Saturday, December 5, 2009

NYC Food Charter

Posted by Father Tony

I can sign this pledge because the objectives of the NYC Food Charter are not foreign to me, and because I worry about the way food impacts New Yorkers in lower income neighborhoods and communities of color.

Even on the Upper West Side, in my own neighborhood (Lincoln Center), I frequently pass the loading dock of the Food Emporium on Broadway & 68th. The homeless know the schedule and easily rummage through the dumpsters for the perfectly good food that has reached some expiration date or is slightly bruised. On a recent night, I was arrested by the sight of a tray of red and yellow peppers. Exactly what I was intending to purchase inside that store. I didn't care who saw me. I had to stop and examine this discarded produce.

The light from the marquee of the Lincoln Center cinema complex let me inspect the peppers in detail. Slightly bruised or soft in some sections, they were the ones I would overlook inside the store even though once I had them in my kitchen, my paring knife could easily remove the bad 10% of their flesh and retain the perfectly fine 90%.

I hated the fact that I could not bring myself to take these dumpster peppers home. Instead, I rounded the corner and paid $4.99 per pound for the exact same produce.

It is said that 40% of the food we prepare or purchase ends up in the trash. I'm glad some New Yorkers are thinking about diet, nutrition, food economics, diabetes and obesity.

Here is Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's letter encouraging us to read the ten points of the charter and to sign the pledge. It won't solve the problem but it will help raise consciousness about these issues.

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