Friday, January 14, 2011

Nutrition taken too far

You know it's a slow news day in Vancouver when the article on the front page is headlined: "Vancouver wants nutrition standards for street food carts". My first response when I saw this was, "Huh?" The article describes how those applying for new licenses for downtown food carts must show that their offerings are nutritious. Want to serve deep-fried food? Better have that with a side of fresh veggies.

Now this is a city that until recently only allowed street vendors to sell one kind of food: hot dogs. In addition to the Mr. Tubesteak carts and others like it, some companies got creative with condiments and side dishes. Hence, the creation of the hugely successful Japa Dog food carts that serve hot dogs with spicy Japanese add-ons. Still-- hot dogs are hardly a nutritional staple.

I don't know about you but I do not expect street food to be particularly healthy. I expect it to be greasy, salty, and maybe even taste good. Monitoring the nutritional standards of street vendors' food takes things a bit too far, in my opinion. A friend of mine called it "nanny state run amok." Either way, I think there's a place for good nutrition, and street food is not it.

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