Do you love French fries, potato chips, salty pretzels…do you see where this is going, New York? If you’re a fan of salty foods (and who isn’t, really), you probably know that all that salt isn’t great for you. Now, the National Salt Reduction Initiative aims to do something about it.
New York City wants you to reduce your salt consumption, and for starters, 16 companies and restaurants have committed to help you do just that.
The initiative is voluntary, and participating companies, restaurants, and chains include Starbucks, Heinz, Au Bon Pain, Subway and Goya. They have agreed to reduce salt in their products by 25 percent over the next five years. Other restaurants and companies have been urged to join the initiative as well.
According to New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Americans get 80 percent of their salt intake from packaged foods and restaurants in the form of preservatives. Adding salt yourself only accounts for about 1 percent of salt consumption. About nine percent comes from sodium that occurs naturally in food. Health organizations recommend about 1500 to 2400 milligrams of salt per day per healthy adult.
Reducing salt intake has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes; city officials say that as many as 23,000 New Yorkers could reduce their risks of dying from those problems.
Officials promise that the reduction will be gradual–and that New Yorkers won’t even notice the difference.
The city already has mandatory rules for posting calorie counts as well as a ban on trans fats.
The ultimate goal? To reduce American’s salt consumption by 20 percent by the year 2014.
Upper West Siders in New York are nothing if not picky about their food: complaining about the lack of good restaurants and comparing notes on where to get the best artisinal cheese is considered a badge of honor.
Now, residents above 59th Street have reason to rejoice–after literally years of rumor and speculation, iconic gourmet food store Trader Joe’s is coming to the city’s Upper West Side.
A new luxury tower, called The Corner, has just been completed on 72nd and Broadway in Manhattan. (Really? In this economy?) One of the stores that will anchor the ground-floor area is Trader Joe’s; it’s expected to open later this year. The building has 50,000 square feet of commercial space; the new store will take over two floors on the corner.
One of the other commercial spaces has been rented to Bank of America (of course), and a third remains vacant.
Trader Joe’s is much loved for its lines of foods that cater to everyone from vegans to the stroller set, with an especially good line of their own products. Prepared meals, kosher foods, ethnic specialties, fat-free, vegetarian–they’ve got it all, and it all comes with a kind of cool, downtown vibe that adds to its appeal. There’s already a Trader Joe’s store on 14th Street in Manhattan, but face it, who wants to bring all those groceries uptown on the subway?
With Citarella and Fairway just blocks away from the new location, and a new Whole Foods further uptown, Upper West Siders may have to find something new to complain about.
OK, New Yorkers, it’s time to think green and healthy instead of brown and salty. If you automatically search out a hot dog cart or a pretzel vendor when you’re in New York’s Central Park, start thinking bananas and strawberries instead.
Starting next month, the city will expand its Green Cart campaign in an effort to get New Yorkers to eat healthier–even on the go.
The new carts, loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, will be located in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, including Fifth Avenue between East 80th and East 81st Streets; Fifth Avenue between East 86th and East 87th Streets, and West 100th Street between Lenox Avenue Central Park West. Part of the choice of locations was an effort to draw in tourists who visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Fifth Avenue at 81st Street) and the American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West and 81st Street).
Produce will come from the Hunts Point Market, and will include goodies at competitive prices, such as three bananas for a dollar; mangoes for $1.50; and a half-pound box of strawberries for $2. And if you’re craving all three, you can now try something new: fruit salad will be offered at $3 a pound. (Whether you want to walk around Central Park or the Museum of Natural History eating fruit salad is another story.)
About 30 carts in Central Park already offer snack foods such as pretzels, peanuts, ice cream and hot dogs throughout the park.
New Yorkers’ reactions to the carts is mixed: Some say they’re not likely to buy a banana while strolling through the park, while other applaud the larger selection of healthier, fresher food.
In any event, now you’ll have a choice. A pretzel with a side order of mangoes, anyone?
Buying fresh produce and gourmet food was a challenge in upper Manhattan…until now. A Best Yet Market, part of a Long Island-based chain, opened yesterday on Frederick Douglass Boulevard between 118th and 19th Streets in upper Manhattan.
The store, which took approximately $2 million to open, offers such delicacies as fresh produce, olives, cheese and fresh fish to a fresh-food starved neighborhood. Half of the money needed for the opening was loaned from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.
About 140 employees work at the store, which is located two blocks from a subway station, and about half of those are from the immediate neighborhood.
The First Bet Yet store originally opened in Brooklyn and sold fruits and vegetables. This evolved into a Long Island supermarket, and then into a chain of about 11 stores across Long Island.
Before the new store opened, neighborhood residents would often have to walk or take public transportation 10 or even 20 blocks downtown in order to purchase affordable (or even available) strawberries, melons, salad materials and other garden produce. Organic produce is also available.
Reaction from neighborhood residents has been overwhelmingly positive, with customers saying that the need for such a local emporium has existed for a long time. Most of the local food stores in that area tend to focus on staples, not fresh produce.
And if that display of lettuce and tomatoes looks so good that customers end up buying more than they can carry? Delivery options are offered from 96th to 125th Streets, between Fifth Avenue and the Hudson River.
Say what you like about New York, it has some of the best restaurants, most obsessed foodies and most diverse cuisine of just about anywhere. This week, “Epicurious Entertains New York” comes to town to prove the point. The event, which starts today (Sept. 30) and runs through Sunday, October 4, features demonstrations and celebrity-chef meals (both dinner and lunch) in a pop-up space near Union Square (837 Broadway at 18th Street). And in a city that’s not easily impressed, you will pretty much be wowed by the chefs that are appearing: Everyone from Daniel Boulud (Daniel; DB Bistro Moderne) and Mario Batali (Babbo) to Zak Pelaccio (Fatty Crab) and Paul Liebrandt (Corton).
Events include an homage to culinary innovation (Oct. 1, 11:30 am-3:30 pm) called “Intelligent Entertaining”; it features chefs and bartenders who are as much techno-geeks as they are chefs. October 3 brings “Cooking with Kids”: As an enticement, someone from Magnolia Bakery will be on hand. It’s strictly BYOK (Bring Your Own Kid.) Some of the events are sold out, so be sure to check (800-922-1691).
The culminating event? “Fatty Sunday: A Zak Pelaccio Lunchtime Feast” (12-7 pm). Pelaccio will whip up treats from his new restaurant, Fatty ‘cue, as football season kicks off.
What says fall better than strange edible infusions, five-course meals, and lots of smoked meat?
If you’re in New York, pretty much nothing.