income & low access to food (>1 mi from a grocery store in urban areas, > 10 mi in rural areas). The USDA offers mapping resources to explore the food deserts near your community. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert For project 2, I had students examine the food deserts near a place that is important to them & surrounding our project site. This could exploration could also be done in larger classes as a think-pair-share with students learning a little about the diversity in food access from towns where they are from.
Also, if you teach a class that would like to bring in a multitude of topics that relate to food security, there are a great wealth of maps widely available (Google Search) that show other issues related to food security that could be looked at in addition to the erosion maps in Unit 3. These include: 1) demographic maps, 2) farm subsidy maps, 3) soil lead maps, 4) toxic release inventory maps, 5) fertilizer application maps, 6) groundwater availability maps, 7) drought forecast maps, 8) food price maps (retail)/food as a percentage of income. These are available at national to global scales. Small groups can consider the intersections between figures & identify the dominant threats to food security, or they could conduct additional research and small groups could discuss which threats are most pressing to solve first with evidence from case studies.
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