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Slower Food: South Los Angeles Bans New Fast Food Joints

greasy hamburger

In an indirect and small win for the growing slow food movement, and in an effort to encourage healthier local dining, South Los Angeles has seen fit to ban the opening of any new fast food joints.

The City has officially banned new stand alone fast food joints from opening in the area. The numerous existing fast food joints are of course allowed to continue business, and there are exceptions for those opening inside shopping centers – not so great. There are an estimated 1000 fast food restaurants in operation in the 30 square mile area.

More takeout meals and meals at sit-down restaurants that involve salads and fresh produce are being welcomed by the city. There are significantly higher rates of poverty and obesity in South Los Angeles than in many other neighborhoods.

Jan Perry, a city councilwomen for South Los Angeles has stated:

“To say that these restaurants are not part of the problem would be foolish”

The New York Times also reports that a small number of smaller cities have developed similar regulations, mostly for aesthetic reasons, but L.A. is the first to enact such regulations as part of a public health initiative.

Bernard Parks, also a City councilman, said:

“There are people who are accused of being the food police, of trying to control what goes into people’s mouths, but we just don’t think that we need to give fast food more rights around here. We don’t think our community needs to have 10 or 15 or 18 ways to eat a hamburger.”

Do you think a ban of this kind will help the health of the people living in the area? Are there any areas in your city where you think there should be a decrease in the number of fast food joints?

‘Heart attack in a bun’ image CC licensed by permanently scatterbrained

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