The Portland Tribune reports that the city of Portland, Oregon plans to declare an “official city doughnut” this week. Mayor Tom Potter will introduce his official doughnut resolution, declaring Voodoo Doughnuts’ Portland Creme, a raised doughnut filled with cream and covered in chocolate with “two eyes”, during the City Council’s Christmas Eve day meeting.
Potter’s resolution, will express Portlanders’ deepest gratitude to Voodoo Doughnut management for its dedication in the face of these stringent economic times in providing employment opportunities . . . and above all, creating and naming a doughnut after our beloved city that leaves a lasting taste and fond memories on its customers near and far away.”
Now, this is a great sentiment, at least on the surface. Voodoo Doughnuts is a Portland institution and rightfully deserves every single accolade that has been bestowed upon them.
If one goes beyond the surface, this magnanimous gestures seems to conjure up be a few dilemmas.
My problems are not with honoring a local business for providing a consistent product that people have wanted for years or providing a number of local employment opportunities. Those ideals are worthy of recognition.
No, my problems are two fold.
- First, Portland, like many other moderately sized cities, has a huge laundry list of social problems to contend with: homelessness, failing local economy, hunger relief, crumbling infrastructure, etc… You get the idea. My question is, should our public officials be wasting time, money and public resources on doughnut resolutions?
- Second, in this time of chronic obesity and governmental food choice regulation, should a local government be honoring a food product that has sets a bad nutritional precedent?
I’m sure some will say “chill out”, “lighten up” and “It’s just a doughnut”. I prefer to say that it’s time for a city that has a reputation for leading the farm-to-table movement and for having progress social ideals to live up to its promise.
image credit: donkeyrock under a sxu license