Sparking Change in the NYC Food System

Just a few weeks ago the Borough President of Manhattan, Scott Stringer, released a remarkable policy report designed to “spark systemic change in New York’s regional food system.”  The document, titled FoodNYC: A Blueprint for a Sustainable Food System, contains a respectably comprehensive range of proposals which identify keys points of intervention for our city.  It also outlines ambitious plans for implementing and connecting various initiatives toward this end.  Surprisingly, however, the report seems to have garnered surprisingly little attention in the print media and in the sustainability and food blogs.  I must admit that it wasn’t until yesterday that I seriously picked it up.  If, like me, you’ve heard about it but haven’t bothered to give it a read, or if you haven’t even heard of it yet, now is the time!

You might be particularly interested in the sections of the report that deal with urban agriculture and composting in NYC.  Stringer proposes sweeping measures on the part of the city to assess the availability of publicly held land and to rededicate suitable areas to permanent spaces of cultivation.  He also proposes a two-pronged composting project to help deal with food wasted across the five boroughs.  Large-scale composting would be established through the creation of a municipal facility (bringing the unions on board, perhaps) while a whole slate of small endeavors would be promoted and supported.  These are just two (of ten) ideas set forth by the Manhattan Borough President’s Office and in the coming year we expect to see some movement in these different arenas.  Yet another example of how cities are taking the lead in sustainability efforts around the world!

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