Food Access | St. Louis Public Radio

Food Access

February 5, 2020 Link Market
Courtesy of Link Market

In January, St. Louis’ regional transit agency considered taking on operation of the embattled Loop Trolley — and ultimately declined to do so. At this month’s meeting of the Bi-State Development board, a totally different project’s future will come before the agency: the two shipping-container-sized grocery stores located along MetroLink in north St. Louis County.

Sarah Schlafly, co-founder of Mighty Cricket, measures cricket powder on March 14, 2019 for a batch of dark cocoa oatmeal at Urban Eats Cafe.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

According to projections by the United Nations, our current food system won’t adequately sustain the 9 billion people expected to be living on Earth by 2050. Protein, the most resource-intensive ingredient in food, will be especially hard to produce.

St. Louis resident Sarah Schlafly is keenly aware of that fact. That’s why she started Mighty Cricket, a startup that produces food products including powdered, roasted crickets.

Crickets are a protein source comparable to animal protein. They can also be farmed in small spaces within an urban setting. Schlafly predicts that this food source will become quite affordable roughly 30 years from now, right around when animal protein will likely be more expensive and harder to come by.

Malte Mueller | NPR

Nearly one-quarter of St. Louis city residents have trouble putting food on the table — and for some, it’s a source of secret shame. 

Embarrassment and fear can keep parents from asking for help, according to research from St. Louis University. Based on a series of in-depth interviews with parents and caregivers, researchers have pinpointed ways pediatricians can connect with families experiencing food insecurity.

Eric Wiliams carries a crate of lettuce from the community garden at local nonprofit A Red Circle. The nonprofit is starting a farmers market in Riverview.
Erica Williams | Provided

When several Shop ‘N Save grocery stores closed last year in north St. Louis, residents in some neighborhoods were left without easy access to healthy produce.

A local nonprofit organization, A Red Circle, aims to fill the void with a monthly community farmers market that does more than just sell fresh food.

“It’s going to be a very cool farmers market with a purpose,” Red Circle founder and CEO Erica Williams said.

Shop 'n Save closed this store in Nov. 2018
Melody Walker | St. Louis Public Radio

Most city and suburban dwellers take the convenience of a local grocery store for granted.

But many residents of Spanish Lake don’t have that luxury any more. When three nearby Shop ‘n Save stores closed in November, it left shoppers fewer options and created what the USDA classifies as a food desert.

Spanish Lake is in the northeast corner of unincorporated St. Louis County. The cities of Florissant and Ferguson are on its west side; the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers are on the east.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 27, 2013 - Winter weather has stretched this year’s chili-eating season into spring. But even after temperatures warm up, chili will continue as a good choice for philanthropists, and those struggling to find enough to eat.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 18, 2012 - WASHINGTON – Leaders of eight of the world’s major economies have plenty of topics to discuss when they meet this weekend – including persistent economic doldrums, stubbornly high oil prices and the potential threat of Iran’s nuclear program.

But the Group of Eight (G8) summit at Camp David, Maryland, may well be notable for the absence of one of its leaders – Russian President Vladimir Putin – than for any progress on reviving the European economy, pressuring Iran to temper its nuclear ambitions or finding ways to keep oil prices stable.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 16, 2011 - Ruby Payne, an educational consultant based in Texas, has touched off a lively debate by suggesting that social class plays a big role in attitudes about food. She says the poor generally value food for its quantity, while the middle class place more emphasis on quality, and the upper class on the way a meal is presented.