SPATIAL DIFFERENCES IN FRESH VEGETABLE SPENDING: A CASE STUDY IN GUILFORD COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
Keywords: Fresh Vegetable Consumption, Food Desert, Agent-based Model, Local Food System, Platform
Abstract. This paper investigates the spatial differences in fresh vegetable spending in Guilford County, North Carolina. We create a geo-coded spatial-temporal database for both human factors and natural factors to understand why food deserts have become a serious issue in a county with many farming activities. We find that residents living in food deserts do not buy enough fresh vegetables compared with their counterparts, even when they are shopping at full-service grocery stores. Social-economic factors are most sensitive and are important determinants of fresh food demand. Using an agent-based toy model, we find that fresh vegetable demand in each census tract in Guilford County varies to a large extent. The results suggest that the formation of food deserts may root from the demand side.
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