New York City Food Policy Watch
April 2014
New York City Food Policy Watch is the monthly e-newsletter of the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College. We keep an eye on food policy in New York City and on urban food policy around the nation and the world. We also provide updates on our own policy analyses and research activities and on the food policy activities of City University of New York faculty, students and staff. To subscribe to our newsletter click here >>>

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The Advocate: 

Interview with Beatriz Beckford, the Grassroots Action Network Manager for WhyHunger
An ongoing series of interviews with food policy advocates
Beatriz Beckford  (Photo courtesy ofNew School)
FPC: What motivated you to get involved with food policy and to become a food policy advocate?

BB: I remember trying to provide nutritious meals while also trying to make the food stamps last the whole month often times to the detriment to my own health.  I was angry, I mean really angry, that I had to spend money to go so far outside of my neighborhood to get good quality affordable food.  I got together with other friends in the neighborhood and started attending neighborhood meetings of the Bed Stuy Food Council and the rest was history.  The people I met there taught me so much and fueled the fire that made me realize that the organizing I was doing in other spaces needed to happen in my own community as well, and that there was a rich history and community in Bed Stuy that I could learn from and organize with. 
NYC Food by The Numbers:  
The Hunts Point Food Distribution Center 

Year of opening: 1967

Previous site: Washington Market in lower Manhattan from 1812-1967


Owner of site: New York City Economic Development Corporation


Annual revenues: about $2.5 billion


Acres of land: 113


Total number of employees: 7,000 -10,000 (includes sellers, buyers and distributors)


Number of people who depend on market for produce:  

23 million; market supplies NYC residents with 60% of daily fruits and vegetables


Components: Hunts Point Produce Market, Hunts Point Meat Market and New Fulton Fish Market


Major food processer: Bazzini Nuts which coats nuts with chocolate


Size of Produce Market: 1 million square feet divided into 270 store units


Number of purveyors: 39 in Meat Market, 42 in Produce Market and 34 in New Fulton Fish Market  


Number of truck deliveries: 130,000 per year


Shaping the Future of the
Food Movement
Just Food Conference in Partnership with the
Laurie M. Tisch Center for
Food, Education & Policy

On April 5th and 6thJust Food held its annual conference in partnership with the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy,Teachers College Columbia University. With almost 700 attendees, 130 presenters, and more than 50 volunteers over two days, it was a lively and thought-provoking event. Participants and presenters included food professionals, policymakers, advocates, CSA members, community organizers, students, farmers and members of the general public.  


Lecture Series
TEDxManhattan "Changing the Way We Eat"

We ran across this and thought we would share.... 
Change Food: Let's Change the Food System Together
Change Food: Let's Change the Food System Together

TEDxManhattan "Changing the Way We Eat" took place on March 1, 2014, at the TimesCenter in New York City. 17 speakers took to the stage to talk about various issues with our food system. Here are the speakers - and it's all available to watch via YouTube.



  • Celebrating resilience - reframing the narrative around our students: Clint Smith             
  • In praise of big organic: Myra Goodman
    What the food movement can learn from history: Alison Cayne    
  • How art can change the way we eat: Matthew Moore        
  • Vote food: Tom Colicchio
  • Factory farms, antibiotics and superbugs: Lance Price
  • Hunting for food - race, class and access in New York City: Regina Bernard-Carreno
  • Why food policy is worth fighting for: Chellie Pingree         
  • Building true allies: Nikki Silvestri         
  • How big business had the right idea but went wrong: Andrew Gunther
  • Meatless Monday -- a simple idea sparks a global healthy food movement: Peggy Neu     
  • Behind the kitchen door: Saru Jayaraman
  • Changing the way Los Angeles students eat in schools: David Binkle
  • Good food can change everything: Sunny Young
  • Logistics -- our local food blind spot: Michael Rozyne
  • Changing the way we give: Virginia Clarke
  • The tree of forty fruits: Sam Van Aken
Watch all the speakers here>>>

If you come across a food website that you would like to share with us, send us the details at [email protected]
Jan Poppendieck's  
Pie in the Sky
Half-Baked Ideas that  Just Might Work  

Health advocates want bodegas and corner stores to offer more fresh fruits and vegetables, but the stores report that they lose money on these items because they go bad before they are purchased. What about a consignment approach in which  some entity - the city or a major non-profit - delivers an array of vegetables for sale and picks up any that have not sold since the previous delivery?  Store owners would be charged only for those that sell.


Current Food Policy News 


Where Did the Food Movement Go Wrong?

"If there is a food movement, it needs to consist of more than headlines some might categorize as click-bait: "Yoga Mat Chemical Removed from Bread," "Think GMOs are Scary? Nano-Tech is Here," or "Are Meat and Dairy as Bad as Cigarettes?" If we won't trust industry-sponsored studies when they come from Monsanto or Pepsi, why do we jump to promote ones that say, "animal protein shortens your life" when the lead author runs a plant-based protein company? We've gotten so worried that the world of big business will drown out our voices that we'll stoop to get attention any way we can."

Read more here>>>  

Video shows consequences of wasting food   

"An online video by MinuteEarth shows just how much food Americans waste on a daily basis. Forty percent of the nation's food supply is wasted for largely unnecessary reasons."

Read more here>>>     


On April 15th] National Geographic launched a Web portal,, "dedicated to exploring issues surrounding how we eat today and how we can provide food for all as the world's population grows and climate change impacts growing seasons and planting zones. will aggregate content from a major series in National Geographic magazine kicking off in May and will include many digital-only features, such as animated motion graphics, videos, food facts of the day and news stories. Editors have invited five bloggers with different perspectives - José Andrés, a chef; Mary Beth Albright, a food policy analyst; Maryn McKenna, a science blogger; Jasmine Wiggins, a casual foodie; and Rebecca Rupp, a food historian - to contribute weekly to a food-related blog called The Plate. In mid-May, National Geographic will host a Google Hangout with leading experts to explore how eating seafood can be a sustainable choice - the first of several Hangouts planned across the year. "

Read more here>>> 


"From the early images of a melting Arctic to the recent ICCP report, even those last hold outs are forced to acknowledge that climate change is a real and pressing danger to our world, especially to our food system. Despite the numerous media reports and hashtags, few articles are telling us the whole truth about the root causes of climate change."


The New York Times op-ed on salt by Dr. Tom Farley, Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Roosevelt House Institute for Public Policy at Hunter College.  

If you have high blood pressure, you're in good company. Hypertension afflicts 67 million Americans, including nearly two-thirds of people over age 60. But it isn't an inevitable part of the aging process. It's better to think of it as chronic sodium intoxication. And, as an important new study from Britain shows, there's a way to prevent the problem - and to save many, many lives.

A lifetime of consuming too much sodium (mostly in the form of sodium chloride, or table salt) raises blood pressure, and high blood pressure kills and disables people by triggering strokes and heart attacks. In the United States, according to best estimates, excess sodium is killing between 40,000 and 90,000 people and running up to $20 billion in medical costs a year.

Read more here>>>


Read the study from BMJ here>>>

Food Policy Center News 

This spring, the NYC Food Policy Center is thoroughly immersed in the food work being done locally and across the city through our research, evaluation projects, educational programming and our coalition work.


On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, we hosted our second Food Policy for Breakfast Seminar of 2014 at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, "Growing a Public Food Sector in New York City." Debbie Field, Executive Director of Food Share, Babette Audant of Kingsborough Community College and Christine Johnson, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene presented on the historical context and current state of the public food sector, as well as what we can learn from best-practices around the world. In case you missed it, event video is available here.



About The New York City  

Food Policy Center at  

Hunter College


The New York City Food Policy Center develops intersectoral, innovative and effective solutions to preventing diet-related diseases and promoting food security in New York and other cities.

The Center works with policy makers, community organizations, advocates and the public to create healthier, more sustainable food environments and to use food to promote community and economic development. Through interdisciplinary research, policy analysis, evaluation and education, we leverage the expertise and passion of the students, faculty and staff of Hunter College and the CUNY School of Public Health and other CUNY campuses. The Center aims to make New York a model for smart, fair food policy.  


Center staff include Hunter faculty, staff and students:

  • Nicholas Freudenberg, Co-Director and Distinguished Professor of Public Health
  • Jan Poppendieck, Co-Director and Professor Emerita, Sociology
  • Charles Platkin, Editor, Food Policy Watch, Distinguished Lecturer Public Health and Nutrition  
  • May May Leung, Assistant Professor, Nutrition
  • Diana Johnson, Director of Community Projects 
  • Michele Silver, Research Associate and DPH candidate 
  • Ashley Rafalow, Operations and Communications Coordinator and MPH candidate 
In This Issue
Beatriz Beckford
NYC Food by the Numbers
Just Food Conference
Lecture Series
Pie in the Sky
Food Policy News
Food Policy Brief
Spring 2014 Food Policy for Breakfast 
Seminar Series 

 School Meals and the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act- Lessons Learned and the Way Forward  



image via WITS


Date: April 29, 2014  

Time: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Location: The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College
47-­--49 East 65th Street between Madison and Park


RSVP Here >>>



Kate MacKenzie, Director, Policy and Government Relations, City Harvest

Pamela Koch, Executive Director,  The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University

Simone Herbin, School Food Associate, Brooklyn Food Coalition

Nancy Easton, Co-founder and Executive Director, Wellness in the Schools

Moderated by Jan Poppendieck, Policy Director, NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College

RSVP Here >>> 


Save the Date!
Last Spring 2014 Food Policy for Breakfast Seminar

May 20

Stay in touch for more event information and our Fall 2014 Food Policy for Breakfast Seminar schedule