Thursday, March 11, 2010

Salty!

I have heard a lot over the past year or so regarding New York's possible bill passing to reduce salt in restaurants, etc. I know that a lot of people eat too much salt - but that is their choice. I rarely eat out at restaurants and don't buy a lot of ready-made foods to cook at home because for 1, it gets very expensive, and 2, I know that a lot of additives tend to go in and I have high BP so I avoid excess salt as much as possible. I can't even find the salt shaker in my own house half the time because I so rarely use it and then my kids and partner don't either (gee I'm setting an example! at home! fancy that!).

My thoughts are that since so many other people don't seem to do that, the govt wants to force salt reduction at the source instead. A lot of people support the idea, shouting about how much salt is put in their food .... well are they not then saying 'we are too stupid to figure this out ourselves, so we need the govt to do it for us'??? Do all these people HAVE to eat at restaurants? Perhaps fewer people going out to eat and listing 'salt' as their main reason would cause the restaurants to rethink things on their own. Isn't that how things are supposed to work? Instead of calling on the govt to mandate more and more regulations that cost the tax payers more money to implement and control?

For example, we had a local buffet-style restaurant here that decided ON THEIR OWN to stop using MSG years before it became a household name. I knew people that worked there and the owners decided to stop spraying the food with MSG because they had a few former customers who said they could not eat there anymore because they had either developed an allergy to it, or they had learned from their doctor that MSG was turning out to be 'not good'. The owner looked into it more himself and decided on his own to stop that practise. He said that because it was mainly used to preserve the food while it sat out in the buffet, he would start putting out smaller amounts of food, and check on it all more often. He put up little signs that they printed out themselves saying 'NO MSG ADDED!'. All by himself. Years later it was commonplace to see NO MSG signs in various restaurants and on food packaging - but his restaurant did that on it's own based on customer needs/wishes. They did not want to lose their customers so they adjusted with the times.

Why can't that happen now? If people are truly that unhappy about their salt intake, why are they still heading off to restaurants willy nilly? They know it's in there, so why don't they stop going? Surely a restaurant losing customers to salt levels would rethink things themselves? Shouldn't it be more self-regulating? I dunno, maybe I am blind or something but I don't see why there has to be SO many regulations. We rely entirely too much on food that other people have prepared and/or cooked instead of doing it ourselves. I love going out to eat once in awhile, it's a treat! But then I adjust throughout the day to make up for it, adjust my intake the next day, and don't add even more salt to my food while it sits on the table. Packages in the shops have listed sodium for as long as I can remember, it only takes 1 second to look at it. People should be able to do this on their own. There are perhaps other regulations we cannot control things such as how hot the restaurant cooks our food or how long it sits out before it goes to waste, etc - maybe those kinds of regulations are okay. But forcing restaurants to completely stop adding salt?

According to MyFox New York, one part of the bill states: " No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food..."

5 comments:

  1. People are not all the same what is a problem for some is not for many others, shall we make laws to conform to the weakest links and deprive those with better gene make-up the right to enjoy their food?
    Stupid nanny-ism.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Using salt is a choice for cardiac patients, however, It's always good to know enough about a food product to make that choice.
    Restaurants are notorious for using far to much salt and many servers don't know what is in the food they place on the table.
    My experience is that one should stay out of restaurants for some time after any cardiac procedure or surgery...food outlets can't be trusted and since its a question of life or death, well-don't!
    melwilde

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's where it comes down to Mel - people's choice. If they continue to go to restaurants despite all the press and warnings about how much salt might be in there, why should the govt spend more tax payer dollars to 'fix it' and push these bills through, create a new little unit of people to go around and check the restaurants are following the regulations, and so on. I wonder how much this particular bill has cost tax payers, I could not find the info.

    People make their own choices. If I was a cardiac patient and chose to go eat out instead of making my food myself so I could control the additives, I should get a kick in the butt from myself, my doctor, my family, my friends... not expect the govt to march in and demand changes from the restaurants. I am well aware of high salt amounts, I worked in some restaurants and spent 2.5 years at a KFC when I was a teen. Lots of people have, or have at least heard of the salt levels, so why do they keep going if they think it's so bad for them??? I don't get it.


    This should be able to regulate itself by more people choosing to avoid restaurants if they are so worried about salt, and the businesses won't want to lose money so you'd think they would start changing things around. If not, they will go bust. All done without the govt stepping in to tell someone what they can and cannot do.

    If that passage is indeed correct, it says they are not allowed to add any salt at all?? Many recipes call for salt - from baking to casseroles, etc. Sometimes it is needed for the chemical reactions that occur in cooking/ baking... I don't understand if that bill is trying to say they cannot add any at all or what! It sounds a bit ridiculous to me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm with you Kez,

    I make almost everything from scratch, it is cheaper and it gives me control over what goes in the tummies of my brood. I do occasionaly take them out to eat, but I know what that means to both the budget and the nutritional content of said meal out. It is about choices, being educated and doing what you think is best. The problem as I see it some folks don't want to have to think or worry about these things, they want to be able to sit down to a meal and just mindlessly believe that it must be OK because the government allows it to exist.

    This is very irritating to me as this salt issue is not the only thing being bandied about for banning. The heart and stroke foundation has strayed from it's original mandate of being an educational and research foundation into a political lobby group attempting to get trans fats banned in Canada. this is ludicrous, butter banned? I have now stroked them of my donor list.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was listening to the radio (Sirius Patriot) and a man from NY phoned in to say that when the city tried to ban transfats, his brother, who owned a restaurant, got around it by registering with the State instead. That was my understanding - that he could change which health authority or whatever it's called that he was listed with. The state did not have a transfat ban. So really if you go out to restaurants in a city that you think has banned transfats, you might very well be eating them. He said if the state banned it, he would then register his restaurant with the federal authority (until they might ban it, then he would be out of luck and have to comply).

    Another thing I have been watching is the talk in the US of trying to make some 'shoppers cards' that would keep track of people's purchases in order to try to track down foods better if someone gets, for example, ecoli. CNN's Wolfe Blitzer had a segment about it the other day and said that 5000 deaths occur each year in the US that are attributed to food borne illnesses. The idea for the FDA was to be able to track everything with these 'shoppers cards' so they can zero in on the tainted food faster.

    Sorry but that scares the poo out of me! Baloney it's only for food borne illness tracking. I don't want to belittle the people and families who have been affected by this, it would be a terrible thing to go through! BUT, 5000 people die each year, not 500 000. Cancers and heart disease kill over a million people in the US every year - why not do 'tracker cards' for what they are up to eh? See if maybe environment or food has something to do with it, track genetics better, etc.... but no, they want to do it for the 5000 deaths per year from ecoli, salmonella, etc. Blitzer went on to say that the most severely affected are elderly and people that already have other underlying illnesses. So the FDA might try to instate a federal shoppers card that people are supposed to use wherever they go so they can track what they are buying?? Sorry but I think that is out to lunch. I wouldn't want someone knowing every time I bought condoms or personal lubricant (lol have not bought before, but you never know ;0)), or tampax, etc. Who's to say they won't have a giant log of those items too? How will all the stores be able to comply with that? There are still little corner shops that do not have scanning machines, so what about the food sold there? Etc etc etc. It just seems really out there to me, but it has been on the news a few times lately.

    And I agree, people just want the govt to take over for them so they don't have to think or plan ahead. But they might get a rude awakening if they go to their fave Fri Night Spot and find half their Fave Foods gone off the menu because of salt content. I've actually had people complain at KFC when I worked there that we did not salt the fries ENOUGH - so I would hand them some extra packets lol. They wanted it, I gave it to them, without a lecture on salt and their blood and heart, etc.

    ReplyDelete

*Disclaimer

These are my views and opinions. If you don't agree or think I am sadly misguided, that is your view. Feel free to share your thoughts but I also reserve my right to moderate content (IE foul language, excessive flaming, etc).

Financial Center Live Stock Ticker