Without a single liquor store, and legally smoke-free for nearly three decades, the tiny hillside town of Loma Linda brims with pride about its devotion to health and spiritual well-being. That healthful lifestyle is a core tenet of the Seventh-day Adventist faith, which is woven through the San Bernardino County town of 21,000, from the Adventist-run Loma Linda University Medical Center to a City Council governed exclusively by church members. There's even a Loma Linda line of vegetarian food, produced by the same company that makes Morningstar Farms vegan burgers.
So news that the first McDonald's was coming to town has launched a battle. "McDonald's does not fit the Loma Linda brand of health and wellness," said Wayne Dysinger, head of preventive medicine at the medical school. A group is considering a ballot measure to require the city to ensure that the number of eating establishments that offer healthful food will always outnumber fast-food restaurants.