The Eshman Strikes Back: 9 Ways to Make LA a Food City
"Touchy touchy," begins a rebuttal of a rebuttal by Rob Eshman of the Jewish Journal's Foodaism blog. Indeed, Eshman touched some nerves when he issued his somewhat negative take on Saveur mag's Los Angeles issue, when he pointed out 10 things Saveur had wrong. But it wasn't really Saveur's fault, it's LA that's doing itself a disservice when it comes to food, and now Eshman says he's ready to "do what any good child psychologist would have suggested [he] do first: use positive language."Of course, positive language in Eshman's book* means pointing out the have-nots that, were we to have them, would make LA a first-class "food city." Those points include having a "Massive, Throbbing, Heart-Stopping, Hunger-Stirring Big Ass Perpetual Farmers Market" (#1) that would do what our Original Farmers' Market and Grand Central Market can only wish they could do; "Free up zoning and licensing to mix food businesses and residential areas, and F the NIMBYs," (#3); "Improve public transportation," (#5); and "Encourage City and Suburban Agriculture," (#6).
This melange of the political and the nutritional is undeniable, and never more so in Eshman's applaudable point #7: "Invest in Yummier Schools," a proposition that calls for more school gardens in the vein of Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard where kids can engage in hands-on learning that will promote, among other things, a food sensibility that will ensure a healthy food-future in L.A.
Can Los Angeles take these deep-rooted changes and grow up into a bona fide food city? What else needs to be done? Eshman stops his list at 9, and asks for his readers to come up with #10--or more, and we're thinking we should do the same: What will it take to make Los Angeles a real food city?
*It also means making a snarky reference to Yelpers being sent to bed without their "kobi" tacos, to which we snarkily inquire of Mr. Eshman: Don't you mean Kogi?