Fat, Salt and Helmet Laws....
5/14/2010 11:25:16 AM
Throw out your salt shaker, the Feds are in town.
We just learned the FDA wants to legislate how much salt a food manufacturer can include in their product. At first thought I said YA HUH.. But as I contemplated further I wondered.. so what happens when they legislate the sugar in my coffee, my evening glass of wine or that pat of butter I put on my toast?
I think the problem is that the government would rather apply a Bandaid to a problem than elicit a cure. They seem to prefer to pass another law than to spend money on boosting nutritional education. If these processed foods were a smaller part of our diet (by making educated choices) then the excess sodium would not even be an issue. The role of the FDA in the past has always been to see that the consumer is provided the necessary information (food labeling laws) to make intelligent, safe, buying decisions. That's a service most of us can appreciate. The proposed sodium restriction law puts the FDA in a position to start making life choices for you. As The Feds Begin Footing The Bill - You'll Eat What They Say To Eat
Frankly I see this just as the beginning. Remember the helmet law argument? The government says that the tax payers end up paying for people who get hurt and can't afford the long term care of brain damaged people. Based on that, we legislate your safety.
Now that the government has gone into the health care business they will continually have a bigger and bigger stake in how we manage our health. I suspect this salt legislation is the first of a long list of culinary choices the feds will make "for your own good". The assumption is that you and I are too stupid or misinformed to make proper nutritional decisions for ourselves. Let us not forget the quote from San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom regarding taxation of sweetened soft drinks ""It makes sense for the government to help people to make the right choices". And by "help" he means to "force" your choices.
Remember when your parents said "as long as you are living in our house you live by our rules"? That's what the government is doing now. As long as they are footing the bill for your health care then you will eat what they they say to eat, like it or not.
I know some of you are probably saying.. well.. salt really is bad for us.. We'll that's not exactly true either. Only people with hypertension really need to restrict sodium intake. This issue is really not about salt, healthy or not healthy. It's about the government trying to make our choices for us, make us dependent, and easier to control and manipulate. Remember, today it's salt. What's next? Maybe they should regulate use of dairy products, fat is certainly a villain. Heaven only knows alcoholism is a serious problem in the U.S. surely they should restrict the sale of your bottle of beer or wine. And just about everyone knows the evils of sugar. Maybe they should shut down the candy industry in the U.S. or outlaw desserts.
I for one believe that most of us would benefit from better nutrition. I think avoiding processed and packaged foods will improve your nutrition. I think we shouldn't drink so many soft drinks. I can certainly understand that we need to keep a check on excess fat intake, avoid abuse of alcoholic beverages. And who could argue that eating more fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and whole grains is the ticket to good health. Finally I believe that we can accomplish this, over time, by being role models for our children and teaching healthy eating habits. I believe we don't need our government to stock our refrigerators for us. America, Land Of The Free, well, it used to be.