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NYC Begins Tracking Household Food Consumption in Carbon Climate Struggle

The initiative is a partnership with C40 Cities, a World Economic Forum organization that advocates for eliminating all private transportation, all meat and dairy, and restricting clothing purchases of residents of partner cities.
Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: April 19, 2023
New York city will begin tracking household food consumption in the struggle against carbon climate.
A file photo of BBQ meat at a Food Network event in New York City in October of 2021. Mayor Eric Adams announced his government would begin tracking household food consumption’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions in an initiative with American Express and a globalist mayors’ consortium. (Image: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

“New York City’s leading in the world when it comes to combating climate change because we’re using every option on the menu. And in some cases, we’re going to change the menu,” Mayor Eric Adams proclaimed during an April 17 announcement that his administration intends to nudge the reduction of carbon emissions generated by the city’s public and private food production by 33 percent as of 2030.

Adams continued, “That is how you lead. We are leading the world and ensuring we combat climate change,” while speaking to an audience at the Health & Hospitals Culinary Center in Brooklyn.

The Mayor said that the “new integrated emission inventory we’re unveiling” would show that food production was “the third leading cause of climate change,” overshadowed by only “buildings and transportation.”


“One in every five metric tons of carbon dioxide our city emits comes from food,” Adams remarked. 

“But all food is not created equal,” the Mayor claimed before pointing the finger at the culprit, “The vast majority of food that is contributing to our emission crises lies in meat and dairy products.”

The Mayor said that “we now have to talk about beef,” adding, “I don’t know if people are really ready for this conversation.”

“There was a lot of people who did not want to look at the science,” Adams remarked, before adding “now more and more we’re discovering how food that is nutritionally void” brings a “major impact on the health of a person’s mental state.”

Yet Adams made no mention of cracking down on widely-consumed food that is actually nutritionally void such as chips, candy, soda, and flavored drinks.

Adams also posits that in terms of carbon climate, “When you do a comparison, the numbers that food contributes compared to transportation, they are extremely close. It’s almost dead even.”

“So we can’t talk about cars, we can’t talk about buildings if we’re not talking about the food that also contributes to this crisis,” he added.

The new initiative is launched in collaboration with the globalist C40 Cities project, American Express, EcoDataLab, and the City of London and its Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Adams’s announcement is a continuation of a May of 2022 project unveiled by C40 Cities to monitor “inventories” of citizens’ carbon footprint generated from food consumption. 

“The consumption-based emissions inventories will enable London and New York City to develop a suite of actions to incentivise more sustainable consumption in collaboration with people and businesses,” the organization stated.

C40 Cities, a consortium of almost 100 mayors from major cities around the world and an official organization of the World Economic Forum, is notable in that earlier in 2023 it released a 68-page missive arguing for forcing radical changes to the human living condition to save the world from climate change.

Notable alterations to urban living C40 desires is for partner cities to 100 percent eliminate meat and dairy consumption and 100 percent eliminate private vehicle ownership.

The group also argued that, ideally, citizens should be limited to one air flight every two years and that clothing purchases should be mandated at no more than 3 every 12 months.

WNYC News media node Gothamist states in an article on the topic that the announced initiative will add a “household consumption tracker” to The Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Greenhouse Gas Inventories website, which already tracks emissions generated by New York’s transportation, waste, and energy sectors.

In American Express’s 2021-2022 ESG report titled The Powerful Backing of American Express, the company stated it would be “providing data and insights to increase access to nutritious food and reduce food waste” as part of C40’s London-NYC surveillance project.

The infrastructure for credit card network-based carbon chronicling is already in place. The AmEx website offers clients an online tracker that allows for viewing “your estimated carbon emissions” based on purchases, created in conjunction with University of California, Berkeley and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Website NY Daily News alleges that cattle and “other livestock” are “responsible for causing about 14% of climate emissions worldwide,” attributed “mostly from the methane produced from their burping and manure” and in cases where forests are clear cut.

Adams is himself a vegan who garnered criticism in February of 2022 when admitting that he “occasionally” eats fish in a statement after taking heat from Politico for being seen in a restaurant eating the animal while “holding court” with “former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and recently-departed Mayor Bill de Blasio.”

The demarcation has its meaning, as Adams told his audience at the Culinary Center, “We already know that a plant-powered diet is better for your physical and mental health, and I am living proof of that.”

Nudging the changes, for now, will primarily focus on public hospitals and schools. The Mayor lauded two initiatives in the school system to cut meat from childrens’ diets, the “Meatless Mondays” campaign launched in 2019 under the deBlasio administration, and “Plant-powered Friday” launched by Adams in 2022.

Plant-powered Friday was criticized in its early days after parents posted pictures of student meals on social media showing it was composed, not of “good tasting nutritional meals” as Adams describes them in his April 17 speech, but a bag of corn chips, apple slices, and a small scoop of vegetable medley.

Adams claimed during his speech, “Food has to look good, it has to taste good, and it has to be good for you. And the more and more we lean into this area, the more and more we will excite the taste buds of New Yorkers as they get the nutritional value that they deserve.”

For patients staying in a Health & Hospitals facility, Adams stated the menus “are serving plant-based meals as their default offering” and are currently “on track to serve 850,000 plant-based meals this year.”

“People thought it was impossible, but we introduced it and did it. If you cook it, they will come and they are coming,” the Mayor added.