Detroit Food Map

The Detroit Food Map Initiative has been the only entity consistently conducting survey assessments of Detroit’s neighborhood grocery landscape for availability, price, and quality of healthful foods. Data collected has been utilized by several Detroit organizations and agencies to influence policy. The completion of a third data collection (2017) in over 300 stores in the city and suburbs will allow for a robust analysis of trends in Detroit grocery and food markets as well as indicate food access improvements or gaps.


2011 – Present




2021 MDHHS, Community Health and Nutrition

2021 USDA Community Food Projects, Great Grocer Project

2020 RWJF, Healthy Eating Research, Healthy Food Retail Case Study

2017 Green Grocer Project (DEGC), Grocery Store and Consumer Surveys

2015 National Science Foundation (NSF), Promoting a Healthier Urban Community: Prioritization of Risk Factors for the Prevention and Treatment of Pediatric Obesity

2015 Social Sciences Annual Institute (SSAI) and MCubed Diamond (U of M), A ‘big data’ approach to understanding neighborhood effects in chronic illness disparities

2014 Green Grocer Project (DEGC), Food Purchasing, Pathways, and Perceptions in Detroit


2020 Michigan Good Food Summit

2019 Michigan Good Food Summit

2019 Society for Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Annual Meeting

2018 American Public Health Association (APHA) 146th Annual Meeting

2018 Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) Annual Conference

2018 Society for Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Annual Meeting

2015 American Public Health Association (APHA) 143rd Annual Meeting

2014 American Public Health Association (APHA) 142nd Annual Meeting

2014 American Anthropological Association (AAA) Annual Meeting


Article Second Wave Media, January 2019

Audio Racist Sandwich podcast, June 2018

Article Anthropology News, July 2016

Article Planetizen, January 2016

Article Model D Media, November 2015

Article Model D Media, March 2015



2022 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Refining the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS) for Healthy Community Stores: Adaptations to Capture Alternative Food Retailers and Align with Dietary Guidelines

2022, Nutrients, Assessing the Influence of Food Insecurity and Retail Environments as a Proxy for Structural Racism on the COVID-19 Pandemic in an Urban Setting

2021, Public Health Nutrition, Food insecurity in Detroit: Exploring the relationship between patient-reported food insecurity and proximity to healthful grocery stores

2021, Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, ” Treat everybody right”: Examining foodways to improve food access

2020 Gastronomica, Independent Grocers, Vulnerable Residents, and Community Coalitions: We’re All Essential!

2018 FoodAntro, “Race, Food, and Rebellion: Detroit’s History and Conflicts over Food Access”

2015 Progressive Planning: State of Planning in Detroit, “Urban Agriculture in Detroit: It’s not a ‘Food Desert,’ it’s about Food Sovereignty”

2014 Detroit News, “Food desert a myth, but food security issues aren’t”


2021 Public Health Nutrition, Food insecurity in Detroit: Exploring the relationship between patient-reported food insecurity and proximity to healthful grocery stores

2018 Public Health Nutrition, Using social media to assess the consumer nutrition environment: comparing Yelp reviews with a direct observation audit instrument for grocery stores

2018 Public Health Nutrition, Flint Food Store Survey: combining spatial analysis with a modified Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Stores (NEMS-S) to measure the community and consumer nutrition environments

2017 Food and Foodways, Critical Inquiry into Detroit’s Food Desert Metaphor

2017 Journal of Urban Health, Using Social Media to Identify Sources of Healthy Food in Urban Neighborhoods


2021 A People’s Atlas of Detroit

2018 Neighborhoods and Health


2020 Detroit Food Metrics Report (with 2021 update)

2019 Detroit Food Metrics Report

2018 Detroit Food Metrics Report

2017 Detroit Food Metrics Report