take food justice into your own hands – Washington Square News

The “Increase Food Activity” panel, which is part of the MLK Week celebration at New York University, was aimed at engaging students in food activity.

The words and ideas of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went far beyond the U.S. civil rights movement. Last week, NYU held its 17th annual MLK Week, theoretically expressing what a changed world might look like according to King’s teaching. Focusing on one such aspect, Increase Nutrition Activity, a virtual panel hosted by the New York University Service and the Center for Student Life on Feb. 12, discussed restructuring U.S. food systems to provide equal and adequate nutrition for all.

CAS sophomore Mikaela Greenley held a panel and started with a question from Kemi Mugo, an environmental educator at Mining schoolwhat is the power system. She described how the food system includes planting, growing, harvesting, marketing, selling and consuming.

“The system consists of the parts and all the relative processes that drive those parts,” Mugo said. “Growing is the key, because that’s what happens to the earth and people.”

Mugo argues that the U.S. food safety standard needs to be improved.

“It’s not just,‘ Are you getting enough calories? ’” Mugo said. “It should be, ‘Does your food feed you?’ More often than not, the answer is no. ”

David Sugarman, professor of Galatina at New York University and co-founder The Minetta Creek collectiveadded that our food system produces unusually well waste, with the average New York family production about 8.4 pounds of food waste per week. Maura Puszek, a graduate of Steinhardt, was inspired to found the 2019 New York Collective Newspaper. article which demonstrated the dramatic spread of food security in colleges.

“I read a very disturbing article in the New York Times about food security on college campuses,” Pushek told WSN. “There was a line about a New York University student who was crazy [from] hunger. ‘ I was deeply impressed by it. “

While NYU has programs like Swipe forward, Food and Share foodthese initiatives were not enough to combat food security among their students like WSN before reported. Food security has been observed in New York since the beginning of the pandemic increased by 36%.

During the panel, Pushek referred to Fr. poll in the fall of 2019 students of New York University conducted nutrition programs of the School of Global Public Health and the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. 41% of the 257 respondents reported suffering from food security.

Minetta Creek Collective was based in 2019 as a project of New York University’s history department, where Pushek and his colleague Chelsea Rhodes set up a snack table for easy accessibility for all students who may be starving. The two then joined forces with Sugarman. Since the fall of 2021, the Minetta Creek Collective has been serving the community in Washington Square Park with free meals and activities.

Participants in the discussion agreed that the culture in which we live encourages us to spend food or sell it rather than share it. Mugo believes that the biggest improvement in the resilience of our food systems would be to respect the land and listen.

«[Improving] it requires dignity and respect for plants and animals that have grown and given their lives to feed us, ”Mugo said. “Turning it is disrespectful.”

California’s new food waste disposal system could be useful to New York City in collaboration with nonprofits such as the Collective. January 1, 2022 Senate Bill of 1383 came into force by requiring Californians to separate organic waste – food waste – from inorganic. The composting project is aimed at reduce utilization of state organic waste by 75% by 2025.

Mugo stressed that any solution to the problem of food waste must take into account the internal link between food insecurity and poverty.

“If you can’t afford transit to food,” Mugo said, “or healthy food choices … or you don’t have time, money will fix it.”

Food security is linked to systemic poverty: gain food you need – this is one of the first steps out of poverty. Mugo has unveiled a list of resources to help college students start fighting poverty: A Guide for Gourmets on Capitalism, Freedom of farmers, Agriculture while black and podcasts Heritage Radio Network. Shannon Rush, NYU Program Administrator and Panel Organizer, included Fr. resource guide for volunteering.

“We need to change how we think food security looks,” Shugarman said. “What we think it looks like in turn affects what we do to combat it.”

While MLK Week is largely associated with anti-racist activism, the systemic impact of poverty on color communities shows how interconnected they are. I myself decided to start volunteering based solely on how this panel showed me the degree of food security in New York.

Contact Jules Roscoe at [email protected]

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