Usher Commentary on Race and Nutrition Appears in Food Systems Journal

Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning Kareem Usher has had a commentary published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Security, and Community Development. The JAFSCD is an online international, peer-reviewed publication focused on the practice and applied research interests of agriculture and food systems development professionals and scholars.

Usher’s commentary, “Valuing All Knowledges Through an Expanded Definition of Access” appears in Volume 5, Issue 4 of the journal and addresses the issue of limited access to supermarkets and healthy food in core urban areas.


“Historical racial injustices as well as more recent public and economic policies have culminated in the displacement of supermarkets from some central city neighborhoods. With this displacement, many low-income and minority neighborhoods not only have been deprived of affordable healthful food, but also have experienced prolonged exposure to energy-dense and highly processed snack foods. Partly as a consequence of this loss of supermarkets, diet-related diseases have become prevalent. Our current policies to improve this health issue address only objective measures of access, with little input from community residents, and they are having limited results. In response, I have reconceptualized access as a construct with five dimensions: acceptability, accessibility, accommodation, affordability, and availability. This new expanded view supports both objective and perceived aspects of access and values the knowledge of residents through community-based participatory research, thereby providing a more complete understanding of access.”

The full text of the commentary is available on the JAFSCD website.

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