Monday, May 24, 2010

You Are What You Drink

Next time you go to pick up that bottle of Pepsi or Snapple (made from the worst stuff on earth) remember this image:

Yep folks, that's how much sugar you are INGESTING into your body with each bottle or can of these popular drinks...check out how much SUGAR that bottle of sugarwater um I mean vitaminwater contains...come on your vitamins from healthy, fresh fruits and veggies...don't drink them.

Did you also know that the beverage lobby has been targeting Bronx neighborhoods stating that the proposed Beverage Tax is unfair and that jobs will be lost if it is passed. I guess that as usual, these for-profit companies don't care about people. Personally, I am insulted that they are targeting the very neighborhoods which consume the HIGHEST amounts of sugary beverages in all of NEW YORK CITY as well as one of the most obese districts in the country! The people of the Bronx need to stop being the dumping ground for all that is not good for us. Yeah Pepsi-Co and the rest of your crew: I'm calling you out!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Growing Food Justice - A Panel Discussion

When I was invited to attend a panel discussion on food justice by Daniel Bowman Simon, the man behind The White House Organic Farm Project as well as his latest endeavor, the People's Garden NYC campaign how could I say no?

"Growing Food Justice: How going local can help feed our city...and the world" features such big names on issues of food justice like urban farmer Karen Young-Washington, President of New York City Community Garden Coalition, Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Rabbi Brent Spodek, Rabbi in Residence at American Jewish World Services who will be discussing the topic around the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (one of the harvest festivals in Judaism) and of course Daniel Bowman Simon as well.

Come join me in Brooklyn as I continue on my quest to be a greener and more environmentally responsible Bronxite.

Where: The Commons on Atlantic
388 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY
(A,C,G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn, 2,3 to Hoyt St or 2,3,4,5 to Nevins St)

Time: Wednesday, May 12th @ 6:30PM

If you are attending, please take a very BRIEF minute and register...tell them GreenBronxGuy referred ya!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Being Green Isn't Just About Changing Your Light Bulbs...

So you go to the local hardware store or Home Depot and purchase that compact florescent light bulb (CFLs) because we're told that it's great for the environment since it uses 75% less energy than a conventional incandescent bulb. You go home, replace the bulb and voila - you think you are now a happy green individual.

But then you go to your supermarket. You purchase that pineapple you've been craving (probably came from South America, Hawaii or the Caribbean - thousands of miles away), and "fresh" tomatoes (not so fresh when you consider they had to travel thousands of miles to get here because tomatoes are not in season in the Northeast until July). When all is said and done probably 99% of everything you purchased at said supermarket was not grown or produced locally for that matter and your total carbon footprint contribution for that one sale can easily offset that bulb you replaced at home earlier in the day.

One way you can help reduce your carbon footprint for produce is to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season in our region. In the Bronx we have access to several farmers markets and local Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) where you can purchase a share of produce for the growing season. Not only are you helping reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing from LOCALLY but you are supporting our regional farmers economically as well as connecting directly with the grower of your food, cutting out the middle "men" such as corporate farmers, buyers and supermarkets, the truckers delivering the produce to Hunts Point then the trucks from Hunts Point delivering your produce to your supermarket and finally to your table.

Wouldn't you feel much better knowing EXACTLY where your food came from and who grew and delivered it to you? I know I would and to boot, my purchase would also be environmentally friendly. Who knew?!

Here's a list of Farmers' Markets in The Bronx:
Bronx Borough Hall Green Market (June 29 - November 23, Tuesdays, 8AM - 3PM)
Lincoln Hospital Green Market (June 29 - November 23, Tuesdays & Fridays, 8AM - 3PM)
Poe Park Green market (July 6 - November 23, Tuesdays, 8AM - 3PM)
New York Botanical Garden Green Market (June 16 - November 29, Wednesdays, 9AM - 6PM)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Organic Pasta, Veggies and 'Shrooms Oh My!

So today was MUCH better than yesterday's dreadful meal of fried wings and french fries. I decided to make up for my poor choice by going to the South Bronx Food Cooperative on Third Avenue and East 158th Street. I picked up some portobello mushrooms, veggie pasta and spinach - all organic and all by the bulk which is pretty awesome that I could purchase the quantities which I NEEDED and WANTED and wasn't forced to purchase some prepackaged stuff.

That was dinner...breakfast and lunch were pretty good as well...opted for a couple of oranges and a yogurt and then for lunch I had fresh made guacamole - can't beat that!

Living in the South Bronx is ROUGH when you want access to the good stuff...every corner there's a bodega with 99% of the items being pretty toxic if you consider all the chemicals, sodium, high fructose corn syrup, sugars, etc - it's no wonder why we're not only one of the hungriest but also one of the most obese districts in the country. Corporations are slowly killing us because we are only seen as $ signs and not as HUMANS.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

So I Failed Miserably

You would think that after attending and participating at the Bronx Food Summit that I would have made a better choice in eating but such is the danger of living in a Food Desert - it's easier to eat something that kills rather than nourishes. Last night I ordered fried wings and french fries from the local Chinese take-out. I will try and make up for it later.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Trying To Be Green In The South Bronx

Today, on May Day, I have decided to chronicle my journey as a South Bronx resident who is trying to be green including but not limited to eating healthy and in a green fashion.

Why May 1st? Well I decided to take advantage of today's first ever, Bronx Food Summit which brought together people from all ends of the spectrum to bring the issues of food justice to the spotlight as well as issues of sustainability. Even more overwhelming was the sheer number of the public which came to the event thirsting for the knowledge to learn how they can do their part.

The Bronx has been undeserved in so many areas especially when it comes to food.  Have you ever asked yourself why areas of higher income have access to great produce and better food selections? Are you aware that this great food is already in the Bronx? There are many distributors located in Hunts Point and they won't even deliver to the Bronx - the same borough they operate out of!

Speaking of which, did you know that Fresh Direct will only deliver to Riverdale but not the Bronx? If that wasn't enough of an insult to Bronxites, they have now expanded delivery to Westchester County but won't make stops through the neighborhoods which they pollute with their trucks zipping by to get to the third wealthiest county in the country.

I truly hope that my daily journeys  for a year, struggling to be a better citizen of our planet in the poorest congressional district of our nation, can serve as an inspiration and a wake up call that food justice, being green and the welfare of our environment is in our hands, in your hands and not government or big corporations...let's reconnect with our farmers, our local community gardens and neighborhoods to become a sustainable society versus a wasteful one.

-Green Bronx Guy

(all photographs were taken at Hostos Community College on May 1st, 2010 for the first ever, Bronx Food Summit)