LA City Council Endorses Meatless Mondays

The Meatless Monday campaign has gained and lost popularity over the last few decades, originating as a way to support the troops during World War II, and reemerging in 2003 in a promotion by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Now the City Council of Los Angeles is working to integrate this meatless trend into the homes of more people.

The Los Angeles City Council has already come a long way in banning trans-fats and opposing fast-food restaurants. Now they are aiming to make city residents feel guilty about what they eat with a Meatless Monday resolution On Friday the resolution passed in a 14-0 vote officially urging residents to adopt a personal pledge to avoid meat on Monday’s. This resolution is a far cry away from New York City’s mandatory soda ban, and the police will not be legally enforcing this resolution, checking packed lunches and banning the purchase of meat. Ultimately the resolution should start a trend in the city to make residents healthier and reduce environmental waste.

Councilwoman Jan Perry was instrumental in passing this resolution, and also called a ban on new fast-food restaurant in South Los Angeles as a method to curb obesity. Perry said “we can reduce saturated fats and reduce the risk of heart disease by 19 percent. While this is a symbolic gesture, it is asking people to think about the food choices they make. Eating less meat can reverse some of our nation’s most common illnesses.”

Other councilmen have joined with Perry in supporting Meatless Mondays, including a councilman whose son was recently diagnosed with diabetes. The Food Policy Council initially developed this proposal, part of a larger agenda to encourage healthy foods in Los Angeles.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Startup Companies Use Food Trucks to Treat Employees

California is home to some of the country’s greatest and most original food trucks, so it should come as no surprise that many startup companies are finding innovative ways to work with them. Small software companies in particular have identified food trucks as a low-cost way to reward their employees and improve employee retention from larger technology companies like Facebook and Google.

This makes more sense if you look at food trucks as startup companies themselves, with low entry costs and the advantage of mobility, most food trucks are relatively new to the road and are still looking for a way to become a permanent fixture in their city’s dining scene. Many programmers have come to expect job perks and free time at work, and startup companies that aren’t able to provide these often lose quality employees to large corporations. While many larger companies have built in-house kitchens and hire culinary staffs, food trucks provide healthy, quality food and a recreational vibe.

At the digital advertising startup Rocket Fuel, ‘Free Food Truck Fridays’ have become a huge hit, citing happier and healthier employees since the onset of the weekly event. Another software company called Twilio treats its employees with caterings and prepaid food truck meals in a variety of cuisines. Though the company plans to move and expand its office it will still retain food trucks as part of its company culture, rather than building an in-house kitchen.

Technology companies are increasingly looking to food trucks to build morale and create a ‘hangout’ atmosphere at the office. Gamefly, based in Los Angeles, began bringing food trucks to their office after the company’s founder Sean Specter became aware of Kogi BBQ. Now the company feeds its employees from food trucks about twice a month. “The reality is that people don’t want to eat the office every day of the week,” says Specter. “It’s an added perk to working here. It’s very social.” There are also less dining options in Los Angeles without the food trucks. Known as a ‘work island effect’, employees often get sick of the same two or three restaurants over and over.

In Austin, Texas, food trucks have taken off in a huge way, and tech startups have not failed to notice them. Employees are often given lunch tickets to food trucks parked outside their offices, and at one company employees let out an audible cheer when they received a company-wide email announcing that a food truck was on its way. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, offering healthy meal options has become a best practice for employers.

Now at California’s Rocket Fuel employees are coming into working more instead of working from home, and the company is using ‘Food Truck Fridays’ to attract new talent, often interviewing candidate on Fridays. Employees who have left the company for larger corporations even tell coworkers how much they miss the food at Rocket fuel.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

LA Street Food at its Finest

Next Saturday, July 21st, The LA Street Food Fest will attract local foodies from all over the city to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. This event began 3 years ago as an attempt to promote the growth of local food vendors, and it quickly took off as a tasting event that now takes place every summer.

The Rose Bowl is set up for customers to enjoy their evening picnicking on the field while they are surrounded by over 75 food trucks, food carts, restaurants, and chefs displaying their culinary talents under tents. Ice cream and drinks will top off a wholesome meal. Families will be entertained by a live DJ and kid-friendly games as well. Tickets are being sold for $45 and include all of the food, drinks, and entertainment offered there.

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Some of the popular gourmet food trucks that will be serving the crowds include the Fox Pizza Bus, Waffles de Liege, and Kogi BBQ. Fifteen vendors will hand out their delicious sweet treats at the ice cream social tent, including the famous Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches (I’ve had two of their homemade cookie-ice cream combinations so far in New York, and I just can’t resist going back every time I see the truck).

A cook-off is held every year at this food festival among the chefs, food trucks, and food carts that display their newest creations to the public. A set of judges sample the menu of each vendor, and they ultimately decide the winners in the following categories: Best in Show, Best Old School Street Food, Best Nouveau Street Food, Best Original Showmanship, and The Sweet Tooth. A People’s Choice Award is also given to the chef or vendor that serves the overall favorite dish among the attendees. Last year, the judges of the Annual Summer Tasting competition included Antonio Villaraigosa, current mayor of Los Angeles, and Chef Michael Voltaggio, winner of Top Chef Season 7.

Food lovers should definitely attend this festival to take advantage of the huge variety of foods and drinks offered in one setting. It makes a perfect evening out with family and friends. So if you’re a resident of LA, or even if you’re flying out there to visit anytime soon, be sure to attend the LA Street Food Fest and eat your heart out!

Chief Chef of Kogi BBQ May Leave it all Behind

Kogi BBQ is widely considered to be the most successful food truck brand in the world, being one of the first food trucks to gain national prominence, and spawning a wave of Korean-taco trucks trying to emulate their original recipe. Kogi is so successful that their fleet has now launched five food trucks and several restaurants throughout California, and their chief chef Roy Choi was recognized as one of Food & Wine’s best new chefs of 2010.

However there is a chance all of this might change with a recent blog post Roy Choi made on Monday. Roy wrote that he’s considering leaving the cooking world behind because he recently became a vegetarian.

“I’ve been thinking about leaving cooking for awhile. I can’t find meaning anymore…I stopped eating meat this week. That’s why I’m thinking about leaving cooking. How can I cook with out using meat? Animals be talking to me. They told me..stop. Stop, Roy. Please.”

Seeing as how Kogi BBQ’s are heavy in meat, it might understandably be hard for Choi to continue cooking with a moral objection to animals as food. Choi goes on to cite Chef Jamie Oliver, and declare that he would love to work with him in improving children’s diets. Many commenter’s on his blog suggested opening a vegetarian or vegan restaurant to attract more people to healthier eating. In the long run, Choi’s tentative decision to quit cooking will hopefully not affect the fleet of Kogi trucks and restaurants in California. Choi will be publishing a book about his life through the Anthony Bourdain book series soon, so more on his take on children and animals should be available soon.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com