The food police are out in full force in New York City.
Yesterday the New York City Board of Health voted unanimously to proceed with plans to limit the use of artificial trans fats that many doctors and nutrition experts say increases the risk of heart disease.
While this action which is not yet final may lead to better health of New Yorkers, it imposes a cost on both the restaurants and the city. The 20,000 restaurants would be required to reduce trans fats to no more than a half-gram of trans fats per serving of any menu item. For example a typical five ounce serving of french fries contains 8 grams of trans fat so this would be a dramatic reduction with no guarantee that the taste wouldn’t be radically altered. The policing of the new regulations would be handled by restaurant inspectors. I’m sure they are delighted that they now have to scour the kitchen for products that contain trans fat in addition to everything else they are supposed to look for.
I am in favor of eating healthier and am trying to do so myself to some degree, but I strenuously object to any government agency forcing me to eat food that they deem as good for me.
The board acted because they were unsuccessful in convincing restaurants to voluntarily eliminate trans fats from their food. So the spurned bureaucrats decided if they won’t go along voluntarily we will force them to toe the line by passing another regulation.
Late in his life my father was diagnosed with high cholesterol. He followed his doctor’s instructions and modified his diet, even eating skinless chicken. That didn’t last long once he realized he was sacrificing taste and he quickly modified his diet again. He said that eating healthier probably wasn’t going to add enough to his lifespan to make it worthwhile to eat bland food. He died at 82.
New Yorkers have until October 30th to comment on the plan and if they don’t want to see yet another freedom go down the drain they had better act fast.