Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No New Fast-Food Restaurants in LA

Save us from ourselves! Thanks to the Los Angeles City Council committee, they placed a one-year moratorium (perhaps longer) on new fast-food restaurants in a broad swath of LA neighborhoods.

The Council committee defines a fast-food restaurant as "any establishment which dispenses food for consumption on or off the premises, and which has the following characteristics: a limited menu, items prepared in advance or prepared or heated quickly, no table orders and food served in disposable wrapping or containers." Casual fast-food restaurants, such as Subway or Pastagina, are okay, we are told.

So eating a burger and fries at In-n-Out or Wendy's is taboo but going into a sit-down restaurant and eating a similar meal, albeit at a higher price, is ok?

People eat fast-food because it is: a) affordable, b) tasty and c) fast.

I have a student in one of may classes who is a manager at a national sit-down chain. He says although there are low-cal and so-called healthy options, most people order the 1500-2000 calorie meals. Not because they are cheap or fast but because they are tasty.

The government, no matter how hard it tries, can only provide superficial control over free agency.

Who does not know which food is healthy and which is not? Who does not know that it is good to exercise? Who does not know that it is good to get adequate sleep? Yet we still eat unhealthy, don't work-out and stay up too late?

If non-fast-food, sit-down restaurants were what the people wanted in these LA neighborhoods, there would be more of them.

When this moratorium fails, they will next consider an extra tax on all fast-food restaurants to financially discourage patronage.

I'd say the Los Angeles City Council is spending its time and effort on the most pressing issues -- saving us from ourselves.

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