Monday, January 11, 2010

NY City Mulling Over Banning Flavor

This article appeared on the NY Times today:

Citing Hazard, New York Says Hold the Salt

First New York City required restaurants to cut out trans fat. Then it made restaurant chains post calorie counts on their menus. Now it wants to protect people from another health scourge: salt.

On Monday, the Bloomberg administration plans to unveil a broad new health initiative aimed at encouraging food manufacturers and restaurant chains across the country to curtail the amount of salt in their products.

Read rest of it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/business/11salt.html?ref=dining

I have to tell you that I wasn’t necessarily the biggest fan of laws that regulate eating in any way, but a trans fat ban did help curb a health risk normally associated with processed, commercial and industrialized food.  However, this new “salt” legislation aims to probably end up as one of the dumbest ideas to come from the NY government. 

First of all, I am not a supporter of any movement that comes within a hair of suppressing basic civil freedoms.  I believe in basic accountability – which roughly translates to “if you decide to get lazy and fat by eating garbage, you should own up to the fact that YOU destroyed your health.” 

On top of all this, I fail to believe that any type of salt restriction can be enforced for restaurant or business owners.  I know it says it may be limited to chains and packaged foods, but imagine if they expanded it.  Such legislation would probably end up destroying half of the Asian menus in the city.  I’d literally carry fleur de sel in my pocket to every restaurant if that were to ever happen.  Would they consider a ban on pizza?  I bet more people die from pizza than salt in NY. 

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