What stands out about this market, at least to a casual observer, is the abundance of diversity that is represented both in its customers and vendors.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, of the 150,000 residents that occupy Syracuse, approximately 30% of the population is African American, and around 40% of that population is living in poverty. An additional 12% of the general population of the city are foreign-born immigrants. And of the entire population of the city, generally up to 30% of its residents live below the poverty line.
It’s important to acknowledge the significance that this market might play in the lives in these individuals, because of its unique location.
As a participant in the market, and an observer, it’s hard not to notice the abundance of plastic that is used by the vendors and customers. Currently, vendors are free to distribute whatever type of plastic they feel necessary to their business, and the responsibility is left solely on the shoulders of the buyer to decide whether to bring a reusable bag, or accept the plastic alternative. As a student at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, it’s hard for me to see this much plastic being distributed, because of the impact it will have on the environment, and human health. To me, it seems there should be a connection between sustainable agriculture, and sustainable practices.