Monday, March 11, 2013

Phuck the Fork in the Road, sez this opinion writer...

Well. This is quite an opinion piece on the idea of food trucks in New Orleans. I was glad to see it when a friend linked it on fb, although I will have to say that some of the connections the author makes I cannot yet agree with, not having seen all of the information. Additionally, there is some polemic language, like hipster-capitalists, which is an oversimplification in my estimation, although not entirely untrue. Of course, reading the comments one finds even more name calling and ridiculing of the author. Truly this sort of behavior doesn't seem to be a way to learn about each other's ideas and opinions.
Having said all of that, I agree with much of this piece and would hope that those trying to "fix" New Orleans would take a little more time to understand the context of our history and stop comparing us to other places that have almost no similarities with us, except of course what seems to be the important one for those trying to fix us, that those places they compare us to have a large young population that moved there recently. Whether or not our resources should be spent on holding those folks here by offering them what they could find elsewhere seems illogical and quite possibly a fools errand.
I'd much prefer that we invest and legislate for the return of decent programs to help the least fortunate of our citizens and to encourage the widespread ownership of businesses and homes anchored in neighborhoods among those who have roots here, whether new or not. As for roaming trucks: I am for a few of them, within reason. As a matter of fact, as a community food system advocate, I have spent most of the last decade and a half working on behalf of roaming farmers markets. However, the Food Truck Coalition seems to be focused on capturing CBD lunch business and asking to compete side by side with anchored restaurants rather than encouraging healthy food in food swamps or food deserts if you prefer.
If access to food is the goal, then let's legislate that and ask those who are allowed to operate food trucks to offer local products and healthy choices with low sodium or fat options, work in food insecure areas at least 3/4 of their time and also not allow these trucks to pollute with noise or trash or to set up within 300 feet of a existing restaurant.
Let's also stop the name calling and realize that every issue has many more than 2 sides to it and all of them should be heard and read by the citizens that live in our fair city.

Fork in the Road: Who’s Behind the Push for New Orleans Food Trucks? – Antigravity Magazine

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