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Desert

Yes, you read that right. Creation Date Monday, 07 May 2012. Hits 1055

Desert

We're not dealing with cakes and pies here. You did not read that wrong, and I didn't misspell it. Am I suggesting that liberals don't know what a desert is? Yes I am, and I can prove it. Some of them may even come from a State like Arizona or New Mexico where they live in a desert and don't know what it is. I was completely unaware of this situation until First Lady Michelle Obama appeared on Mike Huckabee's show on FOX News to talk about her nutrition programs. When I first heard her say it, I thought I must have misunderstood. Michelle is widely regarded as a very intelligent woman. Could she have possible said what I thought she just said? She had. And this was how I was first introduced to the "Food Desert."

When I heard her say it, I thought it was a joke. I laughed hysterically. It wasn't. She was serious. Was it possible that Michelle Obama doesn't know what a desert is? Here is how a desert is defined.

1.

a region so arid because of little rainfall that it supports only sparse and widely spaced vegetation or no vegetation at all: The Sahara is a vast sandy desert. Synonyms: waste, wasteland, barren wilderness.

2.

any area in which few forms of life can exist because of lack of water, permanent frost, or absence of soil. Synonyms: wasteland, barren wilderness.

3.

an area of the ocean in which it is believed no marine life exists.

4.

(formerly) any unsettled area between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains thought to be unsuitable for human habitation.

5.

any place lacking in something: The town was a cultural desert. Synonyms: wasteland.

So here is how this went down. If a town is devoid of culture, it is a "cultural desert." So what would we call a town that is devoid of food? A desert! Every desert is a food desert unless otherwise specified. Notice the definitions above? A lack of vegetation, which is the food for the smaller animals that the bigger ones then eat. A place in the ocean that does not support marine life is a desert because and only because there is nothing there to eat. So when I heard the first lady use this term I heard Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men stating emphatically "Is there any other kind!"

Now since I first touched on this subject, the definition on wikipedia has changed slightly, but the notion is still a joke. You can read the full article here, but I will just touch on a few of the finer points of what constitutes a "food desert."

The main factor used to classify a community as a food desert is distance from nutritional food retailers. There is no standard for "inadequate" access or "adequate" access to foods. This can be a limited classification and scientific limitation as individuals may live close to a retailer that provides nutritious food, but this food may be more expensive, creating an additional barrier to access. Access to food is calculated by distance of consumer residence to nearest supermarket or grocery store. Distance is measured from centroid of an area (by zip code, census tract, or block) to nearest supermarket or grocery store. Standards of access and methods of measurement vary among researchers to determine food deserts. Research suggests food deserts exist if consumer residence is one to ten miles away from the nearest supermarket. Other measurements include "urban areas with 10 or fewer stores with no more than 20 employers" (Hendrickson et al. 2006). The USDA's Thrifty Food Plan aims to standardize the methods of assessment for the availability and price of foods in stores.

So here we are informed of the exact way to measure to see if you are in a food desert right after being informed that there is no standard distance that makes it a food desert. Well why in the blue hell would one measure if there were no standard to measure against? Exactly! Because then you can call any area a food desert, and nobody can tell you that you are wrong. The main factor used to classify a location as a food desert is a standard that hasn't been set. They do, however, apply a set standard later in the article.

A rural food desert is generally classified as a county where residents must drive more than 10 miles to the nearest supermarket chain or super-center, whereas an urban food desert is classified as having to drive more than a mile.

Seriously? A mile? That's 5 minutes in rush hour traffic. Anything more than that is a food desert? But believe it or not, they have tightened down their standards from what they were just 2 years ago when I copied and pasted the following into the above linked article.

'Physical access' to shops can be difficult if the shops are distant, the shopper is elderly or infirm, the area has many hills, public transport links are poor, and the consumer has no car. Also, the shop may be across a busy road, difficult to cross with children or with underpasses that some fear to use because of a crime risk.

A person living across the street from a grocery store lives in a food desert, so long as said street is a busy one. And once again (you guessed it) there is no discernible standard used to quantify if said street is busy or not. So this leads us to the point where we must now define what a liberal means when they say "desert," or more specifically "food desert."

Food Desert

  1. Any location where there is any way possible to make the case that the Government needs to insert itself into a family dinner table.
  2. Any location where healthy food does not fall out of the sky and land in people's open and waiting mouths.

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