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san antonio food police on alert

...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. 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

      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

        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

        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. 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

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

          http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sweet-T...

          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

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

            1. re: Servorg

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

              1. re: small h

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

                1. re: alkapal

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

        2. 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

            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: alkapal

                http://www.ksat.com/health/23592321/d...

                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

                  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

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

                    1. re: alkapal

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

                      1. re: alkapal

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

                1. 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

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

                    1. re: beachmouse

                      yes, sometimes i need a sugar coke.