Policing the Food Industry: Will it Really Work?
It seems as if governmental intervention into what we can and cannot eat is becoming a rather popular trend. With the suggestion of putting a “fat tax” on sodas to help fight obesity, and a ban on salt being used in restaurants across New York, it is quite apparent that many of our daily indulgences are slowly becoming crimes. Is this really the right way to promote a healthy lifestyle?
Outlawing and taxing unhealthy products might slow their consumption, but it does not actually help to educate the people on how to eat the right way. If the country were to ban chocolate, then the people who truly want to eat unhealthy foods would just find a substitute such as ice cream. Banning products doesn’t change how the consumer thinks, it just makes many of them spend their dollar on something similarly unhealthy.
This faulty system does not address the real problem at hand: the public’s lack of knowledge when it comes to what they are putting in their mouths. It could be looked at as apathy, but it seems like many people simply do not know the consequences of eating a diet full of trans fats, sugars, and artificial sweeteners. Perhaps if they were shown the studies that link these ingredients to deadly diseases, then they would be a little more cautious when it comes time to visit the supermarket.
Trans fat is a deadly fat that accumulates around the organs in a plastic-like manner. When New York banned it from restaurants (except in tiny amounts) in early December 2006, some hailed it as a major victory in the field of health. Of course trans fat should not be consumed, as it has been linked to a number of diseases, but since when does the governmental have the authority to dictate what we eat for dinner?
Restricting trans fat is not the only example of such intrusive legislation.The bill restricting the usage of salt in restaurant cooking, as introduced on March 5 by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz , D-Brooklyn, is another perfect example of legislation that seeks to restrict what we eat.
No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food for consumption by customers of such restaurant, including food prepared to be consumed on the premises of such restaurant or off of such premises, the bill, A. 10129 , instructs the bill.
The legislation, if passed, would fine restaurants $1,000 for their usage of salt. While this could be considered ludicrous on many different levels for many different reasons, one has to ask “why salt?”
Why not try and ban something else, like GM (Genetically Modified) food, which has been proven to pose a hazard to health. Not only do studies show the negative properties of GM foods, but consumers around the world are voicing their opposition in a rather solid way. GMO-free foods were the fastest growing retail brand in 2009. Sure, sodium in large quantities is bad for your health, but not nearly as bad as GM foods.
It seems that good intentions are leading to some bad legislation across the country. Policing the food supply will only do so much to improve the health of the nation. Educating the public and getting them energized about changing their unhealthy lifestyle is truly the most effective way to change the course of the nation’s deteriorating health.
What do you think?
Let us know how you feel about the subject in the comments. Is banning harmful foods a good idea? Will it lead to a real change in the nation’s health? Feel free to debate and leave a comment.
Anthony is a natural health and human empowerment writer, speaker, and entrepreneur whose writings have appeared in #1 USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling books and top 100 websites. After overcoming Lyme Disease and nerve-related facial paralysis, Anthony's work now reaches several million readers per month through his highly prolific group of social media pages and websites. Focused on self-development techniques and living a healthy lifestyle, Anthony currently sits on the Advisory Board to Natural Society in addition to managing and directing several other companies dedicated to enhancing social good. Anthony's work routinely appears on both alternative and established websites and television programs alike, including Drudge Report, Thom Hartmann, Simple Reminders, RT, Infowars, Michael Savage, Gaiam TV, and many others.