I apologize for the delay; my DSL service was down all of yesterday and most of today.
Recently, New York City decided to ban trans-fat in all its restaraunts. The idea is to fight obesity; the growing American “epidemic.” I’d hardly call obesity an epidemic when the measurements of it are flawed: using a Body Mass Index to measure children and adults who are obese completely ignores the intricacies of the body and personal health. Not everyone is the same, a certain body mass index will not neccessarily measure obesity correctly.
So this slightly called for, yet ridiculous, ordinance has put a squeeze on some chefs who need certain greases and oils to make their food taste…good. God forbid.
As a New Jersian who commutes to the city relatively often for meals, this upsets me. I am essentially being punished. As a fit, healthy human being (to go by their not-so-accurate scale, I have a BMI of 19.5, which is good), I want to indulge sometimes. And if that means eating some trans-fat, then by god give me the trans-fat. It is insulting to me to think that I, a perfectly healthy man, cannot control my own diet. Get the hell out of my dietary decisions.
This is intrusive politics at its best. The government has no place making decisions about what types of food I eat. If someone wants to eat themselves to death, go for it. It would be one thing if there was a law forcing restaraunts to warn customers about trans-fat in a certain dish. I would be all for that (and with that, the market would end up taking care of itself in a much more efficient way. People don’t like to see the word “fat” anywhere, let alone on their menu. The healthier restaraunts would not scare away any such customers).
The reason I am bringing this up is because recently McDonalds announced that it is attempting to make its fries healthier while keeping the taste. Let’s be realistic: No way in hell is the taste going to be the same. It is a bit like the latest restrictions that pseudo ephedrine be sold at the counter (Pseudo ephedrine is a major ingredient in both Crystal Meth and cold and sinus medicines, such as Sudafed). Most cold and sinus medications now have an inferior drug (known as P-E) in them that do not work as well. Why? Just so that they could be sold on the shelves. Everyone is punished because a few people abuse it. Quite frankly, it is insulting.
So we can fool ourselves and say, “It’s just a corporation, who cares?”
Or we can realize that the reason those “Mom and Pop” stores are sometimes successful is because of their recipe. With this ban you are driving out famed corporate formulas and secret homemade recipes.