More gardens, more markets, more composting, and fewer water bottles, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer demands. “FoodNYC: A Blueprint for a Sustainable Food System” calls for food policy to be incorporated as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s sustainability and development strategy for the city, PlaNYC. Stringer, who hosted a food-policy summit last December, is making a push to be the city’s food-policy guy, which is not only a good and interesting cause, but also one that’s politically expedient. (Council President Christine Quinn is trying to get in on this, too, by advocating a Pike Place–esque market in the old Fultin Fish Market space.) Here are some of Stringer’s suggestions:
Modernize and Expand Hunts Point Produce Market: The Mayor and the NYC EDC should work with the State Department of Agriculture and Markets to ensure that the necessary resources are allocated to the redevelopment of the Hunts Point Produce Market. The market must be redeveloped to meet the city’s and region’s environmental and economic needs, including a Wholesale Farmers Market and a rail link connecting upstate to downstate.
Mandate Procurement of Regional Food: The New York City Council should pass a local law requiring preferences and targets for City agencies to procure specified percentages of food from regional producers.
Institute Meatless Mondays in City Schools: The NYC DOE SchoolFood office should institute “Meatless Mondays,” a public health awareness initiative launched by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to promote healthy, environmentally friendly, plant-based choices.
Increase the Number of Water Fountains: The New York City Council should pass legislation expanding access to free tap water in public spaces by building new water fountains.