SF to require healthier food guidelines

July 8, 2009 8:43:18 PM PDT
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom introduced new rules for food sold to the city by its vendors.

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San Francisco already has a policy banning bottled water from city government and now, unhealthy food is getting the boot.

"I think it's something that should take shape all over our state and country. There's a growing consciousness," said Mayor Newsom.

"We can show San Francisco how you can utilize vacant land," said Abeny Ramsey from City Slicker Farms.

In West Oakland the Woods Urban Garden has been transformed from an abandoned lot into a mini farm that produces organic crops.

Mayor Newsom has ordered an inventory of all city-owned land in San Francisco that could be suitable for gardening.

The executive order also requires food vendors with city permits to offer healthy choices.

"I don't want people to say we're prescribing what you can eat. What we're doing is increasing the options," said Mayor Newsom.

It'll be healthy, locally produced food options for city meetings. The mayor says this is the first comprehensive food policy in the history of San Francisco.

Paula Lewellyn likes it.

"If there is healthy food at a meeting instead of donuts and things like that, so I think it's a good initiative," said Lewellyn.

The mayor will also propose legislation requiring that food purchased by the city for programs, like homeless shelters, jails or school lunches be grown regionally and through sustainable methods.

As anyone who's shopped organic at the supermarket knows, the healthiest food can be expensive and San Francisco is facing tough economic times.

"With the budget crisis right now, I'm not sure it's the right time for it," said San Francisco resident Tony Valluzzo.

The mayor can't yet say what all this will cost, but with state and federal AG officials by his side, Mayor Newsom says it's an investment in the future.

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