San Francisco & McDonald's Both Need a Time Out

Adriana Velez

happy meal hummerKids, kids, do we need to put you in a time-out? Weeks after the San Francisco city supervisors voted 8-3 to ban toys with "unhealthy" fast food, Mayor Mayor Gavin Newsom officially vetoed the ban yesterday. Children cheered. Alice Waters wept. City supervisors promised to un-veto.

San Francisco and Newsom have already suffered mocking for their ban on plastic shopping bags and their forced recycling. And now this? In a press conference yesterday Newsom appealed to the city supervisors, crying, "Stop it you guys, you're totally embarrassing me!"

Okay, he didn't actually say that. But he did say that the law goes too far and that "there's a reason there's not a TV station in this country that hasn't candidly been mocking us."

Americans are indeed mocking -- and they're outraged. An ABC poll says 76 percent of respondents think San Francisco overstepped its boundaries. I don't know why they care so much, since it's debatable whether San Francisco is part of "real America" anyway. (JK mama grizzlies, JK!) But I think I've hear the phrase "nanny state" more times this month than ever before through my entire life.

Still, I think all this fighting over personal responsibility is beside the point. See what Scott Rodnick, who owns 10 of the 20 McDonald's in San Francisco, said:

City Hall is now coming in and mandating what we have on our menu so we're going to sit down and spend some good quality time figuring out how we comply with this law.

You hear that? (Also, only 20 McDonald's in San Francisco?) It is within McDonald's power to change their food! And they're even willing to do so -- you know, if a city government threatens to take away their toys. I think there's an important lesson to be leaned here. Are parents ultimately responsible for feeding their kids properly? Without a doubt. But when dealing with a naughty food company, threats work. Food for thought, folks.

Do the ends justify the means here? And would a healthier menu change how you feel about feeding your kids fast food?

Image via Gadgetdude/Flickr

Read More