Working towards Garden of Eden: Developing practical solutions to combat food insecurity in food deserts
Food deserts and food insecurity can negatively impact the health of communities. Urban farming, specifically with aeroponics systems, could be a possible solution in alleviating food insecurity in food deserts. In order to test and understand what type of system and products work best in such areas, this thesis looks at urban farming from farms' and consumers' perspective using qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative data was collected from current businesses that are using urban farming techniques within the Phoenix valley. Based on the quantitative research, the consumers studied seemed willing to eat leafy greens and vegetables given that they are affordable, fresh, and they understand how to cook them. Further research could be a more focused study on residents of specific neighborhoods that are classified as food deserts. Another aspect that could be researched further is the other factors affecting the health of residents located in food deserts other than the availability of food. This could include, but is not limited to, lack of nutritional education, insufficient cooking materials, and personal food preferences.