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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:48 pm 
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Environmentally friendly food practices are all the rage these days — from organic farming at the White House to cooking manure to harness energy from methane gases — but is there a need to codify it into government policy?

Across the country, local government officials are proposing “green food resolutions” — partially at the behest of a campaign run by Farm Sanctuary, a farm-animal protection organization.

This week, Chicago moved forward on an effort to pass a green food resolution by hearing testimony in committee. Although the resolution is nonbinding, it urges the city to make healthy, locally grown food more available to Chicago residents.

A similar bill calling for the creation of a FoodprintNYC has been proposed by Bill de Blasio, a Brooklyn councilman who is running for public advocate. The bill would encourage the city’s various agencies to coordinate and establish climate-friendly food policies and programs, as well as a public awareness campaign about the health and environmental impact of food. It draws heavily from recommendations in a report, “Food in the Public Interest,” [pdf] by the office of the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer.

“The resolution in New York City actually goes a lot further,” said Delcianna Winders, director of legal campaigns for Farm Sanctuary.

Mr. de Blasio said his vision was that everything from the Board of Education to the Housing Authority to the health department would focus on sustainable food — whether it worked through purchasing decisions or building green roofs on city buildings.

Of course, there have already been policies on healthy food in recent years — most notably through the health department, which has encouraged produce vendors in poor communities and also enacted a ban on trans fats.

“I think the most charitable interpretation is that we have a scattered approach,” Mr. de Blasio said. But he noted that the city could influence decisions. The Board of Education, for example, feeds a million students, in some cases multiple times in a day. In addition, the city controls housing for half a million people through the Housing Authority. “When you add it up, it can really have an impact, and it could start a trend all over the country,” he said.

The bill is backed by a coalition that terms itself the NYC Foodprint Alliance, which includes Just Food, Sierra Club New York City Group, Farm Sanctuary, Slow Food USA and Eating Liberally, among others.

The bill, as it stands, is more encouragement than formal policy. “It’s not binding, but it is trying to establish a goal,” Mr. de Blasio said. “The next step is binding across purchasing power and other steps.”

Source: Jennifer B. Lee, NYTimes, July 23, 2009


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:08 pm 
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Doug, if you use Twitter, Jennifer 8. Lee posts some very interesting links and observations several times a day. I discovered her a while back, and always find her contributions useful. Her Twitter name is jenny8lee (yes, that is a number 8, not the letter B). She is a New York Times cityroom reporter who covers many subjects, including restaurants and food. She has a Cityroom blog at the Times and has a personal blog: http://www.fortunecookiechronicles.com/blog/

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:49 pm 
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The city I live in does not really promote healthy eating directly, other than the usual promotional routes (schools and other government buildings). However, there is a new organic market that has just opened here (Sioux Falls, SD). We do not have much to choose from when selecting organic food, so this is quite the happening here in town. The store is http://pomegranatemarkets.com/.


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