To the Editor:
I was truly disheartened to read in the Daily Planet (Oct. 11) that the Planning Commission may be convinced to lift the three-year old moratorium on new fast food restaurants in downtown Berkeley. This is outrageous. Not only should fast food continue to be banned in downtown Berkeley, the moratorium should be extended to all city limits.
In addition, we read articles every day about the obesity of Americans. It is my opinion that persons from the lower economic classes suffer the most from choosing the option of fast food. On the surface, it appears cheaper and more accessible than non-processed and home-cooked meals. In the end, health is impaired and physical, mental and economic costs are higher for persons who succumb to the fast food diet habits.
Berkeley must not sell out to those merchants who recommend lifting the ban on the basis of economics. Public health and welfare should be a much higher priority than profits, and the citizens of Berkeley should demand and support the local and very diverse variety of eateries already established in this town. Let’s not succumb to the big box fast food establishments that contribute to poor health, litter and boring food choices.
I strongly urge the Planning Commission to support the continued ban on fast food restaurants in downtown Berkeley and to please consider taking that ban to the city limits.