If there is a spiritual home for the modern food police, it’s New York City. Whether the city and its reportedly salt-loving mayor are forbidding prepared food donations to the homeless that might contain salt, attacking foods with hysterical advertisements, or banning ingredients, it seems that if there’s an idea that would restrict consumer choice, NYC has considered it.
So it should come as no surprise that City Councilwoman Christine Quinn, who tried to ban fast food joints from some parts of of the city a few years ago, isn’t happy about a new promotional idea from Burger King. Burger King is offering free samples from a food truck, and the mere thought of bringing the truck to the City prompted Councilwoman Quinn to write a letter promising that the Council will ban it.
Really? Are food trucks an obesity-causing scourge on society? It’s a nice distraction from governing, at least. If handing out free food is cause for government action, the next thing you know Quinn will push an edict banning birthday cupcakes in schools. (Paging MeMe Roth…)
Needless to say, the food police were pleased with Quinn’s letter. Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest called the move “valuable.” (The courts’ time is “valuable” too, though CSPI has no qualms wasting it.)
It’s not surprising that Quinn has moved on from zoning bans to permit-Prohibition for food she doesn’t like. A RAND Corporation study of Los Angeles’s fast food zoning ban found it wasn’t making people skinny. Of course, we don’t expect this stunt to be any more effective in getting New Yorkers to slim down.