NYC Food & Climate Summit

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If you were told that the top problems facing our country today are global warming, rising healthcare costs and unemployment, few people would bat an eye. But what if we said that we could make strides toward solving each of these problems simply by changing the way we eat and where we source our food? Now that might spark more of an argument.

In fact, it’s true. The biggest transformation in the United States over the next generation may well come in the way we feed ourselves. By stocking our kitchens with food that’s more sustainable – and changing public policy to make that easier – we can reduce the city’s climate "foodprint", lower health care costs, and create good and green jobs. This is only possible if individuals and policymakers take important and urgent steps to make the food system more sustainable.

That's why Just Food, the Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and New York University convened the NYC Food & Climate Summit on December 12, 2009 at NYU. The Summit was a day-long feast of workshops, training and action planning around our food system’s role in climate problems and solutions. The event, timed to coincide with the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, provided a forum for some 1,000 New Yorkers – community gardeners, local farmers, educators, students, advocates, city government leaders and concerned citizens – to show global solidarity for climate justice advocates around the world.

Twenty-eight skill-building workshops and policy sessions covered topics from urban agriculture to institutional racism in the food system to greening food infrastructure.

But the Summit was only the start. In February 2010, the Manhattan Borough President released "FoodNYC: a Blueprint for a Sustainable Food System," a report based on the policy ideas generated at the Summit. In May 2010, Just Food will launch the NYC Food & Climate Campaign, to provide an action platform and forum for New Yorkers to mobilize around the policies and ideas in FoodNYC and more. Stay tuned!



Vandana Shiva speaking @ the NYC Food and Climate Summit on 12/12/09 from Just Food on Vimeo.

Wangari Mathaai opening address at the NYC Food and Climate Summit 12/12/09.