Scott Stringer Calls for Reform of City’s Food System
Climate-friendly eating? The term isn’t easy to — pardon the pun — digest, but eventually the meaning sinks in: the food choices people make have an impact on the environment. Having bacon and eggs for breakfast, for example, probably has a bigger carbon footprint and is less “climate-friendly” than having, let’s say, fresh fruit and toast.
The new term kept popping up at the NYC Food and Climate Summit held at New York University in December and is at the heart of a report released last week by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. The 45-page report calls for a reexamination of the city’s food system to make it healthier and more sustainable, or more climate-friendly. It builds on the recommendations made at the December summit meeting.
“While it is often overlooked, improving our food system can lead to enormous advancements in public health, sustainability and job creation,” writes Stringer in an email message. “This report is a blueprint for wholesale change at the city, state and federal levels, to ensure that New York is a leader in sustainable food policy.”
The report recommends forming a Department of Food and Markets to coordinate and reform the City’s food and agricultural policies and programs. Other bold measures include requiring City agencies to source a percentage of their food from regional farmers and keep metrics associated with food procurement, including research on greenhouse gas emissions related to different foods. The report proposes public investment in local processing and distribution facilities, giving state and regional farmers easier access to city markets. It also recommends developing the local economy’s food sector and in one of the more colorful proposals “Meatless Mondays” in New York City public schools.
Over the next two weeks, I’ll be blogging about the individual proposals made in the report. So stay tuned.