Monday, January 25, 2010

History of Street Food.

A radio interview of Roosevelt University professor Dan Protess gives us the simple explanation of the social good that comes from street vendors, as well as the historical background on the limitations and restrictions of these vendors. Here is one statement that particularly stood out to me:

INTERVIEWER: Why do we outlaw street vendors in Chicago?

PROTESS: One, we have a very powerful restaurant lobby that did a lot to shoot down the smoking ban, if you recall a few years back and put that off for several years. And obviously they don't want the competition on their doorstep. I also think historically it's wrapped up in anti-immigrant sentiment. Historically, people looked down on Italians or Greeks were eating, and it was one thing for them to be eating their strange olive oil and garlic in their house, but it was another thing for them to be eating it right in front of us."

I won't lie, I don't eat food from street vendors. But then again, I'm a vegetarian, so what am I going to order? A dry bun?