Welcome to the Food Desert Website

Feeling hungry? No proper food in the house? Can't face that trek to the shops? Tempted by a burger and some chips from the local takeaway, or a chocolate bar, but it's not really healthy, is it? You may be living in a food desert.  The food desert website tells you all about food deserts, why they affect everybody, the links to globalisation and social exclusion, and how the effects of food deserts may be alleviated or eliminated.

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What would World War Three really have been like. Click here for a description of a nuclear bunker in Cambridgeshire. See link below for photographs.


Click here for photos of Cambridgeshire RSG Bunker


Temporary link  - click here for document on Nottingham Bunker (till 13 April 2018)


Further reading on food and food deserts


1)      The Consuming Geographies of Food: Diet, Food Deserts and Obesity, HJ Shaw, Routledge, 2014, Full Book Description and Voucher Here

2)      The Reducetarian Solution, B Kateman ed. Penguin Random House 2017, https://reducetarian.org/book

3)      Report on Food Justice, Obesity and Austerity in Cardiff and the Welsh Valleys, funded by CURA (Centre for Urban Research on Austerity). Initial results available here – full report forthcoming 2018.

4)      CURA Blog, Austerity and Food Poverty: the vicious circle of obesity, ill-health and deprivation, HJ Shaw and JJA Shaw, online at Austerity and Food Poverty: the vicious circle of obesity, ill-health and deprivation

5)      Forthcoming 2019 - Future Food Systems: An Ethical and Regulatory Perspective – explicating the issue of Supermarkets and Corporate Social Responsibility in the food chain.

More on CURA at http://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/research-faculties-and-institutes/business-and-law/centre-for-urban-research-on-austerity/centre-for-urban-research-on-austerity.aspx

Click here to see our consultancy and mapping services

Part One – Food Deserts and Obesity

Try out our new Food Desert Finder ©2015.  Click here for the map.  This map shows which areas, by distance, are Food Oases (500 metres from a fruit and vegetable shop), which are Food Savannahs (500 – 1,000 metres) and which are food deserts (over 1,000 metres from a fruit and vegetable shop). 

What is a food desert

How did food deserts develop

Where are the food deserts

Measuring Food Deserts

Obesity map of London. This map shows % obesity levels for 12-year-olds in 2011/12 at the MLSOA level. MLSOAs (see www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk) are census areas with population ca. 7,000. Note the strong association between low obesity in prosperous areas (Hampstead) and higher obesity in more deprived areas (Lea Valley). Also note the higher levels of obesity in London compared to England, despite London’s overall wealth. The whole of England and Wales is being mapped at this MSOA level giving a very detailed picture of local obesity levels. Also coming soon, socio-demographic maps of England and Wales at the MLSOA level.

Obesity levels worldwide  For medical effects of obesity, see The Consuming Geographies of Food: Diet, Food Deserts and Obesity, H Shaw, Routledge 2014

Part Two – Food Retailing

UK supermarket sales and profits

UK Supermarket market share

Tesco history

Non-Tesco history

Current issues (supermarkets)


Small food retailers

Post Offices

Non UK retailing, supermarkets and small shops, brief history of selected retailers

European countries

Asia, Africa, and the Americas

Part Three – Food Access Maps

Click here for index page linking to food retail maps, covering most of the UK, also areas in Europe.

Part Four – Global Geographical Changes

GeoChanges Google Map, https://drive.google.com/open?id=15nUwJvKQxvETRQKdlXHiAzGdVlF_U6dZ&usp=sharing How to use this map. Each icon on the map (sorted by type of change, e.g. urbanisation, river evolution, coastal change) links to a location viewable on Google Earth https://www.google.co.uk/earth/download/gep/agree.html

1)      The icon information has an altitude number, latitude/longitude co-ordinates, and a year

2)      Cut and paste the latitude/longitude co-ordinates into Google Earth

3)      The optimum viewing altitude is given as the altitude number (in km)

4)      The year indicates the optimum year to go back to and view the current changes from; NB this may not be oldest year actually viewable on Google Earth because older G E shots may have lower resolution.

Part Five – Historical Events

Historical Events by date (back to top) (100pp)

1 Jan 2000 - now

I Jan 1980 – 31 Dec 1999

1 Jan 1970 – 31 Dec 1979

1 Jan 1950 – 31 Dec 1969

1 Jan 1940 – 31 Dec 1949

1 Jan 1930 – 31 Dec 1939

1 Jan 1920 – 31 Dec 1929

1 Jan 1900 – 31 Dec 1919

1 Jan 1860  - 31 Dec 1899

I Jan 1800 – 31 Dec 1859

1 Jan 1600 – 31 Dec 1799

1 Jan 1200 – 31 Dec 1599

Up to 31 Dec 1199



Historical Events by subject (back to top) (60pp)

Countries / Regions


Africa (ex. Egypt, South Africa)











Eastern Europe


EU & International Agencies


France & Germany to 31 Dec 1869

France & Germany from 1 Jan 1870

Great Britain to 31 January 1901

Great Britain from 1 February 1901

















New Zealand





Roman Empire


South Africa

South & Central America (Guatemala – Chile)

South East Asia (Thailand – Papua, ex Vietnam)








Physical World


Weather Events




Islam & Middle East

Judaism & Israel

Papal Succession




Arts and Literature

TV, radio, telecomms


Economy & Prices

Historical Exchange Rates

Education, Schools

Education, Universities



Morals & Fashion

Crime & Punishment

Racial Equality

Sports & Games

Women’s Rights




Astronomy & Space


Technology & Innovation

Chemistry & Elements


Atomic Power & Electricity



Canal & Sea


Road Traffic


London Underground

Part Six – Global Economic Indicators

Click here for a page linking to essential economic data for the world’s major national economies 

Part Seven –Ratings, Visitors, Links


Rate this website – click here

Click here to see how many people have visited this site, by country, annual figures from 1 December 2008

web links

Part Eight – Contact Us

©Shaw Food Solutions 2003 - 2015.  The material on this site is open access and may be freely cited, so long as www.fooddeserts.org is acknowledged as the source.

To help this website become more informative and useful for the community, please email any information or links you feel it might be useful include to hillshaw@aol.com – for example food retail information, historical dates, economic data etc.

Contact us at

Dr Hillary J Shaw: hshaw@fooddeserts.org or hillshaw@aol.com

Dr Julia J A Shaw: jshaw@dmu.ac.uk