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Nicola Twilley's Posts

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Hurricane hunger: What happens when a city’s food network breaks down

Andrew Dallos

As New York City cleans up post-Sandy (and a huge thanks goes out to those who are out doing the cleaning!), the storm has revealed the city’s topography and infrastructure, its former marshes, power networks, and rat population, in ways that are easy to overlook when things are running smoothly.

Of particular interest to edible geographers were the insights the storm offered into the city’s food supply chain. As New Yorkers prepared for the storm, they all went grocery shopping at once, emptying the shelves of bread in Park Slope, of peanut butter at Trader Joe’s, and of kale at the Fairway in Red Hook. Milk and bottled water were also popular, but not nearly as in demand as alcohol, with beer “doing surprisingly well,” according to the owner of Concord Market in downtown Brooklyn.

As they sat at home and waited for the storm to hit on Monday, many New Yorkers dealt with their cabin fever by ordering takeout and watching films: The New York Times reported that “Netflix said it saw about 20 percent more traffic than last week on its streaming movie service, with many of the customers on the East Coast,” while “Seamless, an online food delivery service, reported more orders and higher checks than usual.”

Read more: Cities, Food

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Food Studies: the edible curriculum

Photo: JumanggyIf, like me, you love food, chances are you've spent at least an hour or two daydreaming about going back to school to study it. Maybe you've fantasized about a hands-on career as a butcher, cheese-maker, or hydroponic farmer; maybe you occasionally picture yourself campaigning for food justice or traveling the world to write a history of the persimmon. Perhaps you secretly want to catalog and save rare potato varieties in the Andes, learn about other cultures through the way they serve breakfast, design more environmentally friendly packaging to reduce waste, or find urban planning solutions to America's food …

Read more: Food