A Bite of the Big (local, organic) Apple

, senior analyst, Food and Environment | September 20, 2011, 1:39 pm EDT
Bookmark and Share

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: , , , ,

Support from UCS members make work like this possible. Will you join us? Help UCS advance independent science for a healthy environment and a safer world.

Show Comments

Comment Policy

UCS welcomes comments that foster civil conversation and debate. To help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion, please focus comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand, and refrain from personal attacks. Posts that are commercial, self-promotional, obscene, rude, or disruptive will be removed.

Please note that comments are open for two weeks following each blog post. UCS respects your privacy and will not display, lend, or sell your email address for any reason.

  • Warren

    How were their prices? You didn’t mention.

    • Hi Warren. The prices were competitive, I thought. It was $3.75 for the organic hot dog, plus 50 cents for the addition of the local sauerkraut.