10 Things You Need to Know in Food This Week

From fast food worker rights to food insecurity at colleges, here’s what the Edible editors are reading this week.

Cranberry farmers hard at work. • Photo courtesy of Modern Farmer

Cranberry farmers hard at work. • Photo courtesy of Modern Farmer

From fast food worker rights to hunger at colleges, here’s what the Edible editors are reading this week.

The New York City Food Policy Center on urban farms in public housing:
“Trammell and her fellow 18-to-24-year-old corps members, all of whom are NYCHA residents, work diligently each day on various farming tasks, from planting seeds and weeding gardens to harvesting produce and delivering cooking demonstrations to NYCHA residents.”

Crain’s New York Business tells a made in New York success story gone global: “The Halal Guys spent 22 years building their business, hawking meat-and-rice platters from steaming food carts, and since 2014, from storefront restaurants.

They also still operate at their first street-cart location, the corner of West 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue. And now, after expanding to the East Village and the Upper West Side, they’re taking their business global.”

The New Food Economy writes on a piece of legislation in support of fast food workers just introduced in New York City…
“The Fast Food Worker Empowerment Bill and a cluster of Fair Work Week Bills would eliminate on-call scheduling, ensure that workers know their shifts two weeks in advance, give existing employees first dibs on open shifts, and — in a particularly original move — make it easy for fast food workers to fund advocacy organizations directly from their paychecks.”

…while Trump tapped a fast-food CEO for labor secretary. His appointment could be disastrous for restaurant workers:
“No other government agency plays such a strong role in protecting the rights of restaurant workers; this is the department whose regular investigations reveal that food and drink establishments withhold millions in wages from their staffers every year. And now that agency will be run by Andrew Puzder, the 66-year-old CEO who runs both the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains. He has no government experience.”

PBS on how the Republicans want to overhaul food stamps:
“The GOP majority on the House Agriculture Committee released a two-year review of the program on Wednesday that stops short of making specific policy recommendations, but hints at areas where Republicans could focus: strengthening work requirements and perhaps issuing new ones, tightening some eligibility requirements or providing new incentives to encourage food stamp recipients to buy healthier foods.”

The Washington Post looks at the potential of Trump’s policy on food prices:
“Agricultural economists across the political spectrum say that there’s no way that workforce could be raptured up without reverberations throughout the food system — think farm bankruptcies, labor shortages and an eventual contraction of the broader economy. And even if you’re far from the agriculture industry, you could see $4 milk, low-quality oranges, and extortionately priced raspberries.”

And Modern Farmer digs into what the Congressional Cranberry Caucus actually does: “The cranberry industry in the US is a singularly weird one, as befits a singularly weird crop. Because really, what other fruit is grown only in the coldest of bogs, and is so sour it’s nearly inedible untreated, but is still so beloved?”

CNN reports that more colleges are opening food pantries:
“The number of food pantries on college campuses is exploding. While there’s no official count, membership in the College and University Food Bank Alliance has quadrupled in the past two years. It currently has 398 members.”

Travel + Leisure has the breakdown on which airlines to fly for healthier food:
“For the eighth year in a row, Dr. Charles Platkin, director of the NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College, examined the nutritional options available onboard airlines. And, depending on how travelers feel about their waistlines, the best bet may just be an airport salad.”

Finally, if you find yourself in Astoria, ABC 7 offers their pick for authentic Indian street food: “Are you looking for authentic Indian street food? Syed Houssain is serving it up in a casual setting at Tikka Roll House, located at 34-14 30th Ave in Astoria.The menu is dominated by bowls and rolls that are a mix of protein or vegetables with rice and salad.”