Data Byte: Food Environment Atlas

Food Environment Atlas

There are many great places to eat in Sarasota County. We don’t have to go far to find something tasty. But are we eating too much fast food? Are we paying too much for a gallon of milk? How is our food environment affecting our health? These are just several of the things you can find out in the USDA’s (United States Department of Agriculture) “Food Environment Atlas”. This interactive map provides a lay of the land about how all sorts of things food related can affect us in our community.

Using the Food Environment Atlas we can compare Sarasota to any other county in the country, but this atlas lacks the depth to show differences within our county.  Is our ability to access healthy food (and our success in doing so) different for those of us living in North Port, vs. Venice, vs. Sarasota, vs. Longboat Key? How about within a city – one neighborhood vs. another?  What would it take for all of us to be able to take notice of the diversity within our county, in order to spot patterns that can lead to positive change?

The Food Environment Atlas provides a wealth of information on indicators that relate to our “food environment.” Our community is now in the process of creating an atlas that includes indicators of community well-being across many domains. What indicators would you like to see mapped in our Sarasota County atlas? We hope you will share your thoughts here on our Blog!