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A Bite of the Big (local, organic) Apple

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Last weekend I took my mother, visiting the East Coast from California, on her first-ever jaunt to New York City. We had a ball, wandering the urban canyons, taking in a Tony-winning Broadway show, shopping at the fabulous Union Square Greenmarket, and of course, eating ourselves silly. With its many outstanding restaurants, legendary deli tradition, and myriad ethnic neighborhoods, a trip to Gotham always promises a gastronomic adventure.

This time, however, there was a new surprise.

The author's mother places a lunch order in Central Park.

While roaming Central Park one lunchtime, we stumbled upon a hot dog cart…with a twist. At Good to Go Organics, much of the menu is certified organic. That includes the dogs and sausages; the sauerkraut and chopped onions you can have them topped with; even coffee, tea, and milk. What’s more, their grass-fed chili, kraut, and onions—along with whole apples you can enjoy on the side—are sourced from farms in New York’s nearby Hudson Valley.

The local/organic food truck is a great trend I’ve seen recently in smaller cities such as Lansing, Michigan and Austin, Texas. I’m delighted to see it expand to even a few hot dog carts in Manhattan. Such new businesses apparently have the support of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who recently signed into law five different measures aimed at supporting the purchasing, tracking, and production of local foods within the city.

With more and more small-scale farmers going organic and the demonstrated economic benefits of local foods, daily-service urban food trucks and carts offer new opportunities to link farmers and consumers, beyond the weekly farmers market.

Take a bite out of that, Big Apple.

(And try the kraut.)

Posted in: Food and Agriculture Tags: , , , ,

About the author: Karen Perry Stillerman is an analyst and advocate for transforming the U.S. agriculture and food system to one that produces affordable, healthful foods for consumers; reduces air and water pollution; and builds healthy soil for the farmers of tomorrow. She holds a master's degree in public affairs and environmental policy. See Karen's full bio.

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2 Responses

  1. Warren says:

    How were their prices? You didn’t mention.