Fighting the Food Desert War

LaDonna Redmond of Graffiti and Grub, Chicago

LaDonna Redmond of Graffiti and Grub (Photo via

I was reading the current issue of Time magazine today and came across the collection of “25 Responsible Pioneers”, which highlights companies and consumers that are making a difference in the world.

One pioneer instigating change in Chicago is LaDonna Redmond, who lives on the city’s South Side. She got tired of driving across town to find produce free of pesticides so she opened Graffiti and Grub, a for-profit market. According to their website, Graffiti and Grub–the brainchild of LaDonna Redmond and Wil Seegars–is a healthy, sustainable, local food experience for the hip hop generation, a community-based solution to the issue of food deserts. The market is staffed by inner-city youth who also work on urban farms in an employment program run through the store.

What’s a food desert? It usually occurs in the inner city areas, which don’t often have access to full-service grocery stores, making it more difficult for residents to eat fresh produce.

The Christian Science Monitor’s Bright Green Blog cites Detroit as a food desert “for its lack of  chain stores that carry fresh fruits and vegetables…. And public transportation options are few for anyone who wants to travel to a neighborhood with more food choices.”

One nonprofit group in Detroit, the Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corp. (which runs its own produce market called Peaches & Greens) decided to make a difference by transporting produce from community gardens to the inner city.

Interested in helping out? There’s a Food Desert website aiming to build a community around the food desert problem. And, did you know it’s Food Desert Awareness Month? Check out Mari Gallagher’s post in yesterday’s Huffington Post and don’t forget to take the Good Food Pledge.

As LaDonna Redmond says, “Everyone deserves healthy food.”


One response to “Fighting the Food Desert War

  1. Off topic, but a possible fellow foodie:

    Some recipes I definitely want to try there! Thai zucchini (which I can spell) cakes with peanut sauce, for example…

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