Question of the week – Are food trucks encouraging bad eating habits?

Food trucks are all the rage. Far trendier than tacky Chico roll vendors and hotdog vans, they roll up to kerbsides, parks and other patches of grass, sling open a side window and serve hungry punters tacos, tortillas, burgers, buns, and other trendy tidbits that can be eaten on the run. They’re covered in bright murals and motifs, vertical gardens and other eye-catching, customer-attracting designs. But are food trucks encouraging — perhaps even entrenching — bad eating habits? Are they to be embraced, or given a wide berth?

Spit it out, have your say and hear what other food adventurers think about the food truck craze.

 

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26 Comments

Filed under Question of the week

26 responses to “Question of the week – Are food trucks encouraging bad eating habits?

  1. bizzylizzycooks

    I am not sure I’ve actually seen a food truck to comment…. but you have raised an interesting point, Rachel. I think it depends on what they’re serving… for instance, are the burgers made on fresh bread without lashings of sugar and fat (per the fast food outlets). And is there plenty of salad on the burger.

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  2. Eha

    Living semi-rurally I also am acquainted with food trucks thru’ the various media only. All the rage around the world, it seems! Methinks it is all a matter of balance. On a lovely evening when one wants a walk, I guess there is nothing wrong in following some vehicle carrying what you fancy just at that moment! Perhaps follow another to get something different and fun. However, to me preparing, eating and sharing food is one of life’s greatest pleasures: sitting down at a nicely laid table, glass of wine in hand, music in the background and interesting conversation/debate going on. Somehow I cannot see that happening whilst afoot. And, as far as health goes, the food prepared on the truck is cooked to taste: you have no knowledge how much salt, sugar or fat you have consumed. So, fun perhaps yes, but just occasionally 😀 !

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  3. Good points. I must admit i enjoy the conviviality of sharing a meal around a table with friends, but have been stoked to find Eat Art Truck parked outside of work, a day a week for the past two weeks!

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  4. Eha

    Hmmm [:D !] I would call that ‘occasionally ! Methinks it would depend how tired you are at the end of the day, whether you have interesting ingredients in the fridge at home, whether you are an ardent cook at all etc et al! And I daresay how good the offerings are and are they value for money 🙂 ! Think I have heard of that particular one!! Enjoy!!!

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  5. Haven’t seen an actual food truck yet either. They sound like a good idea, but where were they in the ’80s and ’90s when I’d go out to see bands and then crave something scrumptious to eat afterwards – besides the yukky stuff sold by the hotdog men standing outside live music venues.

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  6. food trucks have only been seen in hobart on the TV 🙂 they sound, supposedly, a bit more gourmet than the chiko roll and pie van you see at fairs or festivals. if they were good quality, as others have said, why not, but i think i’d rather go to a nice caff or restaurant than order from a truck.

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  7. It depends on the truck and what they’re offering I guess. I did watch The Great Food Truck Race Season 1 and some of the burgers sold by the winner Grill em All looked really quite over the top. But others were selling Banh Mi which looked much better for you. I don’t know if we can say they’re all encouraging bad habits.

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  8. Marisa

    Food trucks are very popular here in NJ; Rutgers students especially love the ‘grease trucks’ parked in a lot on campus. It comes down to moderation (as does so much in life). That means healthy eating most of the time, and splurging at other times. I blogged about this topic recently with a holiday eating slant: http://mcproco.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/treats-2/
    Balance is all.

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    • Good point, Marisa. All in moderation. We’ve had a food truck pull up outside of work one day a week for the past few weeks. I hope they’re planning to make it a regular pit-stop. It’d like it to become my end of the week treat!

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  9. Catriona

    I seek the bright red organic food truck.. I would say it is improving my eating habits. Disenchanted with much of the affordable food available in sydney the city at night.. I will snack on crap waiting to get home to eat some good food. Get home late and have to cook. Whereas I can go to events, or work late or have a quick drink with friend, walk down to say sydney park , ( check where via Agapes twitter. ) and grab some healthy nourishing st food with far better quality ingredients, freshly cooked and know what I am eating. More relaxing than trying to meet up in a restaurant or worse cafes closed or ugh eat alone in a resturant in sydney..(awkward) ..And if I twitter i may spontaneously meet up wiv friends at the truck and for , some good food . It tastes so delicious, I don’t Gobble but may sit take the time to look across one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. Before jumping on my bus home. I get to eat good organic sustainable wholesome food. I love to share food eat around a table, especially in my home but it is not always possible . I think having good quality food trucks which one can follow an app to find is fabulous..in my case organic is an important consideration. Eating alone in the city at night wasn’t fun until city of sydney food trucks arrived.. great for sponeity and no fuss eating . Leaving time and money to really appreciate a proper sit down meals with friends and family..

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    • I love your comment about eating your food truck fare while overlooking one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. I work down on the water in Pyrmont and the Eat Art Truck has taken to pulling up there weekly. I work an afternoon shift and last week took myself into work earlier so i could grab a bite from the truck and sit water-side to eat and enjoy it. It certainly beats the usual sandwich at the desk – a healthier alternative to desk-side eating! Thanks for dropping by and for your comments. Do call again!

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  10. As I understand City of Sydney’s food truck licences, they cannot park within 200m of a trading food business – here at least they’re designed to provide food to areas without a lot of other options. They’re gaudy and make use of marketing tactics, but so do all serious business. I don’t think they necessarily encourage bad eating habits – think of all those calories burned walking there, waiting in queue and then standing up to eat! 🙂

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  11. I haven’t visited any Sydney food trucks lately, but I have seen a healthy vego one which seemed pretty decent. I think that would be the one I would probably be making a bee line for first..

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  12. I never seem to be in the same place as the food trucks! Wait, I did have a taco from Cantina Mobil once and I was very impressed. I think the trucks introduce fun and great food to Sydney. I think they encourage us to stop and linger a little longer out in the fresh air. I also think that you are better off supporting the trucks then lining up in a dodgy food court in the bowels of a shopping centre. Certainly food for thought…on wheels!

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  13. They are becoming very popular here in Adelaide, with more popping up every week and occasionally they conglomerate in one spot in an event called Fork in the Road. I think the fact that they move from site to site (as they do here) means that it is more difficult to make them a daily habit & I agree with Helen – all that walking and standing must burn off a few calories.

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  14. Food trucks are all the rage here in southern California, and I’ve been able to enjoy a few. What I love about them is that they provide a wide variety of foods, many of them fusion foods, that I would not come across in a restaurant. And hands down, the food trucks here use local usually organic ingredients including grass fed meats, and many vegetarian items are offered. The ones I’ve gone to are usually parked at events, such as a beer event or a sports event. So I deem them perfect for what they are and, sadly, probably a passing fad.

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