Hidden hunger, the often unrecognized form of malnutrition due to a lack of micronutrients, is also an expression of geographic and social inequality. Healthy food and clean drinking water are not always available in any geographically inhabitable area of the world. But far more frequently, poverty in the own household and in the residential area, detains these disadvantaged groups from a high-quality and micronutrient-rich diet even though sufficient resources would be available.
One approach to describe the causes of hidden hunger, considering all its social and regional aspects is in the concept of “food deserts” (1). Food deserts designate low-income areas whose inhabitants have no or only a very limited access to the healthy food assortment. In food deserts, the risk of suffering from hidden hunger is very high. They are found not only in poorer countries, but also in industrial nations, for example in remote villages without access to the supermarket or in the social flashpoints of big cities. The Urban gardening movement is one possible answer to creating oases for healthy food in food deserts and thus reducing hidden hunger (2). The initiative Students4Kids also tackles this task. The winner project SimSimBalls of this year’s competition combines the direct cultivation of locally available plants with their project idea to produce sesame balls rich in microfibres.
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(1) Cf. Definition food desert on the website of the American Nutrition Association, available at http://americannutritionassociation.org/newsletter/usda-defines-food-deserts or Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences.” United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. 2009. Retrieved 8/25/17 from https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/42711/12716_ap036_1_.pdf?v=410
(2) (German Source) Exemplary cf. H Augustin. 2014, Stadt, Ernährung und soziale Ungleichheit. Zur Übertragbarkeit des food desert – Konzeptes auf den deutschen Kontex. Artec-Papier. Nr. 197. Universität Bremen https://www.uni-bremen.de/fileadmin/user_upload/sites/artec/Publikationen/artec_Paper/197_paper.pdf