If it wasn’t so important I wouldn’t even breathe her name—it’s bugging me so much—but this Meg Tuthill and her goofball viewpoint on outdoor dining policing is out of hand. Suffice to say the City Council talks on June 16 and votes as early as the next day, so let your voice be heard.
Many bar and restaurant owners were in attendance Monday at City Hall to voice their opinions at a public hearing on the proposed ordinance by council member Tuthill. The ordinance seeks to limit the amount of late night noise from bars/restaurants in residential areas and limiting the number of bodies on a patio or deck as well as banning outdoor amplified music after 10 p.m. It would also give the city the ability to impose sanctions on noncompliant establishments. The area under consideration is Uptown and Lyn-Lake. While the noise is unbearable for some residents, and I am sure that some folks are affected by restaurant and bar noise, the solution is not restricting capacity for outdoor patios and decks. Its not okay for someone, anyone, blaring music after 10 pm, it shouldn’t be done. Period. Lets deal with those folks, the rule breakers. Let’s not hold the whole hospitality industry hostage. Thanks to the hospitality industry much of those areas are thriving from a business development standpoint.
C’mon, Meg, you didn’t even speak on behalf of your own proposal on Monday! Many people feel the existing ordinances are sufficient to deal with this problem from an enforcement standpoint, but I am no legal eagle. All you really need to know about this whole deal is that when pointed out that there were a lot of restaurant and bar owners at the hearing on Monday, Tuthill, according to the Strib , said, "Those are always the people that come out. . .” Wow, talk about condescending. Are you kidding me? Those are your constituents and local business owners, just like the residents who are complaining to your office. You don’t have to agree with them but show some respect! This lady is dangerously myopic.
The My Plate era has arrived. And it’s important.
I am a huge fan of the Food Plate, whose slogan is “enjoy food, but eat less.” That’s a refreshing amount of right thinking. I am thrilled. We should all eat less, and we all should enjoy food, it’s one of life’s great pleasures.
The Dept of Ag, The First Lady, and all the other deciders on this one have made a huge improvement on the My Pyramid of years’ past. That one was hard to understand and harder still to make work on a personal level. My Plate is all about healthful food and seems to me to be more practical in terms of what we know about smart eating. The plate tells you that vegetables are where you should be getting the majority of your intake from, conversely the dairy suggestion is almost an afterthought; it’s even off the plate itself! Anyway 50 percent of your plate is fruit/veg, a quarter of your plate should be grains (half of that should be whole grain foods), and as my pal Marion Nestle pointed out last week, the rest is protein. But protein is not a food, it’s a nutrient.
The brilliant Ms. Nestle also said, “The USDA must think everyone knows that “protein” means beans, poultry and fish, as well as meat. But grains and dairy, each with its own sector, are also important protein sources. The meat industry wants you to equate protein with meat.” Seems like some compromise with a huge lobby on that one, I can only imagine the kinds of accommodations it took from all parties to get sign off on this. On a more positive note, with My Plate you never have to count servings, if you want to limit intake, get a smaller plate!Marion goes on to illuminate that much of the other info is “designed to help you eat less while eating better. Smaller portions keep calories under control. Making half your plate fruits and vegetables is a profound switch from the six to 11 calorie-rich grain servings you were supposed to eat daily under the old MyPyramid. For people who drink milk (really, you don’t have to), switching to low-fat is an effective way to save on calories, and whole grains are better for health than refined, rapidly absorbable starches that behave like sugars in the body. So far, so good. But next come the politically charged “foods to reduce.” Here, the USDA is leaning in the right direction, but still pulling punches. USDA tells you to reduce sodium from soup, bread and frozen meals, but says nothing about salty snacks or other sodium-laden processed foods.” Nestle calls this a glaring omission and I couldn’t agree more. I can’t imagine how many people eat right at mealtime and throw the baby out with the bath water in between meals and late at night. The My Plate suggestions include the admonition to drink water as a substitute for sugary drinks. It also puts juice in the same column as sport drink and soda. Well, juice is good for you in the right sized amounts and sport drinks and sodas are treats from a nutritional standpoint. I would have loved to see the US Government take on the processed food/drink sectors, but hey, baby steps, right? Let’s pat ourselves on the back, let’s enjoy the ‘win’ for sure, but despite the fact that the Plate Program is nutritionally sound, works better than anything that’s come before, and represents real growth (as Nestle put it, “it took courage to make half of it fruit/veg”), the BIG CHALLENGE is to Capitol Hill and making sure they bring ag policy that supports all the recommendations. It would be nice to see Governor Dayton and our Dynamic Duo of Senators Klobuchar and Franken take an even bigger lead on this than they already are.