food desert
(FOOD dez.urt) n. An area where fresh food is either non-existent or too expensive.

Example Citation:
The term "food desert" was coined to describe areas with limited access to healthy food. There are food deserts all over Britain, in rural as well as urban areas. "It's not just a matter of there being no shops," says Elizabeth Dowler, a sociologist at Warwick University. "Often there are shops. But these tend to be meagre, run-down shops which sell little or no fresh food." A recent study of Sandwell, West Bromwich, for instance, found that around 90% of the households in the area were within 500 metres of shops that sold junk food and fizzy drinks. Less than 20% of the houses were within 500 metres of a shop selling fresh fruit and vegetables. This can be attributed largely to the steady increase in the number of supermarkets in Britain since the 1970s and the commensurate decline in the number of independent grocers. Around 80% of food shopping is now done in supermarkets, compared with less than 50% 25 years ago.
—"Getting stuffed," The Economist, July 27, 2002

Earliest Citation:
The healthy-eating boom that swept muesli-belt Middle England through the 1980s by-passed Tipton. Money was too tight. Like thousands of other communities across Britain, it had been transformed by the exodus of the big supermarkets to out-of-town greenfield sites into what the experts call a 'fresh food desert'.
—Judy Jones, "The fast food trap," The Observer, January 21, 1996

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