round and round...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

We are what (and where!) we eat.

Back in 2005 an institution in NYC was shuttered for good. The Fulton Fishmongers fish market was housed in the New Market Building at the Seaport starting in 1836. The building still stands, although currently vacant and in need of some TLC, and there is a group trying to bring it back to life. Their goal is simple - renovate and repair the building, which is publicly owned, with public funds from the city and return it to use as a public market.

Public markets have been a tradition in this city for centuries now and they are rapidly vanishing. This group, New Amsterdam Public (a nod to the city's first European name), seeks to put a slight twist on the public market angle. They want the market dedicated to regional and sustainable food. Nothing sold in the market would come from more than 500 miles outside of New York City and obviously, natural and organic goods would be preferred.

This is really exciting for me. MT and I recently joined a cooperative in our neighborhood which buys shares in a farmer's upcoming crop and in return, we receive fresh fruits & veg each week from June to November from that farmer (he delivers them to our neighborhood!). Our particular farmer has a gorgeous organic farm in upstate New York near the Vermont border. This type of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is gaining some strength in urban areas where people are becoming more conscious of the carbon footprint and chemical fertilization required by their grocery store foods.

CSA coupled with sustainable, regional markets are a way to ensure that we not only have economical and healthy food options in large cities (eating organic and local has a bad rep as exorbitantly expensive and it doesn't have to be that way), but that we eat foods that come from close to our homes. It means we don't need to ship fruits from Chile and Argentina year round, instead we can get fresh foods from our own regions. It's healthier for the eaters, more sustainable for the producers, and better for the planet which we seem to be destroying with wanton disregard. It's good for us, good for the economy, and good for Mama Nature. A win-win, right?

So this morning, right now, MT and I are headed off in the freezing rain and ice to go to the New Amsterdam Public Wintermarket. It's a preview of what the market could be if we can pull together and get this funding from the city. Mario Batali will be there cooking and giving tips on how to make delicious meals from ingredients purchased at the city's greenmarkets this time of year. I hope to bring home a bottle of NY state wine and some honey because we're getting woefully close to a honey shortage in our apartment. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for reading my little PSA.

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2 What people are saying:

Blogger patti_cake rambles...

We go to our farmers market all the year long. it's only a few miles from the house. I think this is a GREAT idea and I hope it flies.

12/17/2007 09:22:00 AM

Blogger Sandra rambles...

I found a CSA that does HALF shares too, people should ask about halves if they think a full share will be too much.

12/18/2007 05:06:00 PM


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