NYC Food Policy Center August 2023 Food Flash

by Emily Solomon

A roundup of food policy topics

What’s Hot: Future of NYC Food Security Relies on Hunts Point

Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx serves as New York’s main distribution center for all fresh produce. The market receives deliveries everyday  by plane, train, boat, tractor, and more. It is an essential part of our local food system. This past year, Hunt’s Point faced issues with modernization, ongoing food demands, and redevelopment. 

Chief Executive Philip Grant met with Produce Business Magazine earlier this month to discuss the challenges and future of Hunts Point. He described a new project in which  the produce market will be decreasing its carbon footprint by installing “cool” roofs, which are. energy-saving reflective rooftops that reduce the city’s carbon footprint by 1 ton of CO2. 

He also shared revitalization plans thanks to Mayor Adams’s contribution of $130M to the market and Governor Kathy Hochul’s contribution of $130M. This funding will help sustainability initiatives already in place at the market= and  allow them to support nearly 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. 

To read more about Chief Executive Philip Grant’s interview visit

Food Policy Watchdog: Outdoor Dining in NYC is here to stay!

Earlier this month, the city council passed a law that will allow for  outdoor dining from April to November in New York City. The new law will remove any additional fees for restaurants to have outdoor space. This has become a financial lifeline for restaurants across the city, and the new law is welcomed by restaurants that did not previously have that opportunity. Additionally, supporters state that the outdoor dining law has welcomed a vibrance to the city that New Yorkers desperately craved during the pandemic. 

While participants will still need to remove and reassemble their outdoor dining infrastructure every year, the new law will allow thousands of restaurants to have more space and business during the summer months. 

Quote of the Month: 

“I think it is important for us to change the way we think about food. How we see food influences how we approach dinnertime and the choices we make. This is not about one diet or the other; it is more about understanding that the food we eat consistently over time can impact health outcomes positively or negatively. Having that knowledge will trigger curiosity, prompt people to ask questions or explore learning opportunities, and, most importantly, make better food choices.” – Julia Olayanju Founder of FoodNiche-ED.

To see her full interview, visit the Hunter College Food Policy Center Website

Fact Check: Dead Flies are being used to make biodegradable plastic

The American Chemical Society announced last month that dead flies can be used to create biodegradable plastic. According to the Guardian, “The researchers found that chitin, a sugar-based polymer, strengthens the shell, or exoskeleton, of insects and crustaceans. The team created a hydrogel from fly products that can absorb 47 times its weight in water in just one minute. This product could be used in cropland soil to capture flood water and slowly release moisture during droughts.”

The researchers are hoping to soon create polycarbonates or polyurethanes, which are bioplastics that do not contribute to plastic pollution, from the flies. 

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