Bushwick’s Bake Shop is featuring a new mural that outlines an idea to save local restaurants, feed the hungry and fight climate change all at the same time.
The mural, painted on the bakery’s exterior wall, depicts a vision of citizens receiving a universal basic income of $1,000 a month that is only redeemable at independent restaurants that serve organic food.
“The hunger crisis, the climate crisis and the restaurant crisis are all worsening, and the mural points to an idea that can address all of these issues at the same time,” said Max LoBuglio, the owner of Bake Shop and artist who painted the mural under an alternate identity.
Independent restaurants that serve organic food keep people, the economy and the Earth healthy. By sourcing and serving organic food from small farms, they are able to provide patrons with nutritious grub, support local family farmers and keep their carbon footprints comparatively low.
Over recent years, however, these restaurants have struggled to survive, and the pandemic has made the situation worse.
In NYC alone, thousands of independently owned restaurants are expected to close within the coming months. Big chains, like Chipotle, Domino’s and McDonald’s, however, have flourished recently and are expected to have no issues keeping their doors open, according to the Wall Street Journal. These institutions have the capital and flexibility to keep costs low, which is key to success during a global pandemic.
“Most people prefer to eat organic food, and most chefs want to serve it. But, very few people can afford it,” said LoBuglio. “On climate, scientists now say even if we implement a zero-carbon energy grid tomorrow, we need to scale regenerative farming and organic soil carbon sequestration to grab carbon already emitted out of the atmosphere to avoid catastrophic climate changes.”
“As the hunger, economic, and climate crisis deepen, it’s becoming clearer these problems must be addressed at the same time,”LoBuglio added.
The Bake Shop, known for its cupcakes and occasional celebrity appearances, isn’t the only NYC bakery wearing this mural. LoBuglio also painted the mural on the outside of Little Cupcake Bakeshop’s SoHo location on the corner of Manhattan’s Mott and Prince streets.
The SoHo mural caught the attention of Alice Waters, the renowned chef and restaurateur, who posted an image of the mural on Instagram.
“This would be my dream!,” Waters wrote in the photo’s caption. “It is certainly needs to happen to save our farm to table restaurants in this country.”
Currently, there are two of these murals painted in NYC. However, more are in the works. Stay tuned.