food desert
n. An area where fresh food is either non-existent or too expensive.
The term "food desert" was coined to describe areas with limited access to healthy food. There are food deserts all over Britain, in rural as well as urban areas.
—“Getting stuffed,” The Economist, July 27, 2002
The healthy-eating boom that swept muesli-belt Middle England through the 1980s by-passed Tipton. Money was too tight. Like thousands of other communities across Britain, it had been transformed by the exodus of the big supermarkets to out-of-town greenfield sites into what the experts call a 'fresh food desert'.
—Judy Jones, “The fast food trap,” The Observer, January 21, 1996
1988 (earliest)
Such reflections always remind me of a holiday (actually it was our honeymoon, which for those keen on trivia is known as la lune de miel in French) to New Caledonia, surely more of a food desert than anything outside five kilometres from the centre of Melbourne.
—G. Slattery, “Taste,” Herald (Australia), March 09, 1988
Once upon a time none of this would be news. But in these days of processed, artificial and unpronouncable ingredients, Fancy Pantry, 145 Westward Dr., Miami Springs is an oasis of real flavors in the fast food desert.
—Jefrey Weiss, “Pantry isn't fancy, but people love it,” The Miami Herald, July 22, 1982