Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams: A Food Difference

by Justin Taylor

Part of the ongoing Politicians Making a Food Difference series

The Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center is excited to recognize the politicians who are working to make NYC a model for smart, fair food policy. This week we honor the work of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Name: Eric Adams [D-NY]

Political title: Brooklyn Borough President

Hometown: Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York

Educational Bio: New York City College of Technology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Marist College

What he cares about: Affordable housing, education, health, public safety, technology

What he’s done: Currently working to redirect public health spending for diabetes to focus more on lifestyle changes and disease reversal than on condition management.

Has committed $1 million in capital funding to the creation of an urban agriculture incubator (space still to be determined) and partnered with City Council Member Rafael L. Espinal, Jr. to introduce recently passed legislation that creates the City’s first centralized digital hub meant specifically for urban agriculture.

Converted Brooklyn Borough Hall to a healthy workplace, providing healthier food options for staff and guests at events. Led anti-obesity campaigns to highlight the importance of healthy living, ranging from calling for the reduction of salt in foods to hosting yoga exhibitions at Borough Hall.

Launched the Family Friendly Brooklyn initiative by creating a lactation room in Brooklyn Borough Hall that is open to the public; introduced a New York City Council bill signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio requiring all municipal buildings providing services to the public to have lactation rooms.

Was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2016, which prompted him to switch to a plant-based, whole food diet, eliminating all animal products as well as sugar, salt, oil and processed starches; has consequently lost 30 pounds.

Recent food-related policies he’s supported: School gardens; senior diabetes awareness programs; Meatless Mondays initiative with New York City Department of Education; “Cut the Salt, Curb the Sugar,” a preventative health campaign in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Borough President’s website: http://www.brooklyn-usa.org

Urban Ag Legislation: http://www.brooklyn-usa.org/bp-adams-and-cm-espinal-introduce-legislation-to-create-comprehensive-urban-agriculture-plan-for-new-york-city/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/urban-farming-gets-new-york-city-council-attention-1500544801

Borough Hall health workplace: https://www.brooklyn-usa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/BHFoodPolicy17.pdf

Food and diabetes: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/02/well/an-inspiring-story-of-weight-loss-and-its-aftermath.html?_r=0

https://www.ediblebrooklyn.com/2017/in-the-kitchen-with-brooklyn-borough-president-eric-adams/

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