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Food deserts and food insecurity in the UK

Food deserts and food insecurity in the UK

This book discusses the influences that drive food insecurity in the UK, including social inequality, transport, employment, rural isolation, local politics, the COVID-19 pandemic and increases in the cost of living.

Publisher’s summary

This book examines the social inequalities relating to food insecurity in the UK, as well as drawing parallels with the US.

Access to food in the UK, and especially access to healthy food, is a constant source of worry for many in this wealthy country. Crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have coincided with a steep rise in the cost of living, meaning household food insecurity has become a reality for many more households. This book introduces a new framework to examine the many influences on local-level food inequalities, whether they result from individual circumstances or where a person lives. The framework will allow researchers new to the field to consider the many influences on food security, and to support emerging research around different sub-topics of food access and food security. Providing a thorough background to two key concepts, food deserts and food insecurity, the book documents the transition from area-based framing of food resources, to approaches which focus on household food poverty and the rise of food banks. The book invites researchers to acknowledge and explore the ever changing range of place-based factors that shape experiences of food insecurity: from transport and employment to rural isolation and local politics. By proposing a new framework for food insecurity research and by drawing on real-world examples, this book will support academic and applied researchers as they work to understand and mitigate the impacts of food insecurity in local communities.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of food and nutrition security, public health, and sociology. It will also appeal to food policy professionals and policymakers who are working to address social inequalities and improve access to healthy and nutritious food for all.



Smith, D. and Thompson, C. (2022). Food Deserts and Food Insecurity in the UK: Exploring Social Inequality. Routledge, Abingdon.


Read more here. See also the TABLE explainer What is food security?

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