Yesterday, ICE Hospitality Management students journeyed to the New York Institute of Technology for an interesting film festival organized by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce (MCC). The first ever MCC Green Film Festival focused on green and sustainability issues in the food and restaurant business, organic farming, urban farming, and other issues in agriculture.

The film festival kicked off with keynote speaker David Bragdon, the Director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability for NYC. Bragdon spoke about the limited local food sources in NYC area. He said that everyone can contribute to sustainability, even if in a small act such as gardening even small patio gardening, buying from farmers’ markets, paying attention to food labels and purchasing wisely. Bragdon also discussed larger programs such as high school where students are taught how to grow hydroponic vegetables and green carts that will sell fresh fruits and vegetables around the city.

The audience gathered to watch segments from the well-know and award-winning films Fresh, Food, Inc., Flow and Gasland. Following the screening, a panel discussed green restaurants and sustainability in the industry. ICE Culinary Management Instructor Alan Someck sat on the panel in his role as Project Director for Green Hospitality Initiative of the New York State Restaurant Association Education Foundation. The other speakers included Marcel Van Ooyen of GrowNYC, Ronald Bergamini of The Action Environmental Group, Alberto Gonzalez of GustOrganics and Ana Joanes of Fresh. Their discussion was an opportunity for the students to stay on top of the trends in the hospitality and food industry — and maybe come up with some green initiatives of their own.

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