Perhaps the fact that throughout my life I’ve been accused of being too skinny has made me insensitive to some weight issues in the public domain. Perhaps as a smoker I am sensitive to the government restricting grown adults ability to make their own decisions. And perhaps I dislike the government involved in the actions of citizens on an individual and personal basis. All these things are pertinent in regard to how I feel about the news that Chicago and New York are considering bans on the use of trans fats in cooking.
Let me be clear on what this means. Every McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken would need to make changes in how they cook foods; pie crusts, margarine, doughnuts and many other foods or items used to cook foods would be banned. Does the scope of this start to catch what is involved? Virtually every one of the 24,000 food service businesses in New York City would be affected to some degree.
Now many would say, so what. Others may thing, well that’s a good thing because this is bad for you. The local governments say that this will help to reduce the thousands who die prematurely each year. And I say it’s a tomato. What I mean is that up til the 1800’s the tomato was thought to be a deadly and poisonous fruit. I recall (could not find the exact article, sorry) reading how it too a doctor sitting on the city hall steps eating a basket of tomatoes to change public opinion. [As I remember the story, the fear at the time was that if you ate tomatoes you could go insane or die] More recently eggs have been considered harmful to the diet, and then later ok in moderation. On a more broad scale a couple from California (I could have the wrong state) sued McDonalds because their child was overweight.
The fact is that in each case the science or current belief was completely wrong at one point. It’s not the foods that are dangerous but the misguided thoughts of people. Anything is deadly if misused.
A stick of margarine doesn’t kill you but a couple of vats of it might. McDonalds may not be the best food to eat, but it’s the lack of exercise and eating portions for 5 people every meal that will make you overweight. [I do realize that some people are over weight due to gland disorders, diabetes and other diseases. I’m not speaking to that issue.] Banning this item or another, that is not deadly, will not save lives. That is whatever number those who want to enforce such a ban come up with – fact is that determining the number often quoted is a guess made by presuming lifestyle factors are a cause of ailments leading to death. That’s why the numbers are often quoted as ‘tens of thousands’ because the truth is that they have no clue but it seems that such an answer is probable. It doesn’t hurt that it makes it sound important too.
So my point is why the government should stick its nose into something that really is a matter of personal responsibility. The difference, that they might claim in these deaths, compared to the 50’s is more a matter of social behavior. The importance is that the more government steps in and makes decisions on arbitrary matters that are personal responsibility, the fewer personal responsibilities will be left.
Think it’s silly? So far the government, on different levels, is banning smoking (yet still allows them to be sold), certain forms of marriage, and in some parts of the country the type of sex you have [North Carolina, Massachusetts and others].
Plus it just annoys me.
This is what I think, what do you think?