New Food-Waste Recycling Plant in Long Island

imgresFood waste is a major growing concern for large cities. 20 percent of what goes into America’s landfills is food waste. New York City is finally building their own recycling plant in Long Island in efforts to improve landfills and its conditions. Yesterday Governor Cuomo announced that Yaphank, Suffolk County will be the home of the area’s first ever recycling plant. It is projected to be a 62-acre facility with one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s largest anaerobic digesters.

This new facility is estimated to keep 120,000 tons of food trash out of landfills every year, and to handle more than double the food waste processed by any similar facility in the state. The facility’s operator, American Organic Energy, hopes to take 100,000 tons of food waste the de Blasio administration wants diverted from landfills next year. There are also plans to accept organic waste directly from restaurants and supermarkets to potentially improve the overall recycling system in the metro area.

Moreover, the new infrastructure is implementing functions to recycle food waste and produce Miracle-Gro. This new recycling plant in Long Island is expected to revolutionize the up keep of landfills and the recycling system for the metro area.

To read more, click here.

Forbes Magazine, Our client Padoca Bakery Featured

P1030246-1940x1455“It’s not an industry you get into because you want to make a lot of money. It’s really because you love it,” says Marina Halpern, owner of Padoca Bakery. While many other restaurant businesses are struggling to keep their businesses in New York City with its high rent, health department inspections and increased competition, Halperin persisted in opening a bakery-café on the Upper East Side. She believed their location would contribute to the community as a local gathering spot, for both residents and the many hospital workers in the area. Moreover, no one is doing specialty coffee in the neighborhood.

There is a Starbucks a block away from Padoca, but Padoca Bakery successfully differentiates themselves as a specialty café by incorporating Brazilian themes. Padoca’s décor is hip and whimsical. The light fixtures are made from porcelain coffee pots, they have colorful chairs along with their popular swing chair that hangs from the ceiling. Moreover, the wooden tables and ceilings exacerbate the Brazilian vibes. Customers can buy pre-packaged salads and sandwiches, coffee from FAL Coffee, and their popular Brazilian-pastries. A popular choice is a Brazilian pastry called pal de quiet, which is essentially a fluffy cheese bread.

Marina Halpern moved from Saõ Paolo to New York City five years ago. She was involved in the entertainment industry, but in her free time took cake decorating classes at the French Culinary Institute in New York. Halpern says “I fell in love with it.” She then cultivated her skills in the food industry as she continued her studies, earned a professional certificate, interned as a pastry cook at The Dutch restaurant and worked at Tony Jean George’s The Mark. Halpern then finally decided that she wanted to open her own bakery. “When I decided to open he bakery, i realized New York has so much foot traffic and a great mix of cultures that would be perfect for the concept.” Marina’s plan is to grow slowly and steadily by eventually opening a few more stores, adding street kiosks in Carl Schurz Park and with her recent launch of catering services she hopes to achieve even greater success with Padoca.

To read more, click here.

Smorgasburg is Moving

smorg_headerAfter three summers filled with hundreds of vendors, and thousands of foodies, Smorgasburg is moving their location from Brooklyn Bridge Park to Prospect Park. While many could have enjoyed the views of Manhattan’s Skyline while eating at their Takumi Taco, now, visitors can enjoy their foods in seated shaded areas. Eric Demby, Brooklyn Flea co-founder, says “We’re sad to leave Brooklyn Bridge Park, but it’s hard to complain when our new home is literally Brooklyn’s backyard.”

The Brooklyn Bridge park is going under renovation to transform into parkland, which will be opening in 2017. The market has been operating at Pier 5 since 2012, when the area transformed into a pier from a Tobacco Warehouse.

The new site for Smorgasburg will operate starting August 30th through October 11th. Both new and old vendors will be at the new location of Smorgasburg.

To read more, click here.

Fight for 15 in Action

New YorkFight-for-15 City’s fast food worker minimum will rise to $15 by 2018 and the rest of the state by 2021. The increase in wages is in efforts to improve the lives of chain restaurant employees whose wages can keep them reliant on taxpayer-subsidized welfare programs. This policy will apply to not only company-owned restaurants with thirty or more nationwide locations but to franchise locations as well. As wages increases, labor costs increases resulting in price hikes for consumer goods. In a recent survey of 924 fast food businesses in New York, 70 percent were “very likely” to raise prices in response to the increase in minimum wages, and 83 percent of respondents claimed they were very likely or “somewhat likely” to reduce hours of staffing levels. This increase in higher wages could potentially prompt competitive salary increases throughout the hospitality and retail industries to avoid drama of workers who’ll suddenly find fast food jobs more attractive.

The New York City minimum wage increases are scheduled to occur on December 31st of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 at $10.50, $12.00, $13.50, and $15 respectively. While the changes to the New York State minimum wages will be broken down from 2015 to 2021, at $9.75, $10.75, $11.75, $12.75, $13.75, $14.50 and $15 respectively.

To read more, click here.

NYC Restaurants are Required to Freeze Raw Fish

sashimi-resizedSushi restaurants have lured gourmands by boasting of the freshest fish. But with new regulations, published by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, restaurants are required that fish served raw, undercooked or marinated raw are to be frozen first to guard against parasites. This regulations has been approved by the Board of Health and will be set to take effect in August. The Health Department regulation is that fish will be required a minimum freezer storage time of anywhere from 15 hours to a week depending not eh temperatures and storage process.

Though customers might be distasteful at their “fresh” fish coming from a freezer, the truth is that many chefs in NYC’s top restaurants have long used frozen fish to prevent serving their raw fare with a side of pathogens. “We purposely deep-freeze at negative 83 degrees, and we use one of those medical cryogenic freezers, this way it’s kind of like cooking, but instead of using heat we use freezing to remove parasites or bacteria on the outer surface.” says Yuta Suzuki, vice president of Sushi Zen. Even with these public regulations, because many restaurants have already been utilizing freezing as a method of pasteurizing, chefs believe it won’t take too much effect on their process of cooking. Moreover, frozen fish are free of parasites, and also cheaper, available out of season and sometimes even tastier.

To read more on NYC’s new regulations on Raw fish, click here

Organic Food Waste Bill

In efforts to achieve zero waste in landfills by 2030, iStock-9013928_Kitchen-Waste-Composting_s3x4.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1707Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed a bill that would require businesses to separate food waste and regular trash. Hotels, arenas and large-scale restaurants would be required to create systems and comply to this proposal regularly.  The regulation applies to restaurants in hotels with more than 150 rooms, vendors in arenas and stadiums with seating capacity of at least 15,000 people, food manufacturers with a floor area of at least 25,000 square feet and wholesalers with at least 20,000 square feet. Mayor de Blasio believes “The commercial establishments in today’s proposal are already recycling plastics and metals, and by additionally recycling organic material, they will significantly contribute to reducing our city’s waste stream.” Exempt from this regulation are other food businesses like grocery stores, caterers, normal-sized restaurants and fast-food establishments. It is deemed that the sanitation department is set to publish this rule over the summer and is subjected to start after a 6-month grace period for businesses. Businesses will be given the option to arrange for collection by a private carter, transport organic waste themselves, or compost on-site, subject to compliance with the city’s sewer system. Business will be entirely liable for all costs and challenges associated with composting- space, price, arrangement.

For more information on the bill, click here

Whole Foods, Whole Paycheck

Whole Foods is a leading grocery market in New York City that is imagesnotorious for its high prices. While many consumers thought the produce was pricey because it was really healthy or organic, in actuality, after investigation from the Department of Consumer Affairs, it has been noted that Whole Foods is guilty of overpricing their produce. Whole Foods has been charged with over 800 violations during 107 separate inspections since 2010 for inaccurate consumer prices. Recently, inspectors weighed 80 different types of items at eight different locations and found that every label was inaccurate with many overcharging the consumers. Michael Sinatra, Whole Foods Spokesman, notes that the store always refunds any items found to have been incorrectly priced and likewise “never intentionally used deceptive practices to incorrectly charge customers.” Whole Foods employees remarked that corporate is held responsible for these incorrect labels because it is ordered by corporate. While just last summer Whole Foods agreed on a settlement of $800,000 in a California investigation regarding the same problems, Whole Foods, now, is potentially facing fines of more than $58,000 in New York City.

To read more on the investigation at Whole Foods, click here

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