Are Food Trucks Killing All the Polar Bears?

03/01/2013 9:44 AM |

food trucks
  • “These food trucks are killing me.”

Over on the Atlantic Cities blog they recently asked one of the tougher questions out there (well, tough for those of us who like a banh mi on the run): ‘Are Food Trucks Worse for the Environment Than Storefronts?’

It’s tough to consider any takedown of the food delivery system so many New Yorkers, from Midtown office grunts to Brooklyn flea-market goers, hold dear. Our own Dear Leader Health Commissioner Thomas Farley declared New York ‘the capital of mobile food vending’ (SEXY, no?). But there are some very real, under-considered issues in play, and they don’t all favor the meals-on-wheels model.

Grounds for comparison are hard to find: operating hours, approaches to service (menu variety) and traffic patterns (of customers, and the trucks themselves) vary widely within both camps, and between them, as do levels and kinds of power consumption. Brick-and-mortar restaurants use more power, but tend to be open longer, serve more people, and don’t have to dole out all their product in disposable packaging, with disposable utensils.