NYC

Occupy Wall Street, Faces Of Zuccotti Park: The Food Activist (VIDEO)

Nov 10, 2011 | Updated Jan 23, 2014

This is the sixth piece in a series profiling the protesters at Occupy Wall Street.

There's a man in a white chef's suit on the southwest corner of Zuccotti Park, next to a small pile of apples and an even smaller American flag. Meet Eric Smith, a New York City chef who was motivated to come to Zuccotti after he was laid off from his job as a chef at the Sheraton Hotel's restaurant. Now he’s speaking out against the processed food, pesticides and GMOs that many restaurants cook with. "Billions of pounds of pesticides are being sprayed on our food ... and I just don't feel safe with the food supply I have to use for my customers."

In addition to getting his message out with signs and slogans like "You are what you eat" and "Monsanto = Cancer," Smith has also been helping out as a member of the food working group, serving and cooking food for over 2000 protesters in the park. He's especially impressed with the amount of farm-fresh vegetables being donated by local farmers. "Right now, I would say at least 70 percent of our food is locally sourced. ... If we can do it here, it can be done anywhere," he told HuffPost.

Watch the video below to hear more about Eric Smith’s food activism.