Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Turf High School Interns checking the quality of food available at Foodtown in Parkchester

Mapping Parkchester’s Food System

Turf’s High School Interns and volunteers will be working on a on-going food systems mapping project in order to identity the food providers in Parkchester, rate the quality and cost of their food, learn how food is transported to our community, and learn where our food actually comes from. This in-depth look at our food system will help us determine if our community food system is sustainable. Turf plans to share different stages of the project in community workshops and meetings and include our findings in larger discussions on accessing healthy affordable foods.

On Saturday, our high school interns started the project by rating the availability of fresh food in our 5 major grocery stores. Interns looked for a variety of produce (and its quality) and the availability of organic and low-fat foods and meat substitutes. Two of the five grocery stores received high ratings—C-Town (on Unionport Avenue) and Fine Fair (on Metropolitan Avenue). Both stores have a good selection of fruits and vegetables and section of the store dedicated for healthy foods. However, interns did not find organic fruits and vegetables in any of the stores visited and one of the five stores had undesirable produce for sale.

Since Saturday Turf has discovered Chang Li Supermarket (on Olmstead Avenue), which has large selection of produce and ethnic foods. Chang Li soon will soon be included in our study. Next, we plan to visit grocery stores outside of our community to compare the quality and cost of food.

Note: There is a distinction between grocery stores supermarkets which we will make reference to in our work. A grocery store is a store established primarily for the retailing of food. Large grocery stores that stock products other than food, such as clothing or household items, are called supermarkets.

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