"Food is to cities what tech was in the 90s: a large, disparate, confusing universe of entrepreneurs and creative types ranging from the tiny DIY young manufacturers at Brooklyn's Smorgasburg to Manhattan's renowned high-end restaurants," says Julia Vitullo-Martin, Senior Fellow with the Regional Plan Association. "But like the tech sector, restaurants, markets and food products have often ended up defining neighborhoods and sustaining them."
"But despite the importance of food employment (40% of New York's new jobs in the last two years have been in food) and the $30 billion spent annually on food by New Yorkers, New York has been late in officially recognizing food's importance, as London's Mayor Boris Johnson pointed out to Mayor Bloomberg in 2009."
"If New York and the region's food resurgence is to continue, both from a culinary and an industrial point of view, the city, state and region should replicate their food-oriented brethren elsewhere and adapt a number of useful plans."
Vitullo-Martin offers several suggestions, including establishing a central agency for food plans and policies and building a wholesale distribution market for regional food, to help fill the gaps in the area's food system infrastructure.