Chefs Call Proposed New York Salt Ban 'Absurd'

And thus, it begins. If you think the health care debacle is anything about getting you affordable health care, think again.

"No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food for consumption by customers of such restaurant, including food prepared to be consumed on the premises of such restaurant or off of such premises," the bill, A. 10129, states in part.

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Nah, it began four years when New York, and other cities, banned the use of trans fats in restaurants.
msnbc.msn.com/id/16051436/

This food nannyism has nothing to do with the health care reform being put forward by the Obama administration.

[quote="Dale_M, post:2, topic:190208"]
Nah, it began four years when New York, and other cities, banned the use of trans fats in restaurants.
msnbc.msn.com/id/16051436/

This food nannyism has nothing to do with the health care reform being put forward by the Obama administration.

[/quote]

Four years ago, yeah... I think you're right on that. But, that is exactly what the health care "reform" will do. The nanny-state gets promoted.

Translation: “Yeah, this story isn’t at all connected to the issue that I was baselessly trying to link it to, but…I’m still right anyway!”

Gotta love logic.

EDIT: I suppose I ought to make this a somewhat more productive comment by asking what in the blue heck you think that some dumb bill proposed by a nutty assemblyman has to do with healthcare reform? And furthermore, what you think healthcare reform – which it looks like we’re not going to get, thanks to Obama – has to do with a “nanny state”? Do the other countries that provide health care to their citizens – nearly every other first-world country on earth – have “nanny states” in your opinion? What constitutes a “nanny state”?

Well, I guess I would say there will likely be people looking at the dollars and cents of the health care bill saying, “why are these people making poor decisions? We should stop them.” Not defending the indulgences… but there is things such as smoking and being overweight that people are already trying to exclude. Why not throw in salt… transfat… all of fat… meat… coffee… who knows. That’s my little apocolipse speech. If you aren’t prepared for the ice age… Doom on you!

[quote="cymonk, post:5, topic:190208"]
Well, I guess I would say there will likely be people looking at the dollars and cents of the health care bill saying, "why are these people making poor decisions? We should stop them." Not defending the indulgences... but there is things such as smoking and being overweight that people are already trying to exclude. Why not throw in salt... transfat... all of fat... meat.... coffee... who knows. That's my little apocolipse speech. If you aren't prepared for the ice age.... Doom on you!

[/quote]

Ok, let's go with this. In the first place, this isn't directly related to healthcare reform, so we can put that to one side.

Paying for health care and various health costs is costing a lot of Americans tons of money, and we know that plenty of people can't afford health care. If we had a healthier population, the argument goes, it could conceivably drive down health costs. [We'll accept this premise for the purposes of this discussion, though I would certainly challenge it; I think that realistically, the only thing that's going to bring down health costs is real and significant health care reform, which, as we've said, is a separate issue]

With this in mind, there have been some proposals to do to unhealthy food what we've done to cigarettes: tax them heavily so that people become disinclined to use them excessively (and to generate extra revenue from those who choose to continue using them excessively).

An outright ban on something basic like salt is obviously stupid, and it certainly won't get past any assembly worth its salt (pun embarassingly intended), but the suggestion that we could tax really salty snack foods and sodas and things of that nature might be a workable plan to lower the consumption of such unhealthy foods.

I fail to see how such taxes would constitute a "nanny state." People will always be perfectly free to eat all the salty snack foods they want; what we're discussing is whether we should take measures to discourage people from making certain choices so as to effect a social change that we want to see.

EDIT: To be clear, I'm saying that all legislation consists in providing incentives to get people to behave in certain ways that we want. Saying that discouraging people from smoking tons of cigarettes equals a "nanny state" makes no more sense than saying that discouraging people from drunk driving equals a "nanny state."

I could see arguments for and against taxing unhealthy foods -- I can't see an alarmist cry of "OMG! It's a tyrannical nanny state because they want me to pay slightly more money to indulge in my disgusting eating habits!" Come on. Get real.

[quote="K-McD, post:1, topic:190208"]
And thus, it begins. If you think the health care debacle is anything about getting you affordable health care, think again.

"No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food for consumption by customers of such restaurant, including food prepared to be consumed on the premises of such restaurant or off of such premises," the bill, A. 10129, states in part.

Link

[/quote]

I really hate to admit it, but I agree with the guy above. This has nothing to do with health care. It does have to do with health issues, but it's more related to public health laws (like those regarding rodents in restaurants), not health care.

In any case, whoever proposed this is an idiot. I enjoy a healthy dose of salt on my popcorn and french fries and I'm not about to stop. Not to mention the amount of sodium in sauces (like soya sauce). If a restaurant wants to stop using salt on their own then that's their right, but for the rest of us who aren't obsessing 24/7 on whether we're adhering exactly to the Canada Food Guide (and whatever the US equivalent is. Dieting has almost become it's own religion) we should be allowed to patronize restaurants that will serve us that.

For the sake of completeness, this proposed bill – which is never going to pass – wouldn’t stop you from getting salty popcorn at the movie theater. And it wouldn’t stop you from choosing to sprinkle salt on your food at a restaurant.

It would just stop restaurants from using salt in the preparation of foods. If you’ve ever eaten at a restaurant and been incredibly thirsty afterwards, you know that some places use heavy amounts of salt in their food preparation. I imagine that it’s these sorts of things that the bill is aimed at.

But again, it’s pretty stupid and is never going to pass.

Wonder if they’ll allow salt shakers on the tables. If they do, a lot of the food will seem so insipid, the customers will probably salt it more than the chef would. If they don’t, I imagine restaurants will start hurting for customers.

My wife uses very little salt in cooking, though she uses some. Because our normal diets are pretty low-salt, and I’m used to that, restaurant food (especially fast food) seems very oversalted to me.

Still, we don’t eat out often at all. So despite my dislike of oversalted foods, I doubt restaurant exposures will do all that much to me. It’s the cooking and salting at home that matters more.

Of course, people need salt to live, so there is a balance to be made, and it is not in salting nothing at all.

I can understand the motive for wanting to eliminate salt, because I myself choose to eliminate it from my diet, and I do not eat cooked foods or dishes from restaurants, because I am a raw-vegan. I follow Dr. Douglas Graham (his book is called The 80-10-10 Diet), and I have learned a lot about the negative effects of any salt consumption (whether it be refined, unrefined, or iodized). I rely vegetables (i.e., celery) and fruits to get my necessary sodium intake.

However, I must look at this issue from both perspectives, and I say, salt is what gives the food the flavor that people seek when they go to restaurants. It is part of the commodity of a flavorful dish. I actually think it is extreme to demand no salt usage of restaurants. From what I know about cooking, isn't salt an important flavorant in many recipes? I do not have enough knowledge to suggest alternatives for salt. More spices perhaps?

from the article"

"The legislation, which Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced on March 5, would fine restaurants $1,000 for each violation."

Wow, that's gonna be an expensive margarita! or will the restaurant be allowed to let you salt your own glass.....NY State is so desperate for revenue that they will ban salt? perhaps the sugar ban wasn't enough. Pepper next?

Eating is unhelathy in large amounts, so with the NY Assemblyman's logic: ban eating altogether!

And these politicians wonder why the average voter has such disdain for them?

Will Assemblyman Ortiz be sure to eliminate all salt from his own diet before removing the salt in other's?

Wow. The patron cannot salt a salt-free cookie after the waiter brings it out to them. Neither can you do a good job of adding salt to a salt-free pasta and sauce. And bread without salt? Almost all bread is baked with salt in it. What, are they hoping we’ll all order French-fries, which can be salted after cooking? I’d never eat out again.

Are we sure this isn’t a secret attempt to promote a manufacturer of some type of fake “natural” salt product that would meet the laws requirements?

Kind of reminds me of the 1992 Presidential townhall debate where the “Ponytail Guy” asked the candidates to treat us as your children. We now have ultra-liberal politicians who feel they need to dictate what people eat…

Liberals at work…

I see salty-food speakeasies in New York's future.

Wow. We'll have salt smugglers in prison next to the cocaine peddlers and heroin traffickers, and others purveyors of forbidden substances.

"The prosecution will conclusively prove, Your Honor, that on or about 17 June, 2011, the accused did deliberately, negligently, and with malice aforethought place two tablespoons of salt into a vat of chicken noodle soup at Alphonso's Bistro on West 63rd Street......"

Would people like me with low blood pressure (near hypotension) be allowed to carry a card saying “salt my food upon request when cooking due to my low blood pressure that needs salt to get it to a normal level”:D? I HATE adding salt to my food (actually, tortilla chips at the Mexican restaurant are the only things I sometimes add table salt to. But there are times where I can tell my blood pressure is too low and have to grab something salty to eat. Since I don’t drink pop, restaurant prepared food or chips are my only source (I usually only cook with salt free seasoning). How silly for this proposal to even gain any interest.

I have high blood pressure & heart concerns - contrary to some opinions you can add salt but you cant take it out . Simply labeling the salt content would allow people like me to make an informed choice - a bit like diabetics knowing the GI of their foods . One direct effect of salt is to raise blood pressure & cause a stroke which is debilitating at best - life ending at worst . Feel free to have as much salt as you wish - offer me similar freedom to avoid salt . One major reason for adding excessive salt is that some people simply cant cook !
[SIGN]Pax et Bonum[/SIGN]

[quote="Southerncross, post:16, topic:190208"]
I have high blood pressure & heart concerns - contrary to some opinions you can add salt but you cant take it out . Simply labeling the salt content would allow people like me to make an informed choice - a bit like diabetics knowing the GI of their foods . One direct effect of salt is to raise blood pressure & cause a stroke which is debilitating at best - life ending at worst . Feel free to have as much salt as you wish - offer me similar freedom to avoid salt . One major reason for adding excessive salt is that some people simply cant cook !
[sign]Pax et Bonum[/sign]

[/quote]

I think a restaurant could label a few of its foods as low-sodium. Already some of them seem to label certain foods as low fat.

This is absurd. Salting food is a necessary part of the cooking process and ensures that the food is well-seasoned (and delicious!). Salt is a necessary part of the diet. Like anything, it should be eaten in moderation.

That all said, we don't need the government to tell us what we can or can't eat. Doesn't freedom of choice and the right to privacy extend to food decisions? C'mon.

And yet you’ll note that this particular bill isn’t something that lots of liberal politicians are rallying behind. It’s also something that I – someone who has very liberal politics – has correctly described as “dumb” and “nutty.”

Rather than using one dumb assemblyman’s insanity as an excuse to paint an entire political outlook with a broad brush, perhaps you’ll find it more useful to put news stories in their proper perspective. There’s almost no chance that a piece of legislation this stupid is ever going to pass any assembly, and no halfway sane liberal supports it.

And, I guess while we’re on the subject, it’s worth pointing out that the proposed bill doesn’t tell people what they can and can’t eat – if this stupid bill somehow passed, you’d still be perfectly free to buy the saltiest foods from the grocery store or get the saltiest popcorn at the movie theater. It would only limit what chefs can do to the dishes that they prepare in restaurants, no place else.

It’s dumb – but at least object to it for the right reasons, rather than reasons you’ve made up in your imagination.

This is just another example of government intervening against our wishes because it 'knows better.'

People should look at this and consider what exactly they think is going to happen once their own healthy or not so healthy decisions become a govenment concern.

How many other such laws can we expect to see if a case could be made that unhealthy decisions cost the state money?

Perhaps everyone in this country should send a shaker of salt to this idiot.

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