Fixing New York City’s Watershed

 

New York City has been labeled many things, some rightly, some wrongly, but never has it received a distinction as a Mecca for healthy living.  The overpopulation, the constant construction, the exaggerated weather, the stress; these factors had contributed to the overwhelmingly poor health of New York’s citizens, but recent programs – several spearheaded by the Bloomberg administration – dedicated to invigorate a health conscious public have gradually raised the bar for healthy living.

Green carts and mandatory calorie charts were implanted last year, and today further efforts have been proposed calling for a wider access of farm raised goods, limitations on fast food restaurant development and a push for locally grown products on public agency menus.

Scott M. Stringer, the borough president of Manhattan, highlighted his goals for the city over the weekend.  He told the NY Times:

“If our watershed becomes polluted or broken, the consequences to New York’s economy and health are enormous,” he said. “Our foodshed is already broken and we need to fix it.”

In his report, Stringer outlined plans for the strict zoning of fast food restaurants, and tax incentives for “healthy” establishments and proprietors, which he deemed “food enterprise zones”.

Stringer also makes an appeal for public agencies – such as schools and shelters – to source more of their menus from local growers (of 100 to 200 miles radii) with a representation of up to 20% on those said menus.

The report also mentions possible incentives for community and private gardens.