In April 2019 New York City passed its “Climate Mobilization Act” and released OneNYC 2050, a long-term strategic plan for the city’s resilient and equitable development. The plan acknowledges that “[w]e need to eliminate our contributions to climate-change-causing GHG emissions and build neighborhoods and infrastructure that support sustainable lifestyles and consumption, while creating economic opportunity for all.” So, a key question for those of us invested in food policy, is how can food regulations help cities and nations effectively lower their carbon footprint? Earlier in October 2018, Denmark also released its 2050 Climate Plan “Together for a Greener Future,” including a specific strategy introducing carbon labelling for food products.
In the last few years, democracy-- and food democracy -- has encountered several challenges here in New York City and nationally. Debates about, for example, Amazon’s on-again-off-again Long Island City deal, lobbying, voter registration, who gets to decide where to locate supermarkets and soda policy, each illustrate how we struggle to define democracy today. Why should food policy analysts and advocates care about democracy?