Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pushing the Envelope

...or, "Praise the Lord and Pass the Salt Shakers..."

Steve Barnes, a senior writer at has a brilliant blog piece on New York City assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D. Brooklyn.) Apparently "Mashed Potatoes-for-brains" Ortiz wants to ban adding salt in any way shape or form to foods made in New York City eateries, including but not limited to restaurants, delicatessens, and bakeries.

As I do not cook, I can't say very much authoritatively on the culinary implications of banning salt during cooking. Speaking from personal experience, however, my own grandmother did just the opposite of what Ortiz is proposing (she never had salt at the table, but added it in small amounts only during cooking).

I'm sure that in New York City, as well as the rest of the country, a large percentage of salt intake occurs from commercially processed foods such as processed lunch meats, pickles, salty (and some not so salty) snack foods, and so-forth. Does Mr. Ortiz plan on making all commercially processed foods contraband in his city?

It's also worth noting that salt is an essential part of the biochemistry of virtually every multicellular organ.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we are in for if Obama's health care mandate passes. One could argue that virtually any human behavior can be regulated as a health matter. Isn't poison just a matter of degrees?

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