Monday, October 5, 2009

NO McCrap in Ohio City-Cleveland!

KEEP McDonald's OUT Of Ohio City in Cleveland

It has been brought to my attention that there is a proposed McDonald's on Detroit near a funeral home. I am not clear on this but if there is any truth to this, such an establishment in this neighborhood should be avoided at all costs. Here are my reasons/thoughts as to why: First, It was not the greatest choice to allow Wendy's on Loraine in the past, and with the continued development of the neighborhood---with its architectural heritage, history, culture, culinary class and wide array of locally owned and unique independent food establishments that sets us aside from many other places---a McDonald's is an utter disrespect and slap in the face to so much of what Ohio City represents or is trying to become.


Secondly, As I try and organize frequent litter sweeps, when it comes to fast food litter, McDonald's trash makes up an estimate of some 95% of all fast food litter. Bags continually strewn out of car windows and onto the streets by those who seem to think their window in the car is their trash receptacle. I want to add, that a large portion of litter not picked up, ends up in our lake and has many ill-health implications, makes our waterfront appear as though we take no pride in it or have respect for this limited resource---as well as create health problems for wildlife. The reason McDonanld's makes up a large portion of fast food litter in the urban core....most likely has something to do with their target marketing. Just watch all their ads on television during--and even not during sporting events. You will see that their target market is a lot of inner city youth.

What does this have to do with litter? Well, no matter how much McDonald's tries to romanticize this 'hip-hop urban youth thing' in their whimsical commercials, a good portion of the element associated with that, are those who don't even live in the neighborhood......who grab a quick meal, and then discard their McGarbage out of the car window. Putting it kindly, since McDonald's chooses to target this crowd in ads, some of it appeals to a certain element we already have enough difficulties dealing with in the neighborhood.

Simply put, McDonald's, more so than many other fast foods, is also the food choice of those who chose to be anti-social, thug-like, and have no respect or concept of the visual, physical, or environmental health of the neighborhood. I am tired of seeing their garbage discarded in people's yards and along curbs or in the middle of the street. Just because you have not immediate access to a trash can does not excuse tossing it out the window. You simple save it until you get to one--again, another basic of common sense, courtesy, and manners when living in a communal setting.


Third, such institutions only help to further the problem of obesity in this country, which is making sick populace. Their profits depend upon people making poor and uninformed food choices. Perhaps we should welcome more entities that try and educate people on making healthier food choices--and to debunk the common chamber driven and perpetuated myth that fast food is convenient, cheap--and that it costs a lot to eat well. That notion is rubbish to say the least, as world renowned chef Jamie Oliver of England blew that myth out of the water. He has illustrated that around the world in similar cultures, other than in the US, some of the poorest people actually ate the healthiest foods. Why not produce a healthier populace, body, mind and soul, who will be more productive and happy in the work place, thus benefiting our economy....who will be less of a drain on health care in the future. (taking less sick days, less diet associated diseases, etc) Those who will learn better, be more peaceful. (See the Movie Super-Size me about what improving diet did for ill-behaved, and learning challenged youth)


Lastly, such sets a bad precedent of inviting other establishments of the sort to the point we lose our unique identity. McDonald's in the suburbs is somewhat less harmless, but in the inner city, this food addiction simply preys off those who have been conditioned to think this sort of product is all they can afford, or is somehow good for them. Placing a McDonald's in areas where we have a lot of people with very poor eating habits, and who are very poorly informed on the topic of nutrition, is like placing a bar next to an alcoholics rehab establishment. The temptations are strong and very conflicting. Something those in such condition do not need---and such the temptation would depend upon the patron making the wrong choice.

So, if you don't want to see increased trash in an neighborhood already struggling with such, increased transient element we do not want to see hanging around the neighborhood... aside from the dietary factors and it being a slap on the face to all the art, history and culture integrity this neighborhood represents--then please shun away this place. There is already one on Detroit up the road a way---and I invite you to go look closely at the surrounding area, the building itself--the litter, trash, etc. Is this what you want the heart of Ohio City to be?

Part of the reason I moved here in the first place was because of the intrigue on the limit in seeing chains and fast food clone zone establishments. I also invite you to look closely, the next time you see fast food litter, take notice that 8 or 9 out of ten times, you see McDonald's as the originating source. I know, because I, and many others have cleaned it up for years and cannot babysit their irresponsible patrons anymore.

A more fruitful venture would be to continue to promote places like farm markets, the WSM, a Food Co-op, Local Food Cleveland and City Fresh to help wean people away from this harmful toxic waste packaged as food so we can produce a healthier populace which will result in a higher competitive gross domestic and national product. Several studies are available to illustrate the correlation between good health and a better economy.

Regards,
Robert Carillio

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