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Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking 794

lord_rotorooter writes "Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced a bill that would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them. The measure (if passed) would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of food for all restaurants or bakeries. While the use of too much salt can contribute to health problems, the complete banning of salt would have negative impacts on food chemistry. Not only does salt enhance flavor, it controls bacteria, slows yeast activity and strengthens dough by tightening gluten. Salt also inhibits the growth of microbes that spoil cheese."
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Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking

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  • This just in! (Score:5, Informative)

    by jemtallon ( 1125407 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:25PM (#31442108) Journal
    Some politicians are idiots! More at 11.
    • Re:This just in! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by XPeter ( 1429763 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:30PM (#31442216) Homepage

      All politicians are idiots! More at 11.

      There, fixed that for you.

    • by SoopahMan ( 706062 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:40PM (#31444868)

      Why is banning the solution to everything? I don't get it. People love to ban anything with legislation, it's completely illogical.

      • by Viewsonic ( 584922 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @06:44PM (#31445780)

        Because it looks like they're doing something. There has to be a name for what this is called, but it seems most people who are put in a position like this tend to make laws for the sake of doing something. If the world was 100% full of peace and happiness, you can bet those in charge would not sit there and keep it that way. They would feel useless, and thus, start making laws that, if anything, makes them look like they're being busy. It happens everywhere.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @07:06PM (#31446150)

        It's because they know how you should lead your life. They know. And you're doing it wrong. Therefore, you need their help making choices. They're banning things to help you.

        You should thank them. They are heroically protecting you by banning you from making incorrect choices. Why aren't you thanking them?

      • by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Friday March 12, 2010 @01:43AM (#31448880) Homepage Journal

        >>Why is banning the solution to everything? I don't get it. People love to ban anything with legislation, it's completely illogical.

        It's not. It's heavy handed, but not illogical. The food industry has proven to be completely unable to control salt levels in food, with levels skyrocketing in recent years.

        I actually found out that for all my eating (relatively) healthy and exercise, I've been developing hypertension. So I tried to go on a low-salt diet. Guess what? Unless you eat nothing but fresh food (yeah, yeah, I know), you will exceed the recommended daily salt level by probably about 3x or so. Every day. For your entire life. Most items you order from fast food restaurants exceed your entire daily recommended maximum, with just one item. And you are getting the burrito with a taco, right?

        The way that blood pressure works, you have a certain amount of damage resistance against the temporary hypertension caused by eating a lot of salt. However, if you keep spiking your blood pressure, over time your basal blood pressure will increase and you'll develop permanent pre-hypertension and then hypertension. Which is bad, for a variety of reasons.

        Just to humor yourself, the next time you go to a restaurant, ask for the nutritional menu. The recommended level of salt intake is 1000 to 1500mg (1g to 1.5g), though the USDA recommended amount is around 2400 or so. So we'll use 1500mg as a baseline. You're eating three meals a day? Divide 1500 / 3 = 500mg. Now look at the nutritional menu and see what you can order that will add up to 500mg of sodium or less. Have fun with that.

        Cornflakes - that's healthy, right? 1100mg in one 30g serving.
        Bacon - ok, we know that's not good. But cheese is worse!
        We think fries are bad, but a large order only has 330mg! That "healthy" grilled chicken sandwich, though, has 1690mg of sodium in it!
        What has more salt, hash browns or a cinnamon roll from McDonalds? (The cinnamon roll has 3x the sodium of a side of hash browns!)

        Go to a grocery store, pull any box of cereal, or nearly anything at all edible and not fresh, and you'll see that it's nearly impossible to eat 500mg or less per meal.

        I don't agree that banning it outright is the solution (for various reasons), but this IS a public health issue, and one that has gone completely unreported until now. If nothing else, the pressure from this will encourage places to reduce their sodium intake. In the UK, they managed to drop sodium levels to 1/3rd of their previous values - and the food tasted the same.

        • by mikechant ( 729173 ) on Friday March 12, 2010 @10:37AM (#31451382)

          Just to humor yourself, the next time you go to a restaurant, ask for the nutritional menu. The recommended level of salt intake is 1000 to 1500mg (1g to 1.5g), though the USDA recommended amount is around 2400 or so.

          I think you're confusing salt levels and sodium levels here (i.e. quoting sodium levels but labelling the figures as salt levels). This is a pretty important disctinction. To quote from this:

          "In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration itself does not make a recommendation,[64] but refers readers to Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. These suggest that US citizens should consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium (= 2.3 g sodium = 5.8 g salt) per day.[65]"

          (emphasis added)

  • by FroMan ( 111520 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:25PM (#31442120) Homepage Journal

    Do you really want the government telling you what you cannot eat?

    Stay out of my bedroom, welcome to my kitchen?

    • by ircmaxell ( 1117387 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:55PM (#31442794) Homepage
      Well, the last time I checked, salt is a vital element to our survival (It regulates water content, not enough and we'd all die of dehydration regardless of how much water we drank). So by removing it from public sources, are they thereby impacting at least some people's ability to get salt (IE those that do not eat much at home) and hence endangering them? Sure, excessive salt can be dangerous, but not nearly as dangerous as not enough... This sounds to me like a "That sounds bad, we should do something about it!" snap decision... Sigh...
      • by cHiphead ( 17854 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:00PM (#31442904)

        BRAWNDO! Its what plants crave!

      • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:07PM (#31443044) Homepage

        The bill is hopelessly vague about what "salt" is. If it just applies to "table salt" (sodium chloride), restaurants would simply switch to salt substitutes like potassium chloride. Also, the bill is vague on things that *contain* salt, whether they're allowed. There are all sorts of salty ingredients out there -- some artificially salty, some naturally salty -- that could be added to dishes to add the salt indirectly. If it were to ban anything that contains any measurable amount of salt, it would ban almost every food on Earth.

        Anyway, this is just a guy who knows nothing about cooking and probably not much about chemistry. Don't think it malicious. My uncle was in congress for a term (he didn't run again because of health problems). I remember playing trivial pursuit with him. He'd miss out on what seemed the most basic, obvious questions to me in most categories -- but boy oh boy, if a legal question came up, you can bet he knew the answer! Going into public office takes a great deal of your time; these people usually aren't generalists. As of the late '90s or early '00s, the last time my uncle had watched a movie in a theater was the original Star Wars, back in the '70s. That's how much being involved in the high levels of politics can consume your time.

        Now, even most people who are highly specialized in one particular field will know of salt's role in cooking. But there are enough elected people out there that at least some won't. But trust me -- he will soon ;) This bill will disappear in short order.

        • by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:35PM (#31443656)

          I can fully agree, and to an extend sympathize, with the point that we sometimes expect too much of our elected officials, in that we are dependent on them to craft bills ranging from water contamination to embezzlement to treaties and no one can be a master of all trades.

          But while I don't expect them to know everything about anything, I DO expect them to know how to FIND people that know everything about anything. Even the most elementary background work on a bill like this would have shown Rep Ortiz Duh-Brooklyn the massive quagmire he was about to open up. I wouldn't expect a master's thesis before crafting a bill, but what I would have done, in his case, is go to a favorite higher-end restaurant and make arrangements to speak with the chef for a while, to get a grasp of the subject.

          Otherwise we're just whizzing down tubes.

          • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:50PM (#31445036) Homepage

            The problem is, do you know the term for those advisors you mention, experts (or at least supposed experts) who try to influence politicians to make what they view as the best decisions on fields that the politicians may not know much about?

            We call them "lobbyists".

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Volante3192 ( 953645 )

              Yeah, my problem is if I went into politics, I'd ring up people at universities or that otherwise actually do the work instead of K Street...

        • by dballanc ( 100332 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:45PM (#31444944)

          I can't help but be completely and utterly appalled at how anyone could consider what you describe as acceptable for an elected official at that level.

          Don't get me wrong, I'm sure your perception is quite valid - I just can't accept that we should shrug off ignorance so easily, especially when it has the potential to affect so many.

          It may be unreasonable to expect one person know everything about every subject, but it is reasonable to expect someone to not push forward in an area where they have knowledge. It's the sit down and STFU and listen if you don't know what you are talking about rule.

          If I'm feeling generous I might be able to forgive an ignorant legislator that votes for such an absurd bill - but for one to introduce such a thing there should be no forgiveness. Wait. I take that back. I couldn't even forgive the yes-voter. There is no place in a sane government for a legislator to approve a measure they don't have a reasonable understanding of. Ever.

          That it is commonplace (I'm guessing the majority of legislation, spurred on by legislators who trust the lobyists as experts in field) leaves me with a feeling of disgust and hopelessness.

          I think Douglas Adams had the right idea - no person who wants to be in power/politician should ever actually be allowed to be (liberally paraphrased).

      • by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:41PM (#31443758) Homepage Journal

        Even more important,sodium regulates nerve signals, but put that aside for the moment.

        I read the New England Journal of Medicine article that was promoting a lot of this, and it made me worry []

        The dietary limits for salt are about 5 grams a day, and you only need 2 or 3 grams a day. American men eat an average of 10 grams a day. We're eating way more salt than we used to 50 years ago. Forget about the hunter-gatherer days.

        The evidence isn't irrefutable yet -- nobody has taken a large population and randomly divided them into a high-salt and low-salt group for 15 years, and they probably never will. Excess salt is probably safe for young, healthy people. But nobody stays young and healthy forever.

        A huge number of people are getting high blood pressure and strokes, and people on high-salt diets seem to get more strokes. I know people who got strokes. I'd rather be dead than have to live for the last 3 or 4 years of my life ranting at my caretakers without my cognitive facilities, or with the left half my body paralyzed.

        Unfortunately for the free-market personal choice crowd, you can't simply reduce salt in your diet by avoiding the salt shaker.

        Most salt comes from processed food and restaurant food, and not just potato chips.

        I thought I was OK because I was eating chicken, but I read in the NEJM that chicken is injected with salt and water (so that I can buy water at the price of chicken). Nothing on the label about that. Thanks, FDA.

        So the only way to reduce salt in your diet is to get to the source -- the manufacturers (and the restaurants) who put salt in your food without telling you. Actually some of the food manufacturers, like Kraft, are cooperating. They say that once people get used to lower-salt food, it tastes fine (like it used to 50 years ago). The European countries did this and it worked well.

        Sure, excessive salt can be dangerous, but not nearly as dangerous as not enough

        Americans suffering from nutritional deficiency because they don't get enough salt? Ridiculous.

        • by sabs ( 255763 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:31PM (#31444692)

          You're obviously not a chef, or a Pastry Chef.

          You should buy fresh chicken, and not Swanson chicken. Very little chicken is injected with brine. Frozen chicken you get in the big packs is inject with brine, but you can look on the label and you'll see that the ingredients list includes salt and water. They do have to label that stuff.

          Restaurants don't sneak in salt without telling you. Most good restaurants take away tablesalt.. because they want you to experience the right amount of salt.

          If you need a low salt diet, you tell your server and they can tell the chefs to hold the salt on many things. But removing salt from bread is /stupid/ Salt builds flavor and brings out the flavor while cooking. Too much salt is disgusting, but no salt is equally bland. Learn to talk to your wait staff, if you're going to eat out so often that the salt from restaurants is going to be a major issue.

        • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:44PM (#31444932) Homepage Journal
          "A huge number of people are getting high blood pressure and strokes, and people on high-salt diets seem to get more strokes. I know people who got strokes. I'd rather be dead than have to live for the last 3 or 4 years of my life ranting at my caretakers without my cognitive facilities, or with the left half my body paralyzed.

          Unfortunately for the free-market personal choice crowd, you can't simply reduce salt in your diet by avoiding the salt shaker."

          From papers I've read in recent years, it seems to be the case that salt intake does not cause high blood pressure, etc. However, if you have dangerously high blood pressure, excess salt can exaccerbate the situation, and it should be avoided.

          In the second statement...I think you found your answer right where you were complaining. One should not be cosuming processed foods or eating in restaurants as their primary sources of food and nutrition!! Highly processed foods are the problem we didn't have 50 years ago...and it is a problem that can be avoided these days. People need to learn how to cook a home cooked meal again from scratch using more primary, raw ingredients. Potato chips should be a rare treat, not a weekly staple. And dining at a restaurant should be a treat from time to time, where you go to enjoy some more fattening and rich foods. Don't waste your dining dollars weekly on crap at the fast food places. Cook at home, have family time, eat healthier....and maybe once or twice a month with the money you've saved....go treat yourself out to a real restaurant (preferrably NOT a chain) get a little service, some good food...maybe a bottle of wine.

        • by pthisis ( 27352 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @07:55PM (#31446718) Homepage Journal

          The evidence isn't irrefutable yet -- nobody has taken a large population and randomly divided them into a high-salt and low-salt group for 15 years, and they probably never will. Excess salt is probably safe for young, healthy people. But nobody stays young and healthy forever.

          The major problem is that not only isn't the evidence irrefutable, it's also conflicting; a lot of studies show that decreasing salt intake increases mortality rates.

          See, e.g., []
          For most people, wide swings in dietary sodium consumption don’t affect blood pressure, and for some, blood pressure actually rises when they lower their salt intake.

          But what really matters is whether reducing salt will ultimately prevent heart attacks and strokes and thus improve or extend life...Nine such studies, looking at a total of more than 100,000 participants who consume as much sodium as New Yorkers do, have had mixed results. In four of them, reduced dietary salt was associated with an increased incidence of death and disability from heart attacks and strokes. In one that focused on obese people, more salt was associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. And in the remaining four, no association between salt and health was seen.

          There's more in the article, including some study results that tend to indicate the opposite, but the overall takeaway is that there's a lot more we need to learn before we rush to change things.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Take your knee-jerk libertarian craziness elsewhere you kook... I for one thank god that we have a government who views its job as to protect us the citizens from the people who would poison us to make a quick buck and I hope they do more to reign in corporate profits over public health. The bottom line is that private industry would happily poison us the public if they were allowed to. Why should the government dictate what can be served in food? Why not lead? It makes it taste sweeter and humans are p
      • by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) * on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:27PM (#31443506)
        McDonald's doesn't come to your house and take money out of your wallet. All the money that McDonald's makes is paid to them voluntarily by people who like it's food, otherwise they wouldn't buy it. Of course McDonald's doesn't and shouldn't care if you are obese, that's nobody's business but your own. Don't like greasy disgusting fast food? Easy solution: don't go to a fast food restaurant. Eat salad or something, it's really easy to find, it's right there in the produce section of your local supermarket. Is your opinion of people really so low that you think they can't grasp that simple concept and need a superior intellect such as yours to make decisions for them on what to eat? What an arrogant asshole.
    • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:04PM (#31443000) Journal

      The government already tells me I cannot eat products made with cannabutter. I cannot eat psilocybin mushrooms. I cannot eat pieces of paper impregnated with LSD. The law in question here only affects restaurants that serve the public. Drug laws regulate my blood stream. There is no slippery slope here, we're already at the bottom.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by syousef ( 465911 )

      Stay out of my bedroom, welcome to my kitchen?

      Some of us eat in the bedroom or fuck in the kitchen you know! Sometimes we do both in the same room and/or both at the same time.....mmmmm whipped cream.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lisandro ( 799651 )

      Remember that scene on "Escape from LA"?

      Snake Plissken: Got a smoke?
      Malloy: The United States is a non-smoking nation! No smoking, no drugs, no alcohol, no women - unless you're married - no foul language, no red meat!
      Snake Plissken: [sarcastic] Land of the free.

  • eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the biologist ( 1659443 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:26PM (#31442138)
    Salt is a dietary requirement. If you don't get enough salt in your diet, you get sick and die. Limiting salt levels in foods, rather than an outright ban, might make sense. However, I expect the only result would an increase in the number of people carrying personal salt shakers when they eat out.
    • Re:eh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by magarity ( 164372 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:39PM (#31442448)

      Limiting salt levels in foods, rather than an outright ban, might make sense
      Instead of having the info available to diners who are concerned about their salt intake and letting them make their own decisions? Yeah, better that the government employees tell us what to do. I know they know best; they've told me so!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by egburr ( 141740 )

        Or maybe give us the option when ordering to say "low salt" and actually have that followed. I understand some things need salt to prepare properly, but a lot of things I get when eating out would be significantly improved by reducing the amount of salt put in by the cooks. I almost never feel the need to add yet more salt to anything I get at restaurants, especially fast food places.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nangus ( 1026732 )

          I almost never feel the need to add yet more salt to anything I get at restaurants, especially fast food places.

          When I am eating fast food I am glad for the extra salt, because of its anti microbial properties.

    • by d3ac0n ( 715594 )

      Isn't it a requirement of Kosher meats that they be Salted as a part of the preparation? No Salt, no Kosher.

      So, this idiot is saying that Jewish people can't have their religious and culturally required diet? Yeah, like THAT's gonna fly in NYC.

      (Not Jewish myself, but I love gefilte fish, and lox is my favorite bagel topping. I would be seriously pissed if I couldn't get them anymore.)

  • by jameskojiro ( 705701 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:27PM (#31442146) Journal

    I am going to have fun setting up my black market salt dispenseries.


  • but (Score:5, Funny)

    by lastgoodnickname ( 1438821 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:29PM (#31442182)
    but if there's no salt for your hash, doesn't that make your clients and servers less secure?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      but if there's no salt for your hash, doesn't that make your clients and servers less secure?

      Only if your server hasn't washed his hands before a handshake.

  • Fail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:29PM (#31442194) Journal

    Ortiz admits that prior to introducing the bill he did not research salt's role in food chemistry, its effect on flavor or his bill's ramifications for the restaurant industry. He tells me he was prompted to introduce the bill because his father used salt excessively for many years, developed high blood pressure and had a heart attack.

    Reacting emotionally is how bad laws get written and passed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zerth ( 26112 )

      Yah, it would take him 2 minutes to find that reducing salt only affects blood pressure in 1/3 of people.

      I was recently diagnosed with hypertension and the first thing we did was to reduce sodium in my diet, then a drug to remove it. Didn't change my BP at all, although the stress of having high blood pressure might've countered whatever effect it had:)

    • Thank god (Score:5, Funny)

      by RJBeery ( 956252 ) <rjbeery AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:07PM (#31443048)
      Thank god his father didn't pass away while having sex!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Non-issue on /.
      • Why not? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mangu ( 126918 )

        Thank god his father didn't pass away while having sex!

        I think it would be better for all of us if his father had passed away before ejaculation during the sexual intercourse that generated Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn.

  • by fuo ( 941897 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:29PM (#31442200)

    I stepped on a nail once when I was a kid... It hurt.

    They should pass a law that makes it illegal for carpenters to use nails so this never happens to another innocent child.

  • ummmmm..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by qsliver ( 1737040 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:30PM (#31442230) Journal

    “I think salt should be banned in restaurants. I ask if a dish has salt in it, and if I does, I get something else that doesn’t have salt,”

    Correct me if I'm wrong but a large number of the chemicals that make up food are salts of one type or another. What exactly does he eat?

  • Racist. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mekkah ( 1651935 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:30PM (#31442232) Journal
    Salt is white, clearly this is legislation in support of hate crimes.
  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:31PM (#31442252) Journal

    The problem isn't this bill, which won't pass. The problem is that bad ideas like this, once introduced, have a life of their own. They keep getting reintroduced until they do pass. (good ideas, on the other hand, get shelved and are never heard from again).

    They've already assaulted baked goods by banning trans-fats (certain baked goods need shortening for texture). Ruining everything else, even with a watered-down anti-salt bill, is now inevitable.

    • by pnuema ( 523776 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:41PM (#31442480)
      As an avowed foodie, there is absolutely no reason one needs to use trans fats. Ever. The only advantage they have over regular fats is shelf life, therefore cost. By banning them the playing field is leveled for everyone, and we can finally put that pox on humanity behind us forever.

      Trans fats have been removed from your favorite foods for a few years now. Can you honestly say you can tell?

      • by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:50PM (#31443952) Journal

        Foodies are douches, be a gourmand instead :-P

        Trans fats do occur naturally in milk and beef (the most prominent examples). Admittedly at smaller levels than from hydrogenated oils, but it's still there.

        Secondly, my understanding is that even the 0g trans fats per seving Crisco formulations (etc) still have what add up to substantial amounts of trans fats. Are any of the vegetable shortenings REALLY trans fat free? Unless people go back to using lard, we're still going to be eating trans fats, just thankfully less than we did just 5 years ago.

    • by Mordac ( 1009 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:44PM (#31442528)

      Shortening != Trans Fat.

      You can go back and have cake, just don't put certain margarines and other artificial oils in it.

  • by aaandre ( 526056 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:36PM (#31442364)

    This is a great example of the knee-jerk reaction process that the government employs.

    Creating overreaching laws and rules for everyone is very rarely the solution to a problem.

  • by CranberryKing ( 776846 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:45PM (#31442550)
    Those problems are related to the fact that no one uses REAL salt anymore. That stuff that Mortons sells is an awful chemical that destroys your arteries. REAL sea salt is GOOD for you.
    • Re:Too much salt? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mdarksbane ( 587589 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:58PM (#31442858)

      Really... so sodium chloride plus 2% random crap out of the ocean is inherently better for you than sodium chloride + 2% safe non-clumping agent and iodine? Because that's pretty much what you're comparing. They're 98% the exact same chemical.

      Don't take my word for it, ask the May clinic: []

      But hell, enjoy your goiters.

  • Salary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by J'raxis ( 248192 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:50PM (#31442688) Homepage
    Who pays this idiot's salary? (And does he know where the word comes from []?)
  • by Fished ( 574624 ) <> on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:52PM (#31442722)

    "Too much salt" is one of those dietary memes that just won't seem to die. However, the reality is that (a) only a fraction of individuals (even individuals with high blood pressure) seem to be salt sensitive and (b) there are much more effective ways of reducing high blood pressure than reducing salt consumption. I was on blood pressure medication, a low salt diet, etc. prior to reducing my carbohydrate intake dramatically last summer, and all it got me was drug side effects and blood pressure that was just barely normal (average 136/88). Since I've stopped eating most concentrated carbohydrates, my blood pressure has reduced dramatically (I don't bother to monitor any more, but at my last doctor's appointment it was 122/72). On top of that, my blood sugars have improved dramatically (from average BG of 138 to average BG of 91) and my lipid profile has improved dramatically (total cholestorol 233 then vs. 135 at last doctor's appt., triglycerides 700+ vs. 85 at last doctor's appointment.) All this even as I lost almost 100 lbs.

    What was the change? I *stopped* eating sugar and other refined carbohydrates, and I *started* eating salt again. Oh yeah, and I *love* fat and protein, because they make me feel full.

    The bottom line is that I have no confidence in the ability of the "main stream" medical community to define a single nutritional standard that will work for everyone. And I have even less confidence in the ability of bureaucrats and legislators to correctly parse through the research to find the truth. So leave my food alone. If you really feel like you've got to do something, please start requiring restaurants to label their foods (on the menu) so that it's easier for diabetics like me to find menu items that aren't loaded with sugars that will make our blood sugars spike. Or if you really want to interfere, require restaurants to offer low-fat, low-carb, and low-salt entrees. But don't impose your notion of good nutrition on me, because I tried to do it your way and it damn near killed me.

  • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by halfEvilTech ( 1171369 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:52PM (#31442734)

    Thank god for this bill.

    When I was a yound boy I started doing salt. I figured yea its just salt right? Afterwards I moved on to cracked pepper and eventually later in life started experimenting with parsley, basil and oregeno. Before I knew it I was hooked on Thyme and garlic and I lost everything. My wife, my job, my kids, all gone. Even the dog ran away. No you will find me lurking on the school grounds giving away free herbs, knowing that once hooked they will never be the same. So please think of the children and avoid my culinary fate.

  • by asupynuk ( 181772 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:56PM (#31442822)

    Because - wait for it - the next thing you know, they are going to try and ban a salt weapon too.

  • by realsilly ( 186931 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @03:57PM (#31442830)

    I was having a similar discussion with my husband the other day when he was discussing how he wants some government regulation on those types of products that claim to provide male enhancement or are diet supplement pills that supposedly burn fat just because someone took the pill. He feels that people should be able to trust what companies advertise.

    I pointed out to him, that right now our leaders feel any regulation should always go to the extreme. This is a prime example of going to the extreme. This is what this representative is proposing, the extreme.

    Without some salt in foods, food will not stay preserved as long, and many other bad things will take place. This has the potential for increasing the cost of meals at restaurants because food will not last as long, which then means more deliveries or purchases will need to be made for a restaurant to keep up with the shortened lifetime of the food supply used to prepare the meals. This increases our carbon footprint for all of these service industries to meet the new regulation. And if this is only done in one area of the country or one state, now fast food places have to make separate batches of food for the consumers and if one batch is mistakenly sent to a No-Salt location, what are the ramifications then? Would people sue the restaurant because, OMG, I just ate salt...? Possibly, maybe even likely.

    I completely agree, less salt is better, but an outright ban? Ridiculous! Regulations are in place by the FDA, correct? If companies are not following the regulations in place already go after them. Enforce existing rules and regulations first, and staff up to meet the needs of enforcement. If after regulation it is found that changes need to be made, tweak the regulations.

    We need less govt. intervention. Govt. leave my food alone.

  • Inevitable. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:00PM (#31442906)

    This is inevitable. Not only will we see more of this, but it's going to get a lot more invasive. Politicians have decided it's their responsibility to look out for our well-being.

    What does everyone think the president and congress is talking about when they say we need to change how we live, that we need to practice preventative healthcare? They're going to cram this sort of thing down our throats.

    Every so often someone mentions us sacrificing our freedoms for the sake of security. But inevitably it's always mentioned in relation to the war on terrorism. The real threat to our freedom isn't anything so overt. Wars are temporary and there are plenty of people fighting these overt threats. The real threats to freedom is legislation like this. They're far more subtle, more far-reaching and long-lasting and it's the sort of thing that is harder to defend against because it's pretty easy to argue it's for our own good.

    Twenty years from now people might be able to repeal invasive surveillance policies because the terrorist threat has subsided if not outright disappeared. But how do you repeal these kinds of bans? You're repealing a ban on something unhealthy! You're going to raise the cost of healthcare! We can't have that!

    The real tool here should be education. People need to understand what they're consuming and the effects it may have on their bodies. Then they make the decision. But they should also be held responsible for their actions. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be realistic in this day and age either. Now, I'm not so naive as to believe that we can have a complete libertarian free-for-all where anything goes. But I'm talking about basic personal freedoms here. Pig out on unhealthy food all your want, but be prepared to deal with the health issues you're likely to encounter later in life.

    People want the freedom, but they don't want to deal with the responsibilities and consequences of those freedoms. It creates the perfect atmosphere for the government to step in and make these decisions for us. That's really what it comes down to. Either we live safe, secure lives free of major responsibilities but have to give up many of our freedoms, or we have our freedom but we have to deal directly with the consequences of our actions. Unfortunately too many people nowadays seem to have the delusion that we can enjoy the best of both worlds.

  • An alternative: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrebleJunkie ( 208060 ) <> on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:29PM (#31443544) Homepage Journal

    Why don't we just make it a Federal crime to elect a fucking moron?

  • by RevWaldo ( 1186281 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:36PM (#31443682)
    To protest the British Empire's control and taxation of salt, Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi led a 200+ mile march to the sea, where he made an illegal batch of salt. This sparked large scale acts of civil disobedience against the salt laws by millions of Indians, and was a major step on the long road to the independence of India.

    If the British Raj had try to ban the use of salt outright, however, I suspect Gandhi - being a devout vegetarian - would have handed out cricket bats to every available man, woman, and child and led a march straight to New Delhi.
  • by number6x ( 626555 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:46PM (#31443874)

    I have Meniere's syndrome and think this is bogus! I have to carefully limit my salt so I don't build up pressure in my inner ear, so I take care to do so.

    If anyone else is concerned about limiting their salt intake, then they should limit their salt intake.

    Our elected officials think we are too stupid and too lazy to take responsibility for ourselves. Make sure you let every one of them know how you feel about their opinion of us come election time!

  • Don't ban salt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:28PM (#31444658) Homepage

    He was prompted to introduce the bill because his father used salt excessively for many years, developed high blood pressure and had a heart attack.

    No, no, no. Salt was only a symptom of the underlying problem. Don't you see? This person had a *heart attack*, a HEART ATTACK. Clearly we must ban hearts so as to prevent more attacks of this nature. Anyone with a heart must be kicked out of New York State!

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun