Food Deserts in America [Infographic]

Food deserts have been a big topic in the United States lately, and for good reason: 23.5 million Americans, about 2% of all households, live in food deserts. These food deserts are defined as areas where it is impossible to find adequate fresh, whole, and healthy foods, particularly fruits and vegetables.

Most food desert areas are impoverished, and many residents of these areas do not have a car to travel to stores that carry healthy options. Not even large cities are exempt from food deserts—according to a 2009 survey, 750,000 New York residents lived in areas without adequate access to healthy food, and in 2006, 500,000 Chicago residents reported the same.

Obviously, having poor access to healthy food has health ramifications. Many people with dietary restrictions like gluten allergies or lactose intolerance have an even harder time getting proper nutrition. It is estimated that healthy eating could save $71 billion in chronic healthcare costs by lowering rates of certain diseases. In neighborhoods with access to healthy food, a 45% decrease in diabetes cases over the course of five years was noted. Obesity was also lower in these areas.

Health costs aside, there are other negative ramifications of living in a food desert. Healthy food is more expensive at smaller stores, and many people don’t have time to venture out to larger stores, even if they do have transportation. Since many people who live in these areas live in poverty, they often have no choice but to eat fast food.

The good news is that there are many different initiatives working toward fewer food deserts in the United States, including school lunch programs and bringing grocery stores to impoverished areas. Learn more from this Tulane University infographic from their School of Social Work.

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How long does it take Food to Spoil? [Infographic]

Believe it or not: Americans throw away $165 billion dollars in food each year. That means 40% of food is wasted every year! There are clearly many ways food is wasted, but one way is in our own homes. Too often, food gets pushed to the back of our refrigerators, freezers, or pantries and forgotten about for months or even years to come. We’re left scratching our heads and wondering if a food item is still safe to eat. Or, if it goes bad, we end up throwing food away and wasting not only that food, but money. It affects our environment and our own wallet.

To clear up the gray area and to help reduce food waste, Kitchen Cabinet Kings put together a helpful guide that breaks down the average lifespan of common household foods. It can be helpful to reference this chart next time you grocery shop and create simple labels on your food. You can avoid food waste and getting sick by eating potentially spoiled food. Check out the full infographic below that details each food item broken down by storage medium in your freezer, refrigerator, or pantry.

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Best/Worst Foods to eat before Bed [Infographic]

For many of us, the greatest struggle is right before bed when we’re more likely to choose the wrong food to eat, leading not only to a restless night of sleep but also to feeling a bit heavier the following morning.

Certain foods, however, contain distinct ingredients that can actually contribute to a better night’s sleep and even help suppress hunger and speed up metabolism, leading to weight loss. In this article, we’ll dive into both the best and worst foods for each goal in mind.

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Cooking with Matcha [Infographic]

Matcha is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, the same plant used to make all green and black teas. To create matcha, farmers grow tea plants in special shaded conditions, pick the finest young buds, and use a slow-turning granite grinder to rub them into an ultra-fine, vivid jade-hued powder. Matcha powder is whisked into warm water to make traditional matcha tea, frothed with milk to make green-tea lattes, and used to flavor and color various foods.

Green tea is sometimes called the healthiest beverage on the planet. Matcha tea boasts even more nutrients than brewed green tea because it contains the actual tea leaves (rather than just liquid flavored by steeping leaves). In fact, tea made from matcha powder has 137 times more of the potent antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) than brewed green tea, according to one study. Intrigued? Dig into more of the health benefits of matcha and discover 10 delicious and healthy recipes with matcha in the starring role.

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Healthy Overnight Oats Recipes [Infographic]

Ahh, mornings. Some people love them and consider themselves to be “morning people,” waking up with a smile on their face, but it seems as though a larger number of individuals would rather hit snooze over and over again than get their day started.

If you consider yourself the latter, you need to add overnight oats into your routine! They take just a few minutes to prepare the night before, and are packed full of healthy carbs, nutrients, and cholesterol fighters to help aid your heart health.

Overnight oats are super versatile, and can be combined with an endless number of ingredients and toppings to cater to any palate. Take a look at these 10 tasty overnight oats recipes from Personal Creations that are sure to get your day started on a positive note!

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