New York City may be on the verge of outlawing its signature encased meat, the hot dog, alongside other "processed meats," in a bid to make New Yorkers more climate conscious.
Radio station Z100 reports that Mayor Bill de Blaiso signed into law New York's own version of the "Green New Deal" last week, and part of the NYC GND involves teaching New Yorkers to make healthy, environmentally friendly food choices by banning specific, "problematic" dishes from city menus.
"The plan," Z100 says, "will cut purchases of red meat by 50 percent in its city-controlled facilities such as hospitals, schools, and correctional facilities. The new commitment builds off of the Meatless Mondays campaign that was adopted by all NYC schools in 2017."
New Yorkers will be able to keep their precious hot dog street carts, and tourists will still be able to fill up on dirty water dogs in Times Square — at least for now. The Green New Deal only prohibits city facilities from buying and serving hot dogs and other processed meats in bulk to serve in city-run cafeterias, mostly located in city office buildings, jails, and schools.
De Blasio did note, while signing the GND, that New Yorkers should be prepared to make big sacrifices in order to save the planet, however. And if the current legislative scheme isn't enough to reduce carbon emissions in the city, he may consider expanding the program's ban.
"It is a difficult plan. It is a necessary plan. ... Estimates that tell us that we have only 12 years to get it right. Let’s be clear, we have until 2030 to change things fundamentally, or our lives won’t be the same,” de Blasio said.
Like the "national" Green New Deal, New York City's version seeks to reduce the metropolis' carbon emissions to "net zero" by 2050, and like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's plan, covers more than just the environment, but instead demands the nationalization of certain industies, including health care.
A copy of the GND executive summary lists among the program's goals a universal health care plan for all New Yorkers, fair wages, affordable housing, modern infrastructure, public education improvements, and a "car-free" city by 2050. The plan includes not just food bans, but a first-in-the-nation "congestion charge" for vehicles traveling in and out of Manhattan, and programs designed to "address systematic oppression" within NYC's boundaries.
The theory behind banning hot dogs, though, is similar to the plan outlined in a national Green New Deal "FAQ" to completely eliminate livestock cultivation: that red meat has an extensive environmental footprint that encompasses everything from methane-producing cattle to the carbon emissions from your backyard grill. The process of raising, handling, packaging, and delivering red meat — and especially processed red meat — is considered by environmentalists as one of the cardinal sins of climate change.
In the grand scheme, banning hot dogs, sausages, and burgers probably won't make a significant impact on the environment, though. What really makes a difference is a complete ban on industrial agriculture — something few in the United States are likely to support.