Food Accessibility in Health and Wellness

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Food accessibility is an area not taken into consideration often enough when we talk about wellness. Healthy can be done in many forms!

The online world makes us feel like if you don’t eat fancy products you can’t be healthy. From superfoods to super grains, it’s a super amount of money!

The Evolution of Healthy Food

Being what they call “an influencer” I see it all online. From people pushing fancy products with the promise of optimal wellness, to the opposite side of simply being able to access food for some populations.

In today’s almost post pandemic world, health is of uttermost importance. So why do we focus on creating newer “better” products instead of trying to find ways to get simple wholesome food to all populations?

I consider myself very blessed to afford what we do. Yes, we work hard for it but my families history wasn’t an easy road.

I am first generation Greek, my parents were Greek immigrants to this country. When I was little, both of them worked full time in order to get food on the table and give us a good life.

However my mom came from very little. She grew up poor in the mountains of Greece, not knowing if she would have food every day. She was one of the only women to go to high school and the first woman in her village to attend college.

Back then, at 13 the women were brought home and married off. But my grandmother saw a light in her that needed to be fueled. So my mom was pushed to get an education.

My mom is a hero in my eyes. She taught me the concept of hard work, and accomplishing dreams. She worked her ass off to give us an incredible life, and now lives very very comfortably.

She gives a lot to the less fortunate, not only here in San Diego but also to family back in Greece who live on barely anything. She has volunteered and mentored at the homeless schools and basically is an incredible human.

I tell this story, because I was raised on good wholesome healthy food. My mom also grew up eating all whole fresh foods, when they actually had food, because that was what they could grow and trade for.

No superfoods. No fancy products. But here we are in America today where it seems if you can’t afford Whole Foods prices, you are screwed. Except, you aren’t.

Social Determinants of Health

If we are going to make health something all people can achieve, we need to take certain things into consideration. We need to think about where people are born, work and continue their life.

There are social determinants that must be considered such as socioeconomic status, eduction level, the actual physical environment, their social networks, where they work and access to healthcare.

While this is a deep discussion that could go on for hours, I will touch upon a few of these aspects and why we need to work on changing the narrative.

Economic Access to Food

The most talked about issue with a healthy diet is being able to afford it. If you can’t shop at Whole Foods, is there still hope you can live in ultimate health?

There are so many factors with economic access. From the income you bring in, your expenses, the debt you have, your medical bills and other supports. They all play a factor.

Physical environment

While money is a major issue, we also need to think about the fact that some people can’t even get to places that offer fresh nutritious food. We take for granted how easy it is for those of us that have cars to get places.

If you cannot afford a car, you rely on public transportation to get around. Not only does that take longer, but it also may not get you close to what you need.

Where you live and what you have around you is an important factor. The grocery stores in your neighborhood, access to public transportation to get to them if walking isn’t an option, and even the safety of leaving your home at the hours you have open to get that food should all be considered.

Education and health

 

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