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Food Policy in the Post-Bloomberg Era

December 8, 2013
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Wagner Food Policy Alliance had the opportunity to hold a panel and participant discussion on “The Future of Food Policy in the Post-Bloomberg Era” as a part of the Talking Transition initiative. Food policy advocates and superstars Janet Poppendieck from the NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College; Joel Berg from the NYC Campaign Against Hunger; Diana Robinson of the Food Chain Workers Alliance; Kady Ferguson of Brooklyn Food Coalition; and Raymond Figueroa-Reyes, Jr., President of the New York City Community Garden Coalition discussed the needs for their organizations. After their brief introductions, the panelists and Just Food’s trained facilitators helped guide breakout sessions with the hundreds of attendees. Members of the audience proposed 16 different subjects and groups met to discuss the problem on a community level, policy level, and program level. Topics ranged from poverty to food access to universal school lunches to composting to fraccing. Participants brainstormed ideas that fit their communities and then compiled all of them for a short presentation at the end to the general audience. Afterwards, the notes from all of the discussions were compiled and presented as recommendations for the New York City Food System to Mayor Elect de Blasio.

Technology has made it so easy to convey ideas and facilitate conversation. For this event, it made the hopes and dreams of the public transparent. The experts provided support, experiential knowledge, and academic knowledge to assist the active gather ideas and propose policies to improve the way our city views and consumes food. But it was the audience members that suggested the topics, shared personal stories and experiences, and thought of realistic and practical suggestions for New York City’s food system. It was clear, practical, logical, and engaging. We all saw the process, understood it, talked it out, and presented. Simple, efficient, and transparent. Now we have to wait and hope our ideas are internalize. Then we can begin the process to change our food system and the way we view food. But it started with the people. — Amy Black

For more information on “The Future of Food Policy in the Post-Bloomberg Era,” please check these articles at Serious Eats:New York & The Huffington Post.

Thanks, Good Eggs!

November 18, 2013
(photo courtesy of Good Eggs NYC)

(photo courtesy of Good Eggs NYC)

First of, a huge thank you to those who attending our Talking Transition event yesterday. We’ll be giving a recap in our next blog post. If you were watching our Instagram or Twitter yesterday, you would have seen the Good Eggs gift bags our fearless speakers received in gratitude. But what is Good Eggs? Well, it’s been called “the Amazon of local food” by Alexandra Chang at Wired and an “orgy of visual pleasure” by Jenna Wortham in The New York Times. It’s an online farmers market where each producer has their own “stall” and the produce is harvested within a day or two of reaching your door. And yes, that’s the best part, there is delivery. You don’t even need to be home to sign off on your order.

Just last week, Good Eggs fully launched their Brooklyn delivery–no matter where you are in Brooklyn, you’re covered. If you’d rather save $3.99 and carry your own groceries, there are also a bunch of weekly pick-up sites spread throughout the borough. So go on over to their website to check it all out and be sure to use the code “THANKSBK” for $10 off! Now we have no reason to eat poorly during the impending final paper rush.

South Dakota 2013 Blizzard & Media Coverage

October 15, 2013
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There has been much talk over Twitter regarding the early season blizzard that hit South Dakota on October 4th and 5th, with a large percentage of tweets regarding a lack of media coverage. But in preparing our October 15th newsletter, I found a good amount of national media coverage from the week following the storm:

Friday, October 4th:

Saturday, October 5th:

Monday, October 7th:

Tuesday, October 8th:

Wednesday, October 9th:

Thursday, October 10th:

Friday, October 11th:

This list does not include all the regional papers that covered the story nor the boost it received on October 14th when the disposal pits were opened and the cattle death figure rose. The news has even reached as far as the UK with recent coverage on the Guardian site (from a Wisconsin blogger who stated it’s not being covered in American news.) Coverage of the disaster wasn’t sustained throughout the week, but that could be due to many factors including the current government shutdown and the consolidation of our media industry. –Siobhan Wallace

Join Us For A Salon & Happy Hour With ALAS

October 14, 2013
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(credit: slaintenyc.com)

(credit: slaintenyc.com)

This Friday, WFPA is teaming up with the Association of Latin@s and Allies in Public Service (ALAS) for a Salon on GMOs and food policy issues in Latin America at the Rudin Family Forum in the Puck Building, followed by a Happy Hour at Sláinte (304 Bowery). The Salon discussion will be guided by Steinhardt’s Food Studies professor Gustavo Setrini. We invite students from the entire NYU community to come with those burning questions about food policy, the current state and future of international agriculture, and the effect GMOs have on our food system both in the United States and in Latin America. The Salon starts at 5:30pm, and we will have wine and snacks on hand. For more information and to RSVP, please click here.

About ALAS:
The Association of Latin@s and Allies in Public Service enhances the educational and social experience at Wagner by creating platforms from which the NYU community can engage and advocate for issues at the intersection of our fields of study and topics relevant to Latinas and their Diasporas around the world. ALAS provides a community-based space for exchanging knowledge, networking, and making cultural connections.

About Professor Setrini:
Gustavo Setrini is a political scientist who studies globalization, agriculture, and rural development. His research examines the opportunities and constraints that global markets offer for small farmers in poor countries, and his work aims to identify the institutional foundations of sustainable agriculture at the transnational and local levels. In 2008, Setrini won a Fulbright scholarship to study the effects of Fairtrade and organic certification on farmer organizations in Paraguay, where his research has also examined the effectiveness of donor-funded, NGO-led development projects to promote sustainable agricultural techniques and integrate small farmers into global supply chains. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011, and he served as a post-doctoral research associate at MIT’s Center for International Studies and Department of Urban Studies and Planning before joining Steinhardt.

Study Abroad With Steinhardt

September 30, 2013
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San Agustín Loxicha, Oaxaca, Mexico

San Agustín Loxicha, Oaxaca, Mexico

Though we haven’t even reached midterms yet, the time is already here to think about your Intersession and Spring Break plans. And some of us will take that time to study abroad. Wagner’s curricula only has summer study abroad program–only two of which will be an option next year: Geneva and Shanghai–but Steinhardt does have a number of courses currently accepting students. The classes cover a wide array of subjects including two different programs in Mexico, one focused specifically on food policy and the other focused on immigration and public health. Steinhardt’s Study Abroad office will be holding an information session this Wednesday from 12:30 to 2pm in Pless Hall (82 Washington Square East). There is also an online information session Wednesday the 9th from 12 noon to 1pm.

WFPA Mixer Tomorrow Night

September 23, 2013
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Join the WFPA board for a night of good food, great beer, and lively conversation about food policy, and tell us the topics you would like to see featured at our events this year.

Jimmy Carbone is one of the grandfathers of the New York local food scene. His Slow Food-approved restaurant and craft beer dive bar, Jimmy’s No. 43, opened in 2005 as one of the city’s first places serving affordable Greenmarket-inspired meals, and has been housing good food events and meet-ups ever since including the first Wagner Food Policy Alliance mixer of the 2013 fall semester this Tuesday, September 24th, from 6:30pm – 9:30pm. When not spreading the local food and great beer gospel at his place, Jimmy can be found on Heritage Radio Network hosting Beer Sessions Radio(TM), fulfilling his duties as Co-Founder of the Good Beer Seal, or advising everyone from New Amsterdam Market to GrowNYC’s Greenmarkets.

The WFPA Board will be arriving around 6:30, but feel free to drop in at any time. Also, RSVP so we know how much food to order. We look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday!

Jimmy’s No. 43
43 East 7th St (the bar downstairs)
East Village
(212) 982-3006

GMO OMG Opens in New York

September 16, 2013
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(credit: GMO OMG)

(credit: GMO OMG)

The New York public got its first look at GMO OMG over this past weekend. GMO OMG is just the latest in a long line of documentaries discussing the issues surrounding the American food system and how federal food policies affect what’s found on our grocery store shelves. Our Communications Chair, Siobhan, was able to attend a press preview with a Q&A that included the director Jeremy Seifert and writer Caitlin Shetterly, who discussed her allergy to GMO corn. One of the main issues for anyone attempting to thoroughly research the effects of GMOs is the manufacturers’ animosity towards answering any deep question, which is displayed in the film. They also brought up the fact that New York’s own GMO Labeling bill died in Albany due to a lack of public support (though there is a plan to introduce it again next year.)

While GMO OMG does have its critics, it is important to highlight that each of these films educates more of the general public on the issues surrounding our food system which can only be a good thing. The film is playing just a short walk from campus at Cinema Village at 22 East 12th Street through Wednesday.

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