Friday, July 23, 2010

RANT: when health Gestapos strike

Taco truck on Rainier Avenue, Columbia City, S...Image via Wikipedia
Health Gestapos are everywhere, and in the name of "healthy kids", they set their sights on... taco truck that no student even patronizes.

The story begins with a famous taco truck of San Francisco, the "Tonayense", is parked near a school. The problem with this fact: the truck was there first. Really. The school opened later.

So what's wrong with the taco truck parked near a school? It's actually against city law. Sometime in 2007, San Francisco city council passed a law prohibiting any "mobile food vendors" from selling food within 1500 ft of any school, to complete the "wellness policy" of schools, advocated by a "parents group".

(For comparison, most restraining orders against domestic abuser only require the abuser to stay 500 ft away from the victim)

So why was this policy in place? The advocacy group claims that 1) the mobile food vendors sell unhealthy food 2) it creates two classes of students: those that can afford to dine outside, and those who don't  3) it hurts the school cafeteria by depriving it of income.

The principal of the school in question had NO complaint about the taco truck at all. He eats there almost every day, and he had seen NO STUDENTS AT ALL. Several city papers also staked out the place. No students.

As for the claims... A1) The tacos and burritos and whatnot are no less healthy than any national fast food stores  A2) only seniors in the high school are allowed off campus for lunch, and almost all of them consider the taco truck too expensive  A3) San Francisco school policy for cafeteria is to feed EVERY student that comes through, whether they can pay or not, so cafeteria CANNOT be hurt by students eating elsewhere. It is not in the money earning business any way.

The taco truck was forced to move two blocks, but not before it raised a stink through a series of hearings, and many charges and counter-charges of misrepresentation, lies, and whatnot in public.

Much ado about nothing, I say.
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