MetroFocus Full Episode: Minimum Wage, Libraries, Salt Sugar Fat

In this edition, MetroFocus reprises its reporting from March on the debate over raising the minimum wage. Rick Karr reports from the Bronx on one woman’s life on a low wage in America’s most expensive city. Host Rafael Pi Roman follows up with an interview with Stephanie Luce, Associate Professor of Labor Studies at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education at the City University of New York.

The Center for an Urban Future’s David Giles, author of a year-long study called “Branches of Opportunity,” talks to Pi Roman about the city’s libraries and their new role providing services and programs to immigrants and low income communities in an interview recorded in February.

In a new segment, Pi Roman interviews Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times, Michael Moss, about his new book “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us”.

Birds and birdwatchers are still feeling the effects of Sandy and two Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism students track the storm’s impact on avian wildlife in a report that first aired in March.

 

Watch the individual MetroFocus segments below and stay up to date on MetroFocus news from the New York region on Twitter.

 

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TRANSCRIPT

♪ FROM THE WORLD'S LEADING FO FINANCE, THE ARE AS, PUBLISHING, MEDIA, INNOVATIO AND MUCH MORE, THIS IS METRO FOCUS WITH RAFAEL ROMAN.

TONIGHT, IT'S THE MINIMUM BUT IS IT ENOUGH

IT'S AS IF YOU ARE FIGHTING THE RICH

BEEN TO THE LIBRARY RECENTLY A SURPRISING REPORT ON WHAT' BEING OFFERED AT YOUR LOCA BRANCH

LIBRARIES SERVE IMMIGRANTS.

LIBRARIES SERVE SENIORS AN K-12 STUDENTS.

IT OPENS UP OPPORTUNITIES FO ALL OF THESE PEOPLE.

AND WHAT FUTURE STORMS MA MEAN FOR BIRDS AND BIRDWATCHERS

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CORPORATE FUNDING FOR METR FOCUS IS PROVIDED BY

HELLO, I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

WELCOME TO METRO FOCUS IT'S THE MINIMUM AMOUNT YOU CA BE PAID, $7.25 AN HOUR, BUT IS IT ENOUGH?

AND IF IT ISN'T, HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE IS ON THE BALLOT IN NEW JERSEY NEX NOVEMBER.

PRESIDEN OBAMA WANTS TH FEDERAL RATE TO GO UP FROM $7.25 TO THE$7.25 TO THE DOLLARS IN NEW YORK, THEY VOTED TO PHASE IN AN INCREASE GOING FRO THE CURRENT $7.2 TO $8 IN 2014 $8.7 IN 2015, AND THE $9 IN 2014 BUT IT DOESN'T MATCH WHA TH MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY CONSIDERS A LIVIN WAGE THAT STUDY FOUND THAT SINGLE CULT MAKES $12.75 AND A FAMIL OF FOU NEEDS $22.32 TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT BASED ON THE COST O LIVING IN A MOMENT, I WILL SPEAK WITH AN EXPERT FOR WORKER EDUCATION WE BEGIN OUR REPORTING FROM TH BRONX, WHERE RICK KARR GIVES U A LOOK AT WHAT IT'S LIKE T LIVE ON A LOW WAGE IN NEW YORK CITY

SATURDAY MORNING IN THE SOUNDVIEW NEIGHBORHOOD OF TH BRONX AND ON THE 12th FLOO OF ONE OF THE AREA'S HIGH RISE LINDA ARE A.

ER IS GETTING READY -- LINDA ARCHER IS GETTING READY TO HEA TO WORK.

ALL RIGHT, SEE YOU LATER.

SHE LIVES IN HER ELDERL MOTHER'S APARTMENT ARCHER IS 60 YEARS OLD WITH COUPLE OF YEARS OF COLLEGE CREDIT AND TWO OR THREE DAYS A WEEK, SHE HEADS TO A McDONALD'S IN MIDTOW MANHATTAN FOR A JOB THAT PAYS $8.5 AN HOUR 80 CENTS MORE THAN THE MINIMUM WAGE

FOR ME, IT DOESN'T GO FAR A ALL.

I HELP OUT TO MY MOM, WHATEVER I CAN.

I HAVE TO PAY MY STUDENT LOA AND I HAVE, YOU KNOW, PERSONAL AND UTILITY BILLS TO PAY A WELL I LIVE FROM PAY CHECK TO PAY CHECK.

IT TAKES ME THREE PAY CHECKS T PAY OFF MY BILLS FOR THE MONTH AND ONE PAY CHECK FO PERSONALS.

ARCHER'S ELIGIBLE FO ASSISTANCE FROM THE STATE, BUT SHE DOESN'T TAKE IT.

SHE CHOOSES TO LIVE WITH HER MOTHER SO SHE CAN HELP TAK CARE OF HER.

SHE WOULD RATHER WORK CLOSER T HOME AND AVOID HER HOUR-LONG COMMUTE, BUT THE BRONX HAS NEW YORK STATE'S HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, 13.4% IN JANUARY.

AND ARCHER HASN'T HAD AN SUCCESS WITH EMPLOYERS IN HE NEIGHBORHOOD

YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE SO MAN PEOPLE IN THIS AREA THAT NEE JOBS SO THE COMPETITION IS REALL HIGH WHEN THEY ARE HIRING, THE LINE ARE LINE DOWN THE BLOCK, AROUN THE CORNER

WOW

THAT GIVES YOU AN IDEA OF HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE REALLY OUT OF WORK.

A 35-HOUR A WEEK JOB AT MINIMUM WAGE, WHICH THE FEDERA GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS FULL-TIME PAYS JUST OVER $13,000 A YEAR.

TAX CREDITS CAN BRING THAT CLOSE TO $14,000 AND NUTRITION ASSISTANCE BENEFITS CAN BE WORTH AN ADDITIONAL $1,900.

A WORKER EARNING THAT SALARY WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR VARIOU HOUSING AND HEALTH CAR BENEFITS WHILE LINDA ARCHER SAYS A BOOS TO THE MINIMUM WAGE WOULD HELP THEM OPPONENTS OF RAISING TH WAGE SAY IT COULD HAVE THE OPPOSITE EFFECT BECAUSE IT WIL SQUEEZE THE BOTTOM LINE FO EMPLOYERS.

WHAT IT MIGHT MEAN IS THA THEY DON'T CREATE NEW JOBS O IT MIGHT MEAN THAT THEY CU HOURS FOR THE LOWEST WAG WORKERS, OR IT COULD TRANSLATE INTO HIGHER COST FOR THE CONSUMER

HEATHER BROSHETTI IS HEAD OF THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF NE YORK STATE THEY REPRESENT FIRMS WIT 1.5 MILLION EMPLOYEES STATEWID AND OPPOSES RAISING THE MINIMU WAGE BECAUSE IT WOULD INCREASE THE COST OF A FULL-TIME MINIMU WAGE EMPLOYEE BY 24% THE COUNCIL SAYS THAT'S LIKELY TO BE HARDEST ON UPSTATE EMPLOYERS, ESPECIALLY SMAL BUSINESSES SHE SAYS IF LEGISLATORS WANT T HELP WORKERS WITHOUT HURTING EMPLOYERS, THEY SHOULD RELY ON THE STATE'S TAX CODE INSTEAD O ITS MINIMUM WAGE

NEW YORK HAS AN EARNE INCOME TAX CREDIT THAT BASICALLY PERMITS LOW WAGE EARNERS TO GET MORE BACK IN TAX CREDIT THAN THEY ACTUALL PAY IN AND THE NET RESULT IS A EFFECTIVE MINIMUM WAGE CURRENTLY OF OVER $10 AN HOU IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK

BUT IN NEW YORK CITY, WIT ITS HIGH COST OF LIVING, EVE $10 AN HOUR ISN' A LIVING WAGE LINDA ARCHER SAYS SHE THINKS SHE'S WORTH MORE THAN ANYONE I CONSIDERING IN ALBANY IN WASHINGTON

I'M HOPEFUL THAT IT CAN CHANGE BUT IT'S HARD YOU KNOW IT'S AS IF YOU ARE FIGHTING TH LIAR YOU KNOW, YOU ARE FIGHTING THE RICH, BUT I KNOW WITH TH WORKERS THAT WE UNITE TOGETHER AS WELL AS THE COMMUNITY, THIS CAN HAPPEN

THE OWNER OF TH McDONALD'S FRANCHISE WHERE ARCHER WORKS SAID IN A STATEMENT THAT HE IS SUBMITTED TO PROVIDING EMPLOYEES WIT COMPETITIVE WAGES AND FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES AND CANNOT SPEAK T THE LARGER INDUSTRY OR POTENTIAL RISE OF MINIMUM WAGE LINDA ARCHER SAYS SHE AND HE COLLEAGUES WOULD BE HAPPY WITH ANY RAISE, BUT THEY'LL KEE PUSHING FOR LIVING WAGE.

FOR METRO FOCUS, I'M RICK KARR IN MIDTOWN MANHATTAN.

AND JOINING ME NOW IS STEPHLY LOOSE, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF LABOR STUDIES AT THE JOSEPH F MURPHY INSTITUTE PROFESSOR, WELCOME

PROFESSOR LINDA, WE JUS MET.

IS SHE TYPICAL SHE MAKES A LITTLE MORE THAN THE MINIMUM WAGE IS SHE TYPICAL OF THE PERSO WHO MAKES MINIMUM WAGE OR IS I A TEENAGER STARTING OUT IN THE WORKFORCE?

MANY OF US THINK THAT TEENAGERS THE MAIN MINIMUM WORKER THE AVERAGE MINIMUM AGE WORKER IS 35 AND CONTRIBUTING ABOUT HALF OF THEIR FAMILY'S INCOME.

SO MORE AND MORE, WE ARE SEEIN THE LOW WAGE WORKERS ARE ACTUALLY IN THIS LOW WAG CAREER PATH FO LIFE

NOW, WHETHER YOU ARE YOUN OR OLD, MINIMUM WAGE EARNER, THE FACT IS THAT IN THIS COUNTRY, YOU DON'T STAY MINIMU WAGE EARNER FOR LONG, RIGHT?

I MEAN, I HAVE READ STUDIE THAT WITHIN A YEAR YOU GET A LEAST ONE RAISE.

RIGHT WE DO SEE THAT WORKERS GET RAISES THEY WILL GO FROM $7.25 TO $7.75, MAYBE UP TO $8 AN HOUR, BUT WE SEE EVEN AFTER FIVE YEARS, THEY MIGHT BE UP TO THE DOLLARS AN HOUR $9 AN HOUR THEY ARE GETTING RAISES BU THEY ARE NOT MOVING INTO LIVIN WAGE JOBS.

THAT'S ONE OF THE REAL PROBLEMS

WHAT IS THAT?

WHAT IS STOPPING THEM TO MOVIN INTO LIVING WAGES.

PARTLY TH JOBS AREN' THERE.

SIX OUT OF TEN JOBS PAY MINIMU WAGE OR CLOSE TO MINIMUM WAGE.

WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT AND UNDER EMPLOYMENT AND THEN THE JOBS THAT ARE OUT THERE, THERE' JUST TREMENDOUS COMPETITION FO ANY LIVING WAGE JOB THAT'S EXIST.

THERE ARE SOME GROUPS BREAKING THROUGH, RIGHT?

ACCORDING TO SOME OF THE STUDIES I READ, A LOT OF THE STUDIES, ASIAN-AMERICANS, FO EXAMPLE, ARE RELATIVELY MUCH MORE SUCCESSFUL IN MOVING FROM THE POVERTY TO THE MIDDL CLASS.

WHAT'S THEIR SECRET

THERE'S TREMENDOUS DIFFERENCES IN THE ASIAN-AMERICAN THOSE WHO EARN MINIMUM WAGE AN MOVE TO A HIGHER WAGE CATEGORY JENNER ALLEY THEY ARE MAKING A -- GENERALLY ARE THEY AR MAKING A COMPLETE BREAK TO A NEW CAREER WE HAVE TEENAGERS DOIN MINIMU WAGE WORK, AND THEN THEY GO TO COLLEGE AND GET A NEW CAREER IT'S RARE TO WITHIN THE SAM OCCUPATION FROM MINIMUM WAGE

WHAT ABOUT WHAT WE HEAR I THE PIECE, AND BUSINES REPRESENTATIVES A LOT, WITH IF YOU RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE AUTOMATICALLY IT WILL FORC EMPLOYERS TO CUT HOURS OR TO PASS ON THE COST TO CONSUMER IF THEY CAN.

DOES THAT MAKE SENSE

WELL, IT SEEMS TO MAKE SENS AND THAT'S WHAT I WAS TAUGHT I ECONOMICS AND THAT'S WHA ECONOMISTS BELIEVED FOR QUITE WHILE AND THEN WE DID ACTUAL STUDIES COMPARING WHAT ACTUALL HAPPENED, SUCH AS, FOR EXAMPLE ON THE BORDER OF NEW JERSEY AN PENNSYLVANIA, COMPARING FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS AND OVER AND OVER, WE AR FINDING ACTUALLY, IT DOESN'T LEAD TO CUTTING JOBS IT DOESN'T LEAD TO CUTTING HOURS AND EVEN IF IT LEADS T HIGHER PRICES, IT'S A MATTER O 1 CENTS PER HAMBURGER, SOMETHING OF THIS NATURE, WHER CONSUMERS REASON REALLY FEELIN IT SO IT'S BEEN A SHOCK, YOU KNOW A SURPRISE T ECONOMISTS WHO DIDN'T EXPECT TO FIND THIS, BU THIS IS WHAT WE ARE FINDING.

IN PART, BECAUSE THE MINIMUM WAGE IS JUST SO LOW.

THERE'S A LOT OF ROOM TO GROW.

THE BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVE IN THE PIECE SAID SAID THAT IT WOUL FORCE BUSINESSES NOT TO CREATE JOBS HOW DO YOU MEASURE JOBS THAT WEREN'T CREATED?

CAN YOU DO THAT?

WELL, THE OTHER SIDE O THAT I LOOKING AT WHAT WE HAVE SEEN WHEN THE MINIMUM WAGE GOES U AND THE INCREASED EARNING POWE OF LOW WAGE WORKERS.

SO THEY SPEND THEIR MONE LOCALLY.

THEY CREATE JOBS SOME ESTIMATES SAY IF WE RAISE IT TO $10, IT WOULD CREATE 140,000 NEW JOBS

WHAT SHOULD ELECTED OFFICIALS BE LOOKING AT WHEN THEY ARE MAKING THE DECISION WHETHER OR NOT TO CONSIDER THE LOW WAGE

I THINK THE LAST 30 YEAR' POLICY OF KEEPING WAGES LOW HA NOT WORKED FOR GENERATIN JOBS AND WEALTH WEALTH FOR THE BOTTOM HALF OF OUR ECONOMY HOW DO THEY GET MONEY INTO THOSE THAT WILL SPEND IT AND DECREASE DEBT AMONG THOSE THAT SPEND IT AND HOW DO WE RAISE THE FLOO FOR THE ENTIRE ECONOMY

PROFESSOR, THANK YOU SO MUCH

SURE, THANK YOU

IN AN INCREASINGL INFORMATION DRIVEN ECONOMY WHERE GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK AN TWITTER AND MILLIONS O WEBSITES ARE CONSTANTL UPDATING AND FEEDING OUT STREAMS OF CONTENT YOU MIGH THINK THAT THE LOCAL LIBRARY WOULD BE A LONELY PLACE.

IN A YEAR LONG STUDY OF NE YORK'S PUBLIC LIBRARIES, THE THINK TANK, CENTER FOR AN URBA FUTURE COUNSEL QUITE 9 OPPOSITE - FUTURE FOUND QUITE THE OPPOSITE LIBRARIES ARE FINDING INCREASE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHAT'S DRIVING THE TRAFFIC.

WE ASKED DAVID GILLES, THE AUTHOR OF 'BRANCHES OF OPPORTUNITY.

IT'S A PLEASURE TO HAVE YO HERE WITH US

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME

DAVID, ACCORDING TO YOU REPORT, THERE'S A HUGE INCREAS IN BOTH PROGRAM PARTICIPATIO AND CIRCULATION IN THE NEW YOR CITY PUBLIC LIBRARIES SYSTEM I THE PAST YEARS IS THAT RIGHT?

YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT.

AND OVER THE LAST TE YEARS, SINCE 2002, THE THREE PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEMS IN NEW YOR HAVE SEEN ABOUT A 59% INCREASE IN CIRCULATION AND A 40% INCREASE IN PROGRAM ATTENDANCE THE PROGRAMS THAT THEY OFFER REALLY PRETTY REMARKABLE NUMBERS.

WHAT IS DRIVING THAT?

WELL, THE SHORT ANSWER IS W LIVE IN AN INFORMATION ECONOMY NOW AND I THINK MORE AND MOR PEOPLE ARE GOING TO TH LIBRARIES TO BETTER THEMSELVES INTELLECTUALLY AND TO PICK U THE SKILLS THAT THEY NEED TO SUCCEED IN THIS ECONOMY.

NOW, HAS FUNDING MATCHED TH INCREASE, THIS HUGE INCREASE I LIBRARY USE?

NO, REMARKABLY OVER THE LAS DECADE WHEN WE HAVE SEEN THESE BIG INCREASES, CITY FUNDING FO THE LIBRARIES HAS ACTUALLY DROPPE ABOUT 8% SINCE --

YOU MEAN, IT'S DROPPED AS THE LIBRARY USE HAS INCREASED, FUNDING HAS DROPPED.

FUNDING HAS DROPPED AND THE AVERAGE HOURS THAT THE LIBRARIES ARE OPEN TO TH PUBLIC HAS REMAINED PRETTY STUDY.

IT'S OPEN ABOUT 42 HOURS A WEE WHICH IS REALLY NOT A LOT AT ALL.

NOW, TELL US A LITTLE BIT GIVE US SOME NUMBERS HOW MUCH HAS BEEN CUT?

WHAT'S THE EFFECT?

WELL, SINCE 2008, ABOU $68 MILLION HAS BEEN CUT FRO THE LIBRARIES' OPERATING BUDGET THAT MEAN THE LIBRARIES CAN' KEEP THEIR DOORS OPEN.

IT MEANS THEY CAN'T HIRE NEW PEOPLE TO MEET THE DEMAND.

AGAIN, THE LIBRARIES IN NE YORK CITY HAVE REALLY PRETTY REMARKABLY LOW NUMBERS OF HOUR PER WEEK THAT THEY SERVE THE PUBLIC, COMPARED TO OTHE SYSTEMS IN THE COUNTRY

SO HOW DOES IT COMPARE?

CAN YOU GIVE US SOME OTHER CITIES, HOW THEY ARE DOING COMPARED TO US

WELL, IN COLUMBUS, OHIO WHICH IS A GREAT PUBLIC LIBRAR SYSTEM, THEY ARE OPEN 72 HOURS A WEEK WE ARE OPEN ABOUT HALF THA MUCH, BUT STILL WE HAVE SEEN TREMENDOUS INCREASES IN USE.

NOW, WASN'T THERE SOM KIND OF DEAL WHEN THE LIBRARIES FIRST OPENED, THAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE OPEN FROM 9 A.M.

TO 10 P.M. I PERPETUITY

THAT'S RIGHT THE CARNEGIE CORPORATION SIGNED A DEAL WITH THE CITY TO FUND A LOT OF THES NEW BRANCHES THERE ARE ABOUT 100 NE BRANCHES THAT THE ANDREW CARNEGIE WAS GOING TO BUILD IN NEW YORK IN EXCHANGE FOR THE CITY PUTTING UP FUNDS TO OPERATE THESE BRANCHES AND THE ORIGINAL CONTRACT, I YOU LOOK AT IT, IT SAYS THAT THE CITY NEEDS TO KEEP THESE BRANCHES OPEN FROM 9 A.M. UNTIL THE P.M. SIX DAYS A WEEK THAT'S ABOUT 72 HOURS PER WEEK

THAT'S FAR FROM WHERE IT IS NOW.

I GUESS THEY FEEL THEY DON'T HAVE TO UPHOLD THAT CONTRACT

RIGHT I'M NOT A LEGAL EXPERT ACTUALLY, I DON'T KNOW HOW ENFORCEABLE THAT CONTRACT IS AND I'M PRETTY SURE TH LIBRARIES ARE NOT INTERESTED I SUING THE CITY SINCE THE DEPEND ON THE CITY SO MUCH

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OTHE KEY FINDINGS IN YOUR REPORT.

WELL, AGAIN, WE GO FLEW A LOT OF DETAIL ABOUT WHERE TH GROWTH IS HAPPENING IN THE CITY 48 DIFFERENT BRANCHES HAVE MOR THAN DOUBLED THEIR PROGRAM ATTENDANCE 18 BRANCHES HAVE MORE THAN DOUBLED THEIR CIRCULATION.

AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, BRONX BRANCHES HAVE DONE REALL REMARKABLY WELL OVER THE LAS DECADE THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF CAPITA INVESTMENTS IN THE BRONX OVE THE LAST DECADE.

LITTLE BRANCHES LIKE THE HIG BRIDGE BRANCH IN SOUTH BRONX HAS DONE REALLY, REALLY WELL SINCE 2010 IT'S SEEN ITS PROGRA ATTENDANCE SKYROCKET, 275%, BELIEVE, IN JUST THE LAS COUPLE OF YEARS.

AND YOU CALL THE REPORT 'BRANCHES OF OPPORTUNITY.'

HOW COME

WELL, WE GO THROUGH A LOT O DIFFERENT CONSTITUENTS SERVE BY THE LIBRARIES WE TALK ABOUT HOW LIBRARIE SERVE IMMIGRANTS WE TALK ABOUT HOW LIBRARIE SERVE SENIORS AND K-12 STUDENTS AND HOW THEY REALLY OPEN U OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL OF THESE PEOPLE, TO BETTER THEMSELVES WE'RE TALKING ABOUT COURSES.

SOMETIMES INTENSIVE COURSE LIKE G.E.D. PREPARATIO COURSES, AND A.S.L. COURSES ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE, AND THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPL WHO PARTICIPATE WOULDN'T B ABLE TO OTHERWISE.

AND WHAT IS THE ONE THING NEW YORKERS SHOULD KNOW ABOU THE FUTURE OF THE NEW YORK CIT LIBRARY SYSTEM

WELL, THE FUTURE IS, THINK, THAT WE WILL CONTINUE T SEE TIPPED CONTINUED GROWTH AT THE LIBRARIES BUT THEY REALLY DO NEED MORE SUPPORT.

AND I THINK A LOT OF THE CIT COUNCILMEMBERS IN NEW YORK UNDERSTAND JUST HOW IMPORTAN LIBRARIES ARE TO COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE CITY.

BUT I THINK WE NEED A MAYOR WH REALLY UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE OF LIBRARIES AND IS WILLING TO SUPPORT THE LIBRARIES.

BUT THE LIBRARIES ALSO NEED TO DO BETTER IN RAISING FUNDS FRO PRIVAT SOURCES.

THE LIBRARIES BELIEVE IT O NOT, ARE NOT CITY AGENCIES THEY ARE NONPROFITS AND THEY COULD RELY MORE ON PRIVATE DONATIONS AND IF I PHILANTHROPY

THANK YOU SO MUCH, DAVID.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME

ACCORDING TO THE U.S.

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AN PREVENTION, MORE THAN A THIR OF AMERICAN ADULTS TODAY ARE OBESE.

BUT WHOSE FAULT IS IT?

FOOD COMPANIES THE GOVERNMENT INDIVIDUALS?

I SPOKE TO 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' PULITZER PRIZE WINNER REPORTER MICHAEL MOSS ABOUT HIS INVESTIGATION INTO THE PROCESSED FOODS, IN HIS BOOK 'SALT, SUGAR, FACT.'

YOU HAVE A SECRET MEETING THAT TOOK PLACE IN MINNEAPOLIS IN 1999 WHERE MOST OR MANY O THE C.E.O.s OF THE BIG PROCESSED FOOD COMPANIES ATTENDED WHAT HAPPENED AT THAT MEETING?

IT WAS EXTRAORDINARY!

NONE OTHER THAN ONE OF THEIR OWN, A SENIOR EXECUTIVE OF KRAFT GETS UP IN FRONT OF THEM ARMED WITH 114 SLIDES AND HE LAYS AT THEIR FEET RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE OBESITY CRISIS, WHICH BACK THEN WA MUCH LESS THAN IT IS NOW AND SAID TO THEM, LOOK, WE ARE 59 LEAST PARTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR OBESITY, DIABETES, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, HEART DISEASE AND HE STARTED TALKING ABOUT CANCER AND STARTED PLEADING WITH THEM TO COLLECTIVELY DO SOMETHING T TURN THE CORNER ON BEHALF OF CONSUMERS.

AND WHAT HAPPENED

FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE, THE MEETING WAS AN UTTER FAILURE THE C.E.O.sEL ACTE DEFENSIVELY.

THEY SAY W ALREADY OFFE OPTIONS FOR PEOPLE, WE HAVE LO SUGAR OPTIONS AND WE DON'T NEE TO DO WHAT YOU ARE ASKING US T DO

THEY DO PRODUCE ALTERNATIVE AND, YOU KNOW, AS THEY SAY THEY ARE ARE CATERING TO THE DESIGNERS OF THEIR CONSUMERS

I DON'T LOOK AT THE PROCESSED FOOD INDUSTRY AS THIS EVIL EMPIRE THAT INTENTIONALL SOUGHT TO GET US OVERWEIGHT.

THEY CAN RIGHTFULLY TAKE THA NONE OF OUR INDIVIDUAL PRODUCT CAN BE BLAMED FOR OBESITY OR SODA O POTATO BEGINS.

IT LIES IN THE COLLECTIVE ZEAL WHICH IS TO MAKE MORE MONEY BY SELLING MORE PRODUCTS AND IN THEIR OWN DEPENDENCE ON SALT SUGAR, FAT, HUGE AMOUNTS O SALT, SUGAR FAT WHICH THEY NEE AND USE FOR CONVENIENCE, FOR LOW-COST AND THE UTTER IRRESISTIBLE TASTE OF THEI PRODUCTS

BUT YOU DO WRITE THAT THE COMPANIES KNEW THAT SALT, SUGA AND FAT WERE BAD FOR YOU

YEAH.

FOR MANY YEARS.

YEAH.

SO DO YOU CONSIDER THEM A ALL TH EQUIVALENT OF TH TUBERCULOSIS INDUSTRY TOBACCO INDUSTRY IN THE ADD BA OLD DAYS

LINKS ARE MADE, THEY SAID W WILL GET NAILED THE SAME WA THAT BIG TOBACCO GOT NAILE EITHER BY TORT ATTORNEYS O REGULATORS INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, PHILIP MORRIS WAS THE LARGEST FOO MANUFACTURER BY ACQUIRIN GENERAL FOODS AN THEN KRAFT AN IT DID WHAT YOU EXPECT FRO PHILIP MORRIS IN THE '80s AN '90s AND THEN IT TURNE AROUND AND WARNED THE FOOD DIVISION PEOPLE, YOU WILL FACE AS GREAT OR GREATER PROBLEM ON SALT SUGAR, FAT AND OBESITY A WE ARE IN WITH NICOTINE.

NOT ONLY HAVE THE FOOD GIANT KNOWN FOR YEARS AND YEARS AN BEEN ACUTELY AWARE BUT NON OTHER WAS BIG TOBACCO WA WARNING THEM

IS THERE AN EQUIVALENT OF NICOTINE IN THE PROCESSE FOOD

NO, BECAUSE CIGARETTES AR CIGARETTES AND FOOD INHERENT I SOMETHING THAT MAKES US HEALTHY.

THE PROBLEM HERE IS NOT SALT SUGAR FAT.

IT'S OVEREATING IT AND THE PERFECTLY ENGINEERED WAY THAT THESE PRODUCTS AR DESIGNED, THEY ARE DRIVING NOT TO GET US TO LIKE THEI PRODUCTS THEY ARE DRIVING TO GET US T EAT MORE AND MORE AND THAT'S WHERE THE PROBLEM WAS.

WELL, YOU KNOW, NOW PROCESSED FOOD COMPANIES ARE REDUCING THE SALT AND THE SUGA AND THE FAT CONTENT OF SOME OF THEIR PRODUCTS AND THEY AR REDUCING THE CALORIES.

YEAH.

AND SOME OF THE PRODUCT BUT IS THAT REALLY THEIR ROLE?

I MEAN DO THEY HAVE TO BE TH FOOD POLICE FOR THE CUSTOMERS?

DON'T THE CONSUMERS BEAR ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEMSELVE AND THEIR FAMILIES TO EA RIGHT?

YOU KNOW, HATS OFF TO MICHELLE OBAMA AND THE LET'S MOVE CAMPAIGN.

SHH HE'SSHE'S GOT THE RIGHT IDEA EXERCISE IS PART OF TH EQUATION OUR OWN DEPENDENCE ON THE FAS FOOD PLAYS INTO THE FOOD INDUSTRY I WAS STRUCK BY HOW MANY O THEIR OWN EXECUTIVES ACKNOWLEDGE, ADMIT, CONCEIT AND SAY, WE ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE.

THESE ARE OUR PRODUCTS AND I IS INCUMBENT UPON US TO DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE THINGS

AND OVERALL, WHAT DO YO THINK IS THE ROLE OF GOVERNMEN IN ALL OF THIS

YOU KNOW, GOVERNMENT I THIS I EMPATHIZE WITH MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND I FEEL FOR PEOPL WHO FEEL, YOU KNOW, ACCUSE HIM OF BEING THE NANNY STATE BUT I TERMS OF SODA, FOR EXAMPLE, AN PEOPLE HAVE TO REALIZE THE PLAYING FIELD IS NOT LEVEL YOU WALK INTO THE GROCERY STOR AND THE COMPANIES ARE DOIN EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO GET YOU TO MAKE SPONTANEOUS DECISION TORQUE GET YOU TO SPEND MORE TIME IN THE CENTER OF THE STOR WHERE THE MOST LOADED PRODUCTS ARE, AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT BLOOMBERG IS DRIVING AT.

THIS IS A HUGE NUMBER!

$300 BILLION IS THE ESTIMATE COST OF OBESITY IN TERMS O MEDICAL EXPENSES AND LOS PRODUCTIVITY IN THIS COUNTRY THAT'S A COLOSSAL NUMBER

AND FINALLY, MICHAEL, WHA SURPRISED YOU MOST AS YOU WERE WRITING THIS BOOK

ON A PERSONAL LEVEL, I WA SURPRISED BY HOW MANY OF THE FOOD EXECUTIVES AND SCIENTISTS DON'T EAT THEIR OWN PRODUCTS ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY GET INTO HEALTH TROUBLE.

I PET A HEALTH OFFICIAL WH BLEW OUT HIS KNEE AND COULDN'T RUN ANYMORE.

HE STOPPED DRINKING AN CALORIES IN LIQUIDS AND HE STOPPED EATING POTATO CHIPS.

HE WAS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO COULDN'T STOP AT A SINGL SERVING.

AND NOW HE GOES INTO THE GROCERY STORE AND IT'S A BIT O A MINDFIELD FOR HIM.

THANK YOU, MICHAEL.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME

SUPERSTORMS LIKE SAND IMPACT THE ENVIRONMENT IN MAJO BUT SUBTLE WAYS.

TAKE BIRDS, FOR EXAMPLE.

SANDY BLEW TROPICAL BIRD INLAND AND THAT RESULTED I SIGHTINGS EVEN THE MOS SEASONED BIRDWATCHERS HAD NEVE EXPERIENCED.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY GRADUAT STUDENTS FOUND BIRDS AND BIRDWATCHERS CAUGHT UP IN TH STORM.

MANY MONTHS LATER, THE WATCHER ARE STILL WONDERING WHAT MOR FREQUENT STORMS ARE LIKELY T MEAN FOR THEIR BELOVED BIRDS ♪

IT'S LIKE UNREQUITED LOVE YOU KNOW YOU CAN LOOK AT A BIRD AND JUS BE CAPTIVATED BY IT AND TH BIRD IS LOOKING AT YOU, LIKE YEAH, WHAT DO YOU WANT

DEBRA ALLEN LOVES BIRDS SHE DEVOTES EVERY WEEKEND TO LOOKING FOR THEM WHEN ALLEN SEES AN UNUSUAL BIRD, SHE QUICKLY SCRIBBLED IT NAME ON TO HER LIST.

A LIST, YOU KEEP TRACK OF ALL THE BIRDS YOU HAVE SEEN IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFETIME

THIS UPPER 99 SIDER BEING ROBERT BAXTON WAS BIRDWATCHING SINCE HE WAS THE YEARS NINE YEARS OLD.

HIS LIST BOASTS ONE-THIRD OF THE 9300 DIFFERENT SPECIES I THE WORLD.

WITHIN THE BIRDWATCHING COMMUNITY, YOU GET PRESTIGE IF YOU ARE REALLY GOOD AT THIS.

YOU KNOW, YOU HEAR ONE PEEP OR SEE JUST A GLIMPSE AND YOU KNO WHAT IT IS

BIRDWATCHING IS ABOUT PATIENCE, WAITING FOR AN EVENT THAT BRINGS A RARE BIR SIGHTING

HURRICANE IRENE IS MOVING I AND PEOPLE ALONG THE EAST COAS ARE MOVING OUT

HURRICANE SANDY THREATENING A MASSIVE STRETCH OF THE U.S FROM VIRGINIA TO NEW ENGLAND

WHEN A HURRICANE SPIRALS UP THE ATLANTIC COASTLINE, IT MOVES TROPICAL BIRDS FROM THEI HOMES, AND DROPS THEM WHEREVER THE STOR DISSIPATES THE RECENT HURRICANES CAUSED A BIRDWATCHING FRENZY FOR THES BIRDERS ALONG THE HUDSON RIVER

WE ARE LOOKING FO A RARE BIRDS THAT HAVE BEEN BLOWN OFF COURSE

THERE'S A LIMITED WINDO AFTER A BIG STORM HAS PASSED WHERE BIRDS WHO ARE WHERE THEY WOULDN'T ORDINARILY BE CAN B FOUND.

SOME OF MY FRIENDS HAVE HIDDEN OUT NEAR THE BEACH AN SO FORTH AND FOUND ALSO DEVIOU WAYS TO BE ON THE BEACH.

WHEN TROPICAL BIRDS ARE SWEPT INLAND, THE LUCKY ONES RECOUP IN THE CITY FOR A FEW DAYS BEFORE RETURNING SOUTH.

BUT A FEW UNLUCKY BIRDS WIND U HERE, IN THE NATURAL HISTOR MUSEUM'S BIRD ARCHIVE, THE LARGEST COLLECTION NOT WORLD.

PAUL SWEET COLLECTS THEM

THESE CAME IN AFTER HURRICANE IRENE.

THEY PROBABLY BRED IN BERMUDA.

BUT IT'S DIFFICUL TO TEL HOW MANY BIRDS ARE BLOWN INLAND

DURING HURRICANE SANDY WE EXPERIENCED SOME SEA BIRDS I USUAL PLACES BUT NOT TO TH EXTENT O IRENE.

THE MAJOR MOVEMENTS OF BIRD COULD GET CAUGHT UP IN THESE STORMS AND NOT MAKE IT BACK TO SHORE AND GET FORCED INTO TH OCEANS

ANDREW FARNSWORTH STUDIES MIGRATING BIRDS.

HE'S UNSURE WHAT THE HURRICANE WILL MEAN FOR THE BIRDS IN THE FUTURE

THE QUESTION IS EXACTLY WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IT'S HARD TO SAY.

I THINK UP UNFORTUNATELY, I THINK WE WILL FIND OUT

FOR NOW, THE BIRDWATCHERS ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF THE STOR AND THEY WILL CONTINUE TO BRAV 9 DOWNPOUR, COME HEAVEN OR HIG WATER.

FROM COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, I' SALIMA KAROMA FOR METRO FOCUS

HURRICANE SANDY BROUGHT T OUR REGION BIRDS FROM AS FAR AWAY AS FLORIDA, EUROPE, AND EVEN THE ARCTIC.

AND HOW DO THEY GET BACK HOME?

TWO PELICANS THAT WERE RESCUED AFTER SANDY WERE FLOWN T FLORIDA AFTER THE STORM AN THEN RELEASED.

AND THAT'S IT FOR THIS EDITION OF METRO FOCUS WE HOPE YOU WILL VISIT OUR WEBSITE, METROFOCUS.ORG I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

WE WILL SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

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