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Big Brother Doesn’t Want You Eating Burgers in LA

Citing "food apartheid," a Los Angeles politician has proposed that new fast food restaurants be banned from South Central.

by
Tom Blumer

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July 16, 2008 - 12:25 am
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In a proposal that is stunning in both its ignorance and arrogance, a South Central Los Angeles politician wants to place a moratorium on the construction of new fast food restaurants in her area.

What is unfortunately not nearly as surprising is how Washington Post reporter Karl Vick let some huge, uh, whoppers go by without challenge when he covered this development.

Here how Vick’s story, as carried at Boston.com, begins (HT Hot Air Headlines; bolds are mine):

Citing alarming rates of childhood obesity and a poverty of healthful eating choices, a city councilor is pushing for a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in South-Central Los Angeles.

“Some people will say, ‘Well, people just don’t have to eat it,’ ” said Jan Perry, the Democrat who represents the city’s overwhelmingly African-American and Latino District 9. “But the fact of the matter is, what if you have no other choices?”

The proposed ordinance, which is awaiting a committee hearing, takes a page from boutique communities that turn up their noses at franchises.

It is supported by nutritionists, frustrated residents, and community activists who call restrictive zoning an appropriate response to “food apartheid.”

You would think that there are no grocery stores in South Central offering all manner of nutritional options that often cost less per meal than fast food. Quite the contrary: Web searches on two chains I’m aware of in the area reveal that there are ten Ralph’s or Food4less stores within four miles of the address of the advocacy group whose executive director is quoted in the article, and at least three Vons within a reasonable distance of its zip code. When did eating store-bought food at home become a nonviable option?

Here are some relevant points to chew on:

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