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The Great Food Race

8/14/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: Chicago, New York City, green food

Chicago and New York City have been competing for green props for nearly a decade—and both lay claim to the “greenest city” title. Now they’re vying to be the first to pass a resolution in favor of greener food.

This week Chicago’s food resolution, a nonbinding resolution urging the city to make healthy, locally grown food more available to Chicago residents, made it to the city council’s Energy, Environmental Protection and Public Utilities Committee. The resolution seeks to show that how food is produced affects people’s and the planet’s health, stating “the Chicago City Council encourages individuals, civic associations and community-based organizations to grow local, organic gardens, and institutions and businesses to offer more plant-based foods.” It also promotes the expansion farmers' markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs and community gardens.

The New York Times reports that a similar bill calling for the creation of Foodprint NYC has been proposed in New York. This bill goes even farther than the Chicago bill to encourage city agencies to coordinate and establish climate-friendly food policies and programs and raise public awareness about food’s health and environmental impacts.  New York’s bill is backed by the NYC Foodprint Alliance, composed of groups such as Just Food, the Sierra Club, NYC City Group, Farm Sanctuary, Slow Food USA and Eating Liberally.

We’ll be watching the race to the finish line--and hoping the rest of the country will be inspired to follow the big cities’ lead.

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