Last October, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture prevent New York residents from using food stamps to purchase soda and other sugary drinks. On Friday, the USDA rejected the proposal, partly citing the difficulty of sorting out which beverages would and wouldn’t be allowed under the policy.
Dr. Thomas A. Farley, New York City’s health commissioner, said he was “very upset” by the proposal’s rejection, adding that it “really calls into question how serious the USDA is about addressing the nation’s most serious nutritional problem,” reports the New York Times.
The choice was obviously a victory for the soda industry, which lobbied against the proposal. Some advocates for the poor were also against the bill, arguing that forcing food-stamp users to shop differently is a stigmatizing experience. “The whole attempt was misguided and unworkable,” Mr. Berg said. “This proposal was based on the false assumption that poor people were somehow ignorant or culturally deficient.”
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Yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a bill that will encourage city agencies to purchase more locally grown food, and another to reduce wasteful packaging. According to WNYC, the bill will includes foods that are grown, produced and processed in New York.
“These provisions will help the city and the public better track where agencies’ food comes from and where tax dollars are spent,” Bloomberg said. “It will also result in agencies buying much more food from farms and processing facilities in the Empire State.”
The law further requires that an annual report to be published on the food the city buys. Earlier this summer, City Council became the first city government to participate in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. “It may cost a tiny bit more, but it saves money in the end because it can stay longer in the schools. It can stay longer in the person’s home, and it’s fresher,” Manhattan City Councilwoman Gale Brewer told NY1.
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What better day is there to do a sun salutation than on the longest day of the year? That’s what thousands of yoga enthusiasts gathered in Times Square to do on Tuesday, June 22, 2011 for the first day of summer, including our very own Maggie Badore.
After a hot and sweaty session, she broke free from the crowd and caught up with Patrick Lynch of Bikram Yoga NYC, who lead the session, to hear his thoughts on leading yoga at one of the most chaotic intersections in the world.
Click now to watch our Solstice in Times Square interview.
For any fellow New Yorkers reading our blog, I have an exciting announcement: there’s a free health and wellness festival this Saturday, May 14 in Gowanus/Park Slope area of Brooklyn. The event is hosted by NewUnderstanding, formerly known as Alive&Well in Brooklyn, and will feature tons of free and healthy fun for the whole family.
For kids, there will be yoga, drumming circles, martial arts and manicures. For adults there will be free sample treatments of ear acupuncture, Alexander Technique, Structural Integration, Postural Analysis and Nutrition Counseling. There will also be giveaways and goodie bags with healthy treats and discounts. A full schedule of classes, including Pilates, Forrest yoga and Qi Gong, and seminars covering topics such as Simple Steps to Better Sleep, Living Gluten Free and Relief from Seasonal Allergies with Acupuncture and Herbs. There will also be lots of yummy food from The V Spot, a local vegan restaurant.
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This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending my first Workout in the Park, hosted by Self magazine in Central Park. The day is a great opportunity for people of any fitness level to try out new workouts, get some fitness swag, and spend a healthy Saturday in the sun.
There were three workout areas: the main stage, the quiet zone for mat work, and the toning zone. I started my workout in the quite zone, for a Pilates Fusion workout on the mats. Then I headed over to the main stage for Retro-Robics, featuring 90′s hip-hop moves, followed by a LaBLAST class inspired by dances featured on Dancing with the Stars. Some of the other workouts included Cardio Tai Box, Yoga Body Sculpt, a Masala Bhangra dance class featuring Bollywood dance moves and a sing-along Glee Club workout. All of the workouts were provided by Crunch, so if you want to try one of these routines, check the class schedule at your closest Crunch location.
Although I’m a regular runner and occasional yoga practitioner, I was definitely sore in the best way on Sunday. The event was a great reminder of the importance of trying new physical activities and mixing up your workout routine: there may be muscles you’re not using if you follow the same workout every day. The crowd was enthusiastic and the turnout for the event was pretty impressive. Although there were several hundred attendees, everyone seemed to be in a very good mood.
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