A Ban on Flavor in New York

by Sal on March 11, 2010

in Politics

Ok, this whole nanny-state thing is getting freaking absurd and downright annoying.  Earlier this year, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a city-wide campaign against salt, which consisted of wasting money on ad campaigns telling people that salt was unhealthy.  Stupid, yes.  An annoying use of taxpayer dollars, yes.  Now, New York State assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) has introduced a bill that would literally ban restaurants from using salt in their cooking.  The text of A. 10129 says in part:

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.

Now, I’m no cook, but as my co-bloggers will attest, MrsSal is a fabulous cook.  When she heard about this last night she practically went ballistic.  You see, as any good cook knows, salt is an essential part of cooking and of flavor.  For example, MrsSal and I frequently watch the Food Networ’s Dinner Impossible, in which Chef Robert Irvine is given seemingly impossible tasks such as create a 7-course savory meal for 500 people that uses chocolate in every course.  In one show, he was at a casino and had to gamble for his stable ingredients, oil, sugar, and salt.  He won oil, but he lost on salt and sugar.  It required quite a bit of ingenuity for him to actually be able to cook because of that.  He needed to use foods and ingredients that already had salt in them (such as soy sauce) to make things work.

Simply put, if salt is banned in New York’s restaurants, that means that flavor is banned from New York restaurants.  It is the height of government overreach to claim to know what’s best for our health (even though the latest research seems to contradict the idea that salt is bad) at the expense of one of the simple pleasures of life, enjoying good food.  New York has always been known for some of the world’s best restaurants, but if this bill passes, that reputation will be a thing of the past.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan March 11, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I can hear Mark Levin shouting about “soft tyranny” at his microphone over this one! And he’d be absolutely right. Out here in Central Jersey, I get NYC commercials and the assault (no pun intended) on sugar is in full swing. Now salt? What’s next, water? Water has actually killed people (believe it or not) much faster and more effectively than salt ever has!

What about one’s ability to make choices in a free society? If salt is arguably bad, shouldn’t the consumer make the choice for themselves as to whether or not to consume it? Maybe salt-free restaurants will pop-up and people can choose, maybe one can decide not to go out to eat in NYC. To me this is merely big government gone nuts, trying to fill budget holes but torturing the people they are supposed to represent.

In November, we all need to drain the swamp.


Rick March 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm

It seems that NYC is quickly becoming the next San Francisco with its nut based ideas. Why not just recommend a product that tastes like salt, but is not salt? Gosh, this product is already on the market at your favorite market.

For the sanity issue, I highly recommend sending Ortiz to the trash heap.


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