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SoCal Connected: Food Wars

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Food Wars - For over a year, people in South Los Angeles have been the guinea pigs in a huge social experiment focused on what they eat. Last year the city council voted to ban any new fast-food outlets in the 32-square-mile area south of the 10 Freeway. South L.A., with its rampant poverty and a shortage of medical services, claims the highest obesity and diabetes rates in the county. The idea behind the ban was to steer people to healthier eating than they were getting at the drive-through. Keep out McDonald's, went the logic, and healthier options will fill the void. Critics argued that government had no business meddling with consumer choice and free enterprise. And now a new study from the RAND Corporation claims that the ban was based on misleading data: that targeting fast food alone is likely to have little impact. It's a debate going on all over the nation: how do you encourage healthy eating habits while providing unhealthy options? SoCal Connected goes behind the battle lines in the fight over Americans' waistlines.

Moveable Feast - Val Zavala samples the fare from a number of upscale food trucks, talks to the entrepreneurs trying to figure out how to make them turn a profit, and gets an earful from "brick-and-mortar" restaurant owners ticked off by the way they stand to lose 30 to 40 percent of their business when the trucks roll in.

Commentary - Novelist and Van Nuys resident Marcos Villatoro has this to say about the economy: "You know things are bad when, in a working class, deal-minded neighborhood like mine, a garage sale can't make it."

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