RQ: Burns, Stranded in Atlanta’s Food Deserts”


Keep the following questions in mind as you read Rebecca Burns, “Stranded in Atlanta’s Food Deserts.” The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

1. To what does the term “food desert” refer?

2. How does transportation intersect with food systems?

3. How do the experiences of the families profiled for this article, challenge our assumptions about the use and successfulness of public transit? In other words, we spent a lot of timing talking about the environmental and health benefits of alternative transportation, but what happens if those alternatives are not equitable or equitably distributed?

4. Describe Charles and Emma Davis’s monthly trip to the grocery store. How does it compare with Pollan’s?

5. What were Super Giant, owner Sam Goswami’s plans for his grocery store? According to Dale Royal, why are Goswami’s plans unusual for a grocery store owner? Did Goswami’s plans for his store ever come to fruition?

6. Why are Atlanta’s suburban neighborhoods more likely to be food desserts than neighborhoods inside the perimeter?

7. “Why can we build multimillion-dollar highway systems and multibillion-dollar stadiums but not more grocery stores?” (par. 14)

8. What’s ironic about where many farm to table restaurants source their produce? OR, Why are neighborhoods in ATL, such as those on the south and west sides, both starved for healthy food retails and also home to “at least a dozen urban agricultural businesses—Patchwork City Farms and Atwood Community Gardens, for instance” (par 34)?

9. What are some solutions being tested to solve the problem of food deserts on Atlanta’s westside?

10. Why is “food swamp” a better term than food desert? What does the term “food swamp” mean?

11. What are the aims of the “Fertile Crescent” project?

12. How did Goswami’s urban garden next to Giant Food aim to address sustainability and equity issues in the neighborhood?

13. What happened to Giant Food?