New York Is One Disaster Away From a Food Crisis

Recent disasters have exposed New York's dangerous reliance on consolidated supply chains and just-in-time practices to maintain the city's food supply. Siddhartha Mahanta looks at the food system changes that've left NYC vulnerable to a food crisis.
October 22, 2013, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"In New York City, locating a bite to eat is rarely a difficult task. The city is a food paradise or, depending on your mood, a place of overwhelming glut," writes Mahanta. "But when Superstorm Sandy pummeled New York last fall, it revealed the terrifying potential for sudden food shortages."

The food industry's shift towards "leaner" supply chains have left New York, and other cities, vulnerable to infrastructure and supply disruptions. Yet, worries Mahanta, "[New York City] officials have little concrete data on how reliant their food system is on the private food distribution industry, and whether society is teetering a mere 'nine meals away from revolution' (an ominous old expression that appeared in The Atlantic all the way back in 1945). Worse yet, they have little understanding of the logistical changes that have revolutionized how companies warehouse and distribute the food on which New Yorkers depend."

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Published on Monday, October 21, 2013 in The Atlantic Cities
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