The Conversation

Culture: Cultural happenings and discussions.

Food Freedom

Feb 28, 2013 11:28 AM PT

I just attended an event at the American Enterprise Institute on "Big government and big food vs. food trucks, foodies, and farmers markets."  One of the speakers is the founder of the Food Truck Association and one of the most popular food trucks in DC, Red Hook Lobster Pound.  He spoke about the antiquated regulations in D.C. that treat food trucks as ice cream trucks.  For instance, trucks aren't allowed to stay parked unless there is a line of people.  DC officials say increased regulations on food trucks are about managing sidewalk congestion, but really it's a few members of the DC restaurant association urging DC officials to "level the playing field" for area restaurants.   

Another panelist talked about regulations on farmers markets.  Again, these regulations are not just overregulation by government officials, but officials working with interests who are against those hit hardest by the regulations.  One example is an Ohio regulation that says farmers markets must have bathrooms and sinks for customers.  Given that most customers aren't spending the day at the market, it's rather silly.  I can imagine renting bathroom facilities for a few hours increases the booth cost for vendors and makes it harder for smaller vendors to participate.  (Nevermind that even if there were Port-a-Pottys at a farmers market most of us would do all we could to avoid using them.)

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Butting in Again RE Modern Feminism

Feb 27, 2013 5:43 PM PT

In response to Explain?:

I believe your faith in forever "explaining" Advanced Conservatism to people who are barely aware of who their congressman is is misplaced.

If you're explaining you're losing.

I hear this kind of thing a lot:  If we could just get people to listen to Limbaugh and Levin every day...

 Get people who are essentially uninterested in politics to listen to six hours of rightwing talk radio per day?  Is that all?

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Let's Us Two Men Have This Discussion About Women

Feb 27, 2013 1:31 PM PT

In response to Feminism and ideological evolution:


That's an intriguing notion, Ace. I suspect most feminists of the movement's early era would readily agree with your three-point summary of their ideas. So would a lot of average women who consider themselves loosely or actively feminist today. But the hard-core movement leaders would probably get angry at you for distilling it to those three logical elements.

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We All Scream for Fennel!

Feb 27, 2013 7:59 AM PT

In response to Fennel, It's What's for Lunch:

I think I could come up with a reality TV reference for anything.  In this case, I'm reminded of the challenges in Top Chef when they've had to feed kids.  One episode had the White House chef and Michelle Obama (of course).  Some cheftestants tried to please the judges and White House chef by going overboard on the healthy stuff.  The kale salad? It stayed on the plate.  One genius thought she would get extra points by serving yogurt, then had to add a pound of sugar in order to get the kids to eat it.  The successful chefs were the ones who seem to already know what the kids in this article were saying -- we "miss the French fries, pizza, burgers and cheesesteaks."  They did healthier versions of these foods.  As I recall, the winner did zucchini "fries" with dipping sauces because kids love dipping things.  Fennel salad and other unfamiliar lunch items are just another example of bureaucrats pleasing bureaucrats rather than paying attention to what constituents (in this case, kids) actually want and will eat.

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