by Steve Haruch
What do bike lanes have to do with restaurants? Responding to the Forbes ranking of Nashville as the nation's 7th most obese city, and speaking as "one who falls into the category of obese," the blog Only Wonder Understands has a few ideas (and mentions a couple of bygone Nashville restaurants that came up in that previous thread). Here's an excerpt:
When one looks around town, we quickly realize that there are few healthy alternatives where we can meet. Some of the great alternatives — the Grateful Breadbox, Country Life, etc. — have been run off by higher fat alternatives. Vegetarian or healthy lifestyle restaurants are few and far between . . . and if one moves out of the trendy areas of Hillsboro Village, East Nashville, or Waverly Belmont, it becomes even harder as family owned alternatives have been run out of town by the mega restaurant chains built on large portions and high fat content. Combine all of that with an overworked culture of persons with long commutes, a lack of neighborhood cohesion, and lifestyles that demand too many meals in car from drive-thrus, and you have a populus [sic] that is too heavy.This of course raises the question of the effect that infrastructure has on people's consumption of food. If one feels that one's lifestyle "demands" too many drive-thru meals, it's not far to the next question, which is: What role can progressive-minded chefs and restaurateurs have in creating a city (not just neighborhood) infrastructure that is hospitable to healthful eating choices?