Forget Food For Thought, How About A Food Fight?

City Councilman Rich Paoletto

Maybe this will be the beginning of a good old-fashioned food fight on the City Council. The city’s legislative body Monday night unanimously approved a city Food Policy Council modeled after similar measures in several other Connecticut cities educating citizens about healthy eating and food choices. The council’s Ordinance Committee Chairman Rich Paoletto, who represents the city’s Upper East Side, says the council will not become “food police” legislating food standards on city eateries.

Tempting, ain't it?

Have you seen some of the things council members stuff in their mouths before meetings? Nothing like a Twinkie before roll call, cream-filled glazed donuts, cheese fries with ranch dressing (oh my), maybe a brown paper bag under a desk. Hide the whiskey bottles! Hold the Philistines, please. The council needs a few more Sapphire sippers.

Three city staffers and six volunteer mayoral appointees will comprise the nine-member food council.



  1. Bridgeport Food Policy Council or as it will come to be known the BFPC! And y’all can have your own humorous outing with what the BF modifies that fits PC.

    Anyway, with all of the serious issues that affect Bridgeport and its citizens, I was surprised at how this issue was proposed, discussed and is at the public hearing phase, I guess.

    I have been involved in the past five years with the Citizens Union (that has had some funds available for kitchens and pantries under ESG funds from HUD) that makes recommendations to the City Council for final decisions. I also have helped open a food pantry that has been in regular operation for over four years now. Representing that group I have also participated in monthly meetings of Operation Hunger, a forum conducted by the Council of Churches to assist in ideas, addressing issues, etc. for 50 or more local programs for many years.

    Food policy councils exist in several cities, but the folks in our community did not know about (or reference) the existing efforts of these existing programs. Surprise! Not really. I guess in Bridgeport we can always do research later. I guess what concerns me is whether the Mayor is really up to appointing six more citizen volunteers, and whether the Police Department can do sufficient background checks in a timely manner, etc., etc., etc. Please do not laugh at this. Hunger and nutrition are important issues in Bridgeport. (Fair disclosure: When I ran six marathons more than 15 years ago, I was classified as a Clydesdale, and found myself generally in the middle of the pack. Today the scale indicates my weight has increased.)

    I guess what strikes me is to see certain grandly proportioned members of the City Council reviewing the concept of a Food Policy Council and knowing the City budget over which they exercise final approval every year is packed, stacked, stuffed full and replete with foods and beverages of wide local variety for which the residents of Bridgeport pay the freight through taxes.

    Your taxes fund a great number of traditional City feeds at meetings. “Can’t get the public out to a meeting unless you feed them” seems to be the theme that goes unchallenged. Well perhaps the first thing the food policy group might do is to research the City budget, look at the multitude of purchase orders and the expenses running into six figures annually and comment on the foods purchased and offered to the public. They can provide their comment on same. We can see whether the BRFP is really about sustainable and healthy living in terms of foods and public funds. Time will tell.

    1. JML–This sounds like some more Pork Barrel legislation! Just think of this waist-slimming strategy that we will be able to cut down on our waste by-products.

  2. I do hereby nominate Warren All U Can Eat Buffet, “The Oracle of Omaha Steaks,” to this culinary committee.

    Imagine, with the proposed hydroponic farm we could really roll some phat ones.

  3. Who said the City Council was made up of bums, good-for-nothings, ne’er-do-wells, crawlers, creepers, dawdlers, laggards, putterers, slowpokes, snails, stick-in-the-muds, stragglers, clock-watchers, goldbricks, malingerers, shirkers, slackers, dalliers, lingerers, loiterers, lollers, loungers, saunterers, delayers, procrastinators and quitters? Is Paoletto going to be the poster boy for this new Food Council? Chin up R.P., all of them. Is this all the council has to work on?

  4. With the backlog at Internal Affairs investigating police cadets, let alone potential appointees to the Zoning Board of Appeals, it could be quite some time before mayoral appointees find their way to this board. Perhaps City Council should have resolved to act as a Committee of the Whole Thing to taste out foods for the good of the people. Suggestion: start with Del Prete’s.

  5. *** Education on healthy eating is definitely needed for the young and old but honestly doesn’t the council have more important thing to do concerning their districts and the city in general? *** HELLO? ***

  6. *** Well, the “snacks council” doesn’t have to worry about Twinkies anymore, or Ding Dongs, Devil Dogs, Funny Bones, etc.! So what else will they come up with instead of taking care of the small stuff in the neighborhoods they represent like needed stop signs, handicapped signs, school kids safety, clean streets, brownfields, better lit streets for crime prevention and community patrolling in general? The small things mean so much and together add up to a better neighborhood! Also Bpt Zombies need to wake up and become part of the solution instead of the problem, no? ***

  7. Is the formation of a committee to oversee this really necessary? With all the other issues, is forming a food police squadron really a priority? Based on the girth of some of the council members I’ve seen, it doesn’t seem as if they can monitor their own food indulgences let alone those of anyone else.

  8. This is just more government bullshit. That mayor they have in NY thinks he knows what is best for everyone and our mayor is a fan of Bloomberg.
    There are enough government intrusions in our lives now. I don’t need these dumb asses on the council to tell me what I should be eating or drinking.
    Like Mojo said earlier, don’t these council people have enough to do in their neighborhoods? From my trips around the city I would say they all have enough work for them to do in their neighborhoods.
    Food Police my ass.

    1. If the City Council is really serious about this the first order of business for the Food Police should be to outlaw that goddamned firetruck with the brick oven in the back.

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