We’re pretty sure the last time the words “Philadelphia” and “progressive” appeared in the same sentence, it was in reference to the self-titled debut from Todd Rundgren’s Utopia back in 1974. But today New York Times columnist Mark Bittman is saying the City of Brotherly Love is one of the country’s most progressive urban centers. Well, in terms of food, anyway. And, no he’s not talking about the Tabasco pearls Matt Levin tops his Kumamoto oysters with at Adsum, nor any of the foams or textures conjured up by Marigold Kitchen’s Robert Halpern. What he’s talking about is the coordinated efforts between the city and non-profits in multi-pronged crusade to stem off diet-related diseases amongst its residents.
In the piece Bittman posits last year’s proposed (and unsuccessful) attempt at levying new taxes on soda and other sweetened soft drinks, a campaign by the Food Trust to ensure fresh produce is readily available in the city’s underserved food deserts, and efforts to make grant money available to open and improve supermarkets in poor neighborhoods to support his claim. This is all well and good for Philadelphia; the city finally gets some recognition for something other than Eagles fans beating up Santa Claus and Phillies fans forcing themselves to vomit on kids. But what happens to these programs, many of which are partially financed by the state, after Harrisburg’s budget hawks cut funding?
Go Philly! [NYT]