December 7, 2006

Re: NYC Bureaucratic Heroes: Spare the Trans-fats, Save the World

Carroll Andrew Morse

In what may come as encouraging news to New York City resident Kathy Ramirez, the London Evening Standard reports that even if a McDonald’s opens nearby, it is possible not to eat at it.…

McDonald's is closing its outlet in a town known for quality food and healthy, local produce.

The fast food chain in Tavistock, Devon, simply wasn't being used enough by locals.

So after seven years struggling to make ends meet in a town that has won many accolades for the quality of its food, McDonald's will finally shut up shop on Saturday.

McDonald’s couldn’t compete with other restaurants in Tavistock because of a community campaign called EatWise

Members of the Tavistock EatWise Eat Local campaign have launched a Database which forms a major component of the ongoing objective linking food producers to food consumers....

The EatWise database allows the public to submit reviews which Mr Taylor says could result in a longer-term benefit of offering local residents and visitors an Internet reference point for food shops, local pubs, hotels and restaurants.

The EatWise campaign, led by community group Tavistock Forward, was set up as part of the town's bid to win the WMN's Best Local Food Town competition. Tavistock was awarded the prestigious accolade and given extra points for its "energy, enthusiasm, and commitment".

This little tagline associated with the EatWise campaign indicates that it may be a model for those with crunchy-con sympathies
Fast becoming recognised as a haven for those wishing to escape from modern society's pre-occupation with uniformity, blandness and speed, Tavistock has much to offer those in search of something special in the way of culinary experiences.
Do crunchy-con skeptics see any downside in a program like this?

Finally, Tavistock v. New York City provides us with an interesting case study in government regulation v. voluntary civic association. Are there any arguments that what happened in Tavistock would have better been done by government coercion, except maybe from the perspective of government officials, who prefer to force others to do the real work of presuasion and change, rather than taking it on themselves?

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The free market system works. See, I KNEW it!

Posted by: Jon Scott at December 7, 2006 9:49 PM
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