Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I love New York

for banning trans fats from restaurant food. The only question I have is why the food service industry has opposed this -- not to mention people I can only charitably describe as mindless ideologues who are screaming and yelling about the "nanny state" and "food police." One New Jersey state legislator who tried to introduce a state-wide ban had to shut off her phone service due to abusive and threatening messages. No joke -- that's the "civility" the right wing wackos are always calling for.

For the restaurant industry: If all of your competitors have to do it too, you won't be at any disadvantage. And as a matter of fact, your food will taste just as good, if not better, than it does now. People will be more willing to eat out more often if they know your food won't be killing them. You said smoking bans would put you out of business, and paid millions of dollars for lobbying firms to create phony grassroots organizations to try to stop them -- and then it turned out they actually increase your business. So shut up and stop poisoning us.

For the Soldiers of Freedom: You claim to be opposed to government infringing your liberty, but the fact is, you have no clue what's in restaurant food right now. You aren't making any personal choices, you're just eating whatever it is they shovel at you. The only reason you can do that at all is because you know there are health inspectors making sure the food is refrigerated and handled properly, that the kitchen is clean, and they aren't thickening the stew with cockroach droppings. It's already illegal to put arsenic and cyanide in restaurant food. Are you opposed to that? No sane person would choose to eat trans fats if they had a convenient alternative. If you want to kill yourself slowly, it's still permitted, and there are other good ways of doing it, so you haven't lost a thing.

The very best news is that this will break the log jam, and other cities will quickly follow suit, then many states. Will we get a federal ban? Not until shortly after January 20, 2009, is my prediction.

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