What’s really keeping a thousand or so young protesters in Lower Manhattan? Apparently, a ready supply of vegan pizza, hot quiches, and organic carrots. According to the New York Times, protesters have universally praised the free food available at the encampment. One protester explained:
‘I’ve been here for 12 days, and I’ve put on 5 pounds,’ he said, sitting on the ground in front of a handmade sign that said ‘Class War Ahead.’ ‘I’m eating better than I do at home.’
All he had to do was amble toward a ramshackle cluster of tables and boxes in the middle of the park and, without paying a cent, grab a slice of pizza or a warm slab of homemade vegan casserole. Last Thursday he had encountered ‘a bunch of Katz’s Deli sandwiches,’ he said. ‘That was good.’
‘Someone gave us Spam,’ said Elliot Hartmann-Russell, 18, a volunteer who held up a can of the meat and stared at it while sorting through the donations. ‘I’m not going to eat it, but…’
Tom Hintze, 24, was volunteering in Zuccotti Park last week. ‘Just now there was a big UPS delivery,’ he said. ‘We don’t know where it comes from. It just appears, and we eat it.’
The kitchen’s philosophy isn’t quite the farm-to-table approach Mr. Hintze internalized while on the wait staff at the expensive and high-toned Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Westchester County, N.Y. Still, he was picking up a similar community-based ethos.
Their food system does seem to encapsulate, quite neatly, their vision for how the world should work: Free, high-quality stuff should appear for their consumption. Our intrepid reporter Charles C.W. Cooke has been desperately searching for what, exactly, the protesters want, and whether these demands represent the grievances of 99 percent of America. Free food from Blue Hill and Katz’s seems more likely to be the key desire of the privileged, overeducated, and underemployed twenty-somethings of New York.