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Old 12-11-2017, 04:26 AM   #1
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Dealing with Food Deserts while boondocking

Food Deserts defined: Food deserts are defined as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets, and healthy food providers.

So how do you deal with this while boondocking? Weíre organic fruit and vegetable farmers heading out west later this summer. We boondock out here in the northeast and havenít found it to be an issue. The perception is that the sparse BLM lands etc maybe a bigger issue for those of us that depend on mostly fruit and vegetables in our diet.
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Old 12-11-2017, 04:47 AM   #2
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/subscribed. I'm fascinated by this question. What do you think we eat out west? Dirt?
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:20 AM   #3
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The Yuma area is what I call America's salad bowl. There are thousands of acres fresh produce irrigated by the Colorado River. Some is even organic. My brother eats organic and being close enough to that resource has him coming to join me in the desert.

I found this article from 2015

Greater Yuma | Farm fresh: More Yuma locals seek organic produce
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:05 AM   #4
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The issue isn't food deserts. It's deserts. I'm sure there are "food deserts" in large cities out west but in the desert there isn't anything. But find a moderately sized town and you're sure to find a grocery store with fresh produce and there are farmers markets everywhere. Remember, they grow most of that stuff in California and much more of it in other areas in the west.

You might have to drive a bit to find a grocery store considering how much empty land there is but this isn't the east with it's cramped cities. Things are more spread out and building a grocery store, even in poorer sections of cities isn't a big deal.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:13 PM   #5
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There is no "food desert" out west. Not sure who thought there was and made a big deal out of it. What you are going to find, if you are locked into organic and fresh fruit / veggies is that the price is going to be all over the board, depending where you are. My wife has to be be gluten free - no option. I have paid as much as 3 - 4 times as much for the exact same item in Montana as I have in Oregon, where I live. You have to realize that if you go into an area that has a 2 - 3 month growing season, most all the fresh items are trucked in and that will cost. West coast, not an issue, but you start to get into the Mt, Wy.. Northern Id areas, you'll see what I mean.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
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/subscribed. I'm fascinated by this question. What do you think we eat out west? Dirt?
When I was 2/3/4 ...Yup I did......
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:34 PM   #7
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BOL for farmers markets, can be in anytown and on any day of the week. There are no Wegman's out here, but some good grocery stores here and there. Coffee shops, bakeries and the occasional health food stores (remember them?) are also a good place to start. Just like anywhere, if your boondocking, you gotta stock up first.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:46 PM   #8
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Some thoughts and explanations:

First off I grow organic, and eat organic when I can, that includes affordability. The discussion I started was about the common availability of nutritious foods. The term food desert only applies to the availability of nutrional foods sold within a reasonable distance from your abode.

An example, I use to live within two miles of four different large grocery stores. Back then I didnít live in a food desert.

Here in the very northern rural New York, I now live 18 miles south of one, 15 miles north of one, 27 miles west of one, and 55 miles east of one; I live within a food desert.

The majority of food deserts are west of the Mississippi, very roughly speaking. I will supply a map later.

For discussion purposes, I was inquiring about how everyone deals with supplying fresh nutritious food while boondocking? Some of the comments are giving me a clue. Again, Iím not referring to organic only.

Do you stock up when in town?
Do you skip eating fresh vegetables and fruits?
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:47 PM   #9
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You can also preserve your own food or at least some of it. We dehydrate food in advance of a trip where we will be away from towns for a while. Freezing works well too, assuming your RV has a good freezer (ours does). If you only eat organic foods, there will be rarely be a place that doesn’t carry them, but many do even in small towns.
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:16 PM   #10
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You can also preserve your own food or at least some of it. We dehydrate food in advance of a trip where we will be away from towns for a while. Freezing works well too, assuming your RV has a good freezer (ours does). If you only eat organic foods, there will be rarely be a place that doesnít carry them, but many do even in small towns.
We have done a bit of canning, preserving and freezing here on the Homestead for many years. I have enough food preserved here to last about a year. Canned goods are heavy and bulky, so are many of the frozen goods. We dehydrate some of our foods also, but I may need to start hammering away at developing a better stock of those. Luckily our ORV has a 10 CF refrigerator with freezer. We also have a very large well insulated cooler.

How often do you encounter farmers markets?

Are fruit and vegetables normally fresh and in great shape in the grocery stores?

Is there an app for finding grocery and farmers markets?

If not are there guides that help hook folks up with these sellers?
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:18 PM   #11
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So...no MRE's I guess.
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:30 PM   #12
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farmers markets are common, but are subject to seasonal availability just like in rural, upstate new york. season is earlier than back east. no app for finding fm as far as i know. dont worry, be happy. discover. BTW, out of season produce from supermarkets is awful here too. but in season? we just bought our first bag of local oranges; look for red ruby grapefruit in Texas in March-April. We'll have local strawberries here in April. Go with the seasons! And in New Mexico, its Red or Green with everything!
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:31 PM   #13
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LOL. I cant' wait to see the food desert map. If there is any concern, best stay east. If there is curiosity, come visit the fly-overs and have your eyes truly opened in the impoverished west. Yes, much of the movie The Book of Eli was filmed in New Mexico, but it is just a movie. We're mostly not really like that. LOL.

There is lots of space out west which provides the opportunity to boondock as close or as far from civilization as you wish. Grocery shop accordingly.



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Old 12-11-2017, 01:32 PM   #14
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So...no MRE's I guess.
I guess MREís have nutrition, theyíre just not fresh?
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