The city’s sytrofoam ban could affect food truck vendors like this one. (Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)
Along with pillowy heaps of steaming rice, hot sauce and shredded meat, Styrofoam containers are practically ubiquitous among the city’s halal food carts. The foam trays contribute to the food trucks’ tantalizingly cheap offerings. But your favorite corner gyro or chicken biryani could soon leave you scrambling for extra change.
Last week, New York State Supreme Court judge Margaret A. Chan allowed a ban on single-use Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam products and loose fill packaging (aka Styrofoam cups, containers and packing peanuts) to move forward. The ruling effectively ended a three-year legal battle between the city’s Department of Sanitation and the Restaurant Action Alliance, which opposed the new law.
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Khalid Latif and Russell Khan (Sarah Aziza)
“I’m a huge meat lover,” said Khalid Latif. “So, owning a burger joint is kind of the dream, right?”
The love of meat is only part of what’s driving Latif and his partners, Russell Khan and Bassam Tariq, to open Honest Chops Burgers, a Greenwich Village spin-off of their East Village halal butcher shop, Honest Chops. The partners are basing their new fast-casual burger joint on the “Honest-to-God” vision that inspired their flagship butchery. The Honest Chops team espouses the Islamic ideal of “tayyib,” a philosophy of “wholesomeness” and ethical consumption. The idea, says Latif, is to ensure “the entire process is good for the earth, the animal, and the human consumer.”
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