The Apple Pushers

Recently I had the pleasure of viewing a documentary film that seemed quite appropriate to blog about, as it examined the politics and policies of a food campaign (just like the title!). The film, The Apple Pushers, specifically looked at the campaign to increase access to healthy fruits and vegetables in areas of New York City where access to these health foods is difficult (a.k.a. food deserts).

Per the film’s official website:

The Apple Pushers, written and directed by Mary Mazzio, narrated by Edward Norton, and underwritten by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, follows immigrant street vendors who are rolling fresh fruits and vegetables into the inner cities of New York (where finding a fresh red ripe apple can be a serious challenge). These pushcart vendors, who have immigrated here from all parts of the world for different reasons, and who all have sacrificed so much to come to this country (a near fatal crossing of the Mexican border, as an example) – are now part of a new experiment in New York to help solve the food crisis and skyrocketing obesity rates in the inner city. (via applepushers.com)

The film was excellent, but the campaign itself to increase healthy food access in low-income areas where fruits and vegetables are hard to come by is truly admirable. This initiative, a public/private partnership between the NYC government (Mayor’s Fund to Advance New york City and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund,  is beginning to solve this issue by placing street vendors that serve exclusively fruits and vegetables in the areas where they are most needed.

I particularly appreciated how the film included scenes from the city council debates to get this initiative passed, as well as interviews with local politicians. As I’ve written before, good food policies cannot be enacted without good politics, and this film demonstrated how difficult this struggle can be.

The NYC Green Cart Initiative is not only increasing access to healthy foods in areas of the city where fruits and vegetables were previously difficult to come by, but it is also creating jobs in the process, and the film does a fine job of demonstrating this as well. I encourage everyone to learn more about this excellent campaign, as well as the film that does such a fantastic job of portraying it.

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One response to this post.

  1. Hi Divid! Your blog is such an interesting topic that I haven’t come across thinking about before. I did not realize about the difficulties and policy challenges that affects different areas and people in our society. Thanks for all the good info and your green background with the little bit of grass on the top is so suitable for your blog! 🙂

    Reply

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