What’s this? It’s a blueberry: A tale of a food desert

A couple of years ago, I was in the Detroit airport waiting for my plane. There was a young woman (I’m guessing 18-22ish) also waiting. She said she’d never flown on a plane before and asked me a ton of questions about what the tunnel was (to board the plane), etc. She said she’d only taken Greyhound busses before to get to Missouri, this would be her first flight. But that wasn’t the shocking part…

I needed a snack and thought she might need one too, so I bought us both yogurt parfaits. I got her to accept it and she started eating it very happily. About a minute later, she asked, “What are these things? They are really good.” I looked over and she had a blueberry on her spoon. I said “That thing? It’s a blueberry.” “Oh!” she said. I was a little confused. “You’ve never seen or heard of a blueberry before?” I asked. “No,” she said, “but they are really good!”

We hear terms like “food desert” thrown around a lot, but it’s experiences like this that really highlight what it means to have a lack of fruit and vegetables in an area.


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