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san antonio food police on alert

alkapal May 18, 2010 04:13 PM

...for sugary sodas. because the city manager (unelected, at that) is a "fitness person" and she "cares" about city employees. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/m...

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  1. j
    James Cristinian RE: alkapal May 18, 2010 06:13 PM

    I saw it in our Houston paper. It is a very slippery slope to slide down, where is the line driven between personal resposibilty and governmet intrusion?

    3 Replies
    1. re: James Cristinian
      Longhorn13 RE: James Cristinian May 18, 2010 07:03 PM

      I think it's pretty cool. San Antonio is one of the fattest cities in America. Plus, these are government employees -- some of the biggest employees known to man.

      She's only kicking out the vending machines, not restricting the employees from bringing things to work. Cutting back on sodas is a huge step towards getting fit. She should disable the elevators if it wouldn't violate federal law.

      1. re: Longhorn13
        mpjmph RE: Longhorn13 May 19, 2010 07:34 AM

        An alternative to disabling elevators - install better lighting in stairwells, paint them with nice colors, and hang art :)

        I agree about the vending machines though. Everyone has the right to purchase and consume the foods and beverages they choose, but employers aren't obligated to provide every snack and drink option employees want. Of course, I would take it a step further and not offer artificially sweetened drinks either (and I'm a diet coke addict!).

        I work for a large university - they would never eliminate "junk food" from vending machines and cafeterias, they would lose way too much money. I wish they would at least offer one real food/health option for every junk food item though. The healthiest option in the cafeteria near my office is Quizno's.

      2. re: James Cristinian
        ferret RE: James Cristinian May 19, 2010 08:42 AM

        This is hardly a "slippery slope" argument. If a municipality elects to limit the convenience food/beverage items it offers there really aren't any civil rights issues in play. You can still get crap at the 50,000 other convenience food locations that exist in any metropolitan area. It's more of a practice what you preach concept.

      3. Servorg RE: alkapal May 19, 2010 10:20 AM

        An intrusion by the government "a bridge too far" into the private activities of American citizens. The "Ice Tea with Sugar" party is going to be all over that particular city manager! ;-D>

        5 Replies
        1. re: Servorg
          small h RE: Servorg May 19, 2010 10:53 AM

          The Sweet Tea Party. I thought I made this up, but it exists. Presented without comment:


          I don't see much of an intrusion into anyone's precious, precious right to drink Pepsi. The city manager decided not to sell sugared sodas in vending machines on city property. It's likely that alcohol and cigarettes and copies of Hustler are also not sold in vending machines on city property. That doesn't stop anyone from buying and consuming these items. It just means the city isn't endorsing their consumption (I think this is a good thing).

          1. re: small h
            Servorg RE: small h May 19, 2010 10:55 AM

            Every time I think I'm on the cutting edge of something creative I get busted by Google! ;-doh

            1. re: Servorg
              small h RE: Servorg May 19, 2010 11:07 AM

              It's depressing. There's nothing new under the sun. I'm the first to say that, right?

              1. re: small h
                alkapal RE: small h May 19, 2010 02:15 PM

                "There's nothing new under the sun." ---- Solomon.

                1. re: alkapal
                  Phaedrus RE: alkapal May 21, 2010 06:15 AM

                  "uggah boogga" (Translation: There's nothing new under the sun."- Some early Neanderthal from the plains of Europe.

        2. alkapal RE: alkapal May 19, 2010 01:46 PM

          i think it is ridiculous for a city manager to impose her food standards on others via the vending machines. the city gets a cut off the sales; shouldn't the market decide and the best-sellers win?

          7 Replies
          1. re: alkapal
            Phaedrus RE: alkapal May 21, 2010 06:18 AM

            The market does not decide the choices either, the vendor decides what they want to sell in those places. There is a degree of correlation but not as large as what you are assuming.

            1. re: Phaedrus
              alkapal RE: Phaedrus May 21, 2010 06:22 AM

              buyers + sellers = market

              1. re: alkapal
                cowboyardee RE: alkapal May 21, 2010 09:43 AM


                To my knowledge, the ban applies only to vending machines in city facilities. Which would make the city the buyer in this scenario, and the vending machine supply companies the sellers. Or the city employees are the buyers and the city is the seller. Depends on how you look at it.

                In either case, there is no communism here.

                1. re: cowboyardee
                  ferret RE: cowboyardee May 21, 2010 10:04 AM

                  It's all a tempest in a teapot (or a thimble). They're just trying to convey a healthier image. Where's the controversy? Now if their sales plummet over the long-term and they revert to selling crap, THAT will be newsworthy.

                  1. re: cowboyardee
                    alkapal RE: cowboyardee May 21, 2010 04:08 PM

                    ""there is no communism here""" huh and duh!?!

                    1. re: alkapal
                      James Cristinian RE: alkapal May 21, 2010 04:13 PM

                      Gov. Rick Perry a communist. W. a commie. Definitely no communism here in Texas. It just won't fly.

                      1. re: alkapal
                        cowboyardee RE: alkapal May 21, 2010 04:28 PM

                        Sorry, I always forget how easy it is to misinterpret posts on the internet.

                        You implied earlier that the SA city manager was somehow violating the free market. My post pointed out that this was nothing really beyond an example of the free market in action.

                        And the 'communism' line was to gently chide those (not necessarily you, I don't know) who view any economic activity that is not purely market-driven as:
                        A) an inherent evil. And...
                        B) communism, a term that used to refer to something far more specific

              2. s
                Sharuf RE: alkapal May 21, 2010 04:48 AM

                Apparently the Food Cop considers those abominable artificially-sweetened chemical concoctions called "diet sodas" to be a healthy alternative?!! AAACCCKK!

                1. b
                  beachmouse RE: alkapal May 21, 2010 12:39 PM

                  The irony is that if I do a five mile run before work during the summer when it's about 80F with 100% humidity, I'm prone to getting migraines a few hours afterwards. And the caffeine and sugar in a nice cold can of Coke or Pepsi can actually frequently starve off the headache for long enough that I can drive home in relative safety and comfort.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: beachmouse
                    ferret RE: beachmouse May 21, 2010 12:51 PM

                    Then you're in luck, a fruit juice from the healthy vending machine and an Excedrin should also do the trick.

                    1. re: beachmouse
                      alkapal RE: beachmouse May 21, 2010 04:08 PM

                      yes, sometimes i need a sugar coke.

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