Can New York City solve waste and health problems through a food sustainability initiative?

Read the full story in Food Dive.

New York City is one of three “flagship cities” participating in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s three-year food initiative, which launches today in Stockholm. The Big Apple, London and Sao Paulo are joining with corporate partners, including Danone and Nestlé, to help create a circular economy addressing food industry challenges. The initiative follows the foundation’s report, “Cities and Circular Economy for Food,” released in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Challenges addressed by the initiative include climate change, health problems, pollution and biodiversity loss. Ways to address these problems include regenerative farming, more local sourcing, changing the design and marketing of food, and preventing waste by using byproducts, the foundation said in a release. According to the report, four-fifths of food will be consumed in cities by 2050. Globally, this approach could reduce greenhouse gases equal to 1 billion cars being taken off the road, the foundation estimated.

“We feel the need to work hands-on with multiple cities because we know no city is going to face the same situations,” Emma Chow, initiative project manager, told Food Dive. “With New York, similar actually to Sao Paulo, you need to go outside of the city to get to the agricultural areas, but we see great potential for them to leverage manpower to motivate a shift to other systems that are good for ecosystems. We think New York also has great potential for innovation.”

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