"What we eat affects everything. It helps determine the way we learn, think, and communicate with each other,” says Ola Ronke, environmental educator at Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, what the Black community is eating is killing us. “The fact is, African Americans are at the top of almost every list when it comes to who is suffering and dying from food-based illnesses," Ronke says. "[S]ome of us are literally eating ourselves to death." 

But when healthy food options aren't available or affordable in many impoverished, African American urban communities, how can this trend change? Many neighborhoods are taking a stand and demanding that the government ensure residents have access to affordable, fresh foods. Local farmers markets are starting to sprout in urban communities offering the very best in local and organic produce, tools needed to combat preventable diseases. Food co-ops (small grocery stores owned cooperatively by their members) are popping up too, selling healthy products organically and locally sourced and fairly traded at a cheaper price than the national grocery store chains. 

In an effort to help folks in NYC clean out their systems and cure up their food-based illnesses, we've got a list of the best food co-ops, farmers markets and juice bars in the hood.

Co-ops:

1.     http://www.foodcoop.com Park Slope Food Coop - Brooklyn

2.     http://www.greenehillfood.coop  Brooklyn

3.     http://bushwickfoodcoop.org  Brooklyn

4.     http://www.4thstreetfoodcoop.org/twiki/  Manhattan

5.     http://www.norwoodfoodcoop.org  Bronx

6.     http://www.queensharvestcoop.com  Queens

Farmers Markets

1.     Various Farmers Markets throughout NYC  50+ farmers markets locations throughout the five boroughs.

2.     Mt. Morris Park Historic District Market.  Saturdays 8am - 4pm 120-121 on Lenox

3.     Bushwick Farmer’s Market. Wednesdays 10am - 6pm.  Broadway & Linden Street; Thursdays 10am-6pm. Broadway & Halsey; Saturdays 10am-4pm. Maria Hernandez Park. Knickerbocker at Starr

4.     Inwood Greenmarket. Saturdays 8am - 3pm. Isham Street & Seaman Ave

Juice Bars

1.     Juicehugger (Black owned – BK) 

2.     Perelandra Natural Food Center - BK  

3.     Westerly Natural Market - NYC  

4.     Life Thyme Market – NYC  

5.     Juice Generation – NYC various  

6.     Organic Avenue – NYC various 

--Crystal Whaley

Our new "Urban Organic" series will shine a spotlight on local fresh farmer markets and organic stores in different cities across the country.