Project Abstract

How can broke people improve their financial and nutritional consumption by exploring more disciplined means of staying alive inside of a food desert environment? Research examines the implications of and how to stay ahead within the already-existing fields of Food Deserts, that individuals have no other choice, due to income, to live inside of. Research discusses possibilities of staying ahead within the swindlings of corporate enterprises and vast amounts of convenience stores, financially and nutritionally, as a resident inside one of these regions.

Project Description

The overarching theme for this research is under the general guise of communication in citizen science and popular education, in reviewing research which intends to examine what contributes to the lack of nutrition for those in low-income or severe poverty conditions, with specific examples from the influential aspects of cultural implications, economics in relation to social settings, and institutionally set-up structures. This research seeks to answer this study’s overarching question:

How can broke people improve their financial and nutritional consumption by exploring more disciplined means of staying alive inside of a food desert environment?

Significance of Research

Researching arguably one of few ways that cultural implications and nature of values could positiviely influence the choices an individual within a larger community or demographic could make, in order to avoid (within these food desert regions) from being further financially “swindled” by these food system corporate enterprises which are upcharging the cost of cents in each food item (which is, over the course of time, costing an individual more money to stay alive). 


Ideal goals would be to propose further distribution of informative, easy-to-access, and easily decipherable pieces of information regarding “how-to’s” on making better food consumption choices, alongside with proportional sizing and nutritional information tips on how to keep properly nourished (within the constraints of an institutionally-influenced and controlled community being set-back by economic conditions). Goals made with the intent of finding the bridge between bettering the lives of individuals and families inside of these neighborhoods and areas, via the resaerch findings, and with what is already available and accessible.

Major Findings and Contributions


  1. Lack of cultural eating values, tied to the discipline of choosing healthier food products to eat instead of more convenient, readily consumable and easier-to-access items to purchase, contribute to the socially-acceptable economic conditions that keep those in low-income communities in a more difficult position to afford to make healthier food purchases for themselves, and their families.


  1. Due to wide social acceptance, which is culturally and institutionally influenced, our society deems it as okay to choose fast-food or highly-processed foods over more-fresh produce ingredients for meals, because the economic conditions within these low-income communities make it more difficult to afford the time and money that it takes to make overall healthier meals on a regular basis; consequently feeding into further financial depletion overtime.


  1. The institutional influences behind the complexity of these problems is that they are widespread and marketed towards consumption, towards those in communities suffering economic problems, as this consumption furthers its influence by means of the collective cultural norms or values in the community (i.e., McDonalds, KFC, Panda Express, Taco Bell).

Spatial Dimension

This study discusses how convenience is inconvenient to the health and livelihood of not just your wallet, but your body too. This research conducts itself under the ethical practice of saving “one-dollar-at-a-time”, with respect to the single value of one U.S. ($1) dollar bill, while aiming to project perspectives behind the value implications of having conscious awareness of how much one dollar costs, over the course of time and period of one month, in the span of a year.

Theory of Change

When navigating the aisles of food sources (i.e., liquor stores, vending machines, 7-11’s, gas stations, markets, grocery stores, etc.) or at fast-food retailers, by being very mindful of the incrementally inflated prices of certain products, it saves an individual money overtime if able to make more conscious food choices, while also helping an individual stay in better health by avoiding certain types of foods.



9500 Gilman Drive
San Diego, CA 92093
United States