Scorched Earth -- Food Deserts in America

Scorched Earth, one of three capstone teams from Cohort 1, recently examined the concept of a "food desert" and all its implications. This team dug in and then presented potential options for solving this dilemma. 

February 09, 2021
• by
Kim Brower
Scorched Earth team logo

A surprising number of Americans live in what's known as "food deserts" -- areas with limited access to healthful foods at reasonable costs. Members of food desert communities live far from brand-name grocery stores. As a result, they are often faced with the choice of having to travel miles to buy the food they need or having to pay higher prices for fewer choices at small corner markets closer to home. These communities are even more at-risk during times of crisis, including pandemics and social unrest, when supply chains may become disrupted.

This year, team Scorched Earth examined the concept of food deserts and discussed ways to "burn the past and the old ways of doing things so we can create a new, better world." Scorched Earth teammates Naomi Canty (Whitehall Specialties), Kelly Frederick (The Coca-Cola Company), Jessica Steinberg (Vegan Lifestyle Writer), Mike Stigers (Cub Foods), Jayme Violi (Faribault Foods), and Levi Wingo (Raley's) presented the results of their research to USC faculty, students, and industry professionals at the Inaugural Capstone Presentations event hosted by the Master of Science, Food Industry Leadership program in the fall of 2020. 

See their work here: Scorched Earth Presentation 2020