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Photo Essay: Digest This

In 2014, 48.1 million people in the United States lived in a food-insecure household, meaning they didn’t know where or when their next meal would be. According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture, these individuals either didn’t have the funds or couldn’t access sufficient nutritious food to keep themselves and their families healthy and happy. 

Juxtaposing shots of the products sold in three different common food markets--the organic, expensive Whole Foods, the cheaper Safeway and the nationwide convenience store 7-11--serves to draw attention to this nationwide food crisis. The differences among these three food stores, located less than a 30 minute walk away from each other, is symbolic of the ever growing difference between the classes in the U.S.

A 2013 cross-generational survey indicated that 77 percent of shoppers purchased groceries from a non-grocer, and 96 percent planned to in the coming year--82 percent of which were individuals with children. 7-11 ranked 7 out of 20 for favored non-traditional food markets; CVS Pharmacy came in 4th. 

According to the Bloomberg School for Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, most of the meat consumed in the U.S. is red meat, which may lead to serious health complications. Nearly 25 percent is processed meat, which often contain fillers, additives and a high sodium content. Because farm subsidies (particularly for corn, the basis of many sweeteners and fillers) increase the output of processed food, less healthy options also tend to be cheaper. 

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