Chart: Fruit and Vegetables Only for the Rich?

The visual on food spending brings the figure home to you

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A few weeks ago the USDA in conjunction with the ERS released a map of food deserts in the United States, low-income areas with little access to healthy food. In most cities the signs are unmistakable, the grocery stores turn into liquor stores, the supermarkets disappear. The chart above from the USDA details what may be the effects--or the causes, as it's hard to tell--of these neighborhoods: the closer people get to the poverty line, the less they spend on healthful foods, in the form of fruits and vegetables.

Houses with incomes above 300 percent of the federal poverty line, spent over 50 percent more on fruits and vegetables per person than households with incomes below and just over the poverty line. The breakdown amounts to a difference in dollars a week, as the group earning up to 130 percent of the poverty line spends $3.09 per person on fruits and vegetables, while those earning over 300 percent of the poverty line spent $4.98. This may be indicative of another trend as well, a Gallup report from last fall quotes the CDC to show that a majority of all American's still fail to meet government goals in terms of fruit and vegetable consumption overall.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.