New York State to ban SALT

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New York State to ban SALT

Postby The Reaper » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:27 am UTC

http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_n ... 100310-akd
MYFOXNY.COM - Some New York City chefs and restaurant owners are taking aim at a bill introduced in the New York Legislature that, if passed, would ban the use of salt in restaurant cooking.

"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 , states in part.

The legislation, which Assemblyman Felix Ortiz , D-Brooklyn, introduced on March 5, would fine restaurants $1,000 for each violation.

"The consumer needs to make their own health choices. Just as doctors and the occasional visit to a hospital can't truly control how a person chooses to maintain their health, neither can chefs nor the occasional visit to a restaurant," said Jeff Nathan, the executive chef and co-owner of Abigael's on Broadway. "Modifying trans fats and sodium intake needs to be home based for optimal health. Regulating restaurants will not solve this health issue."

Nathan is part of the group My Food My Choice , which calls itself a coalition of chefs, restaurant owners, and consumers, called the proposed law "absurd" in a press release issued on its Facebook page.

Ortiz has said the salt ban would allow restaurant patrons to decide how salty they want their meals to be.

"In this way, consumers have more control over the amount of sodium they intake, and are given the option to exercise healthier diets and healthier lifestyles," Ortiz said, according to a Nation's Restaurant News report.

But many chefs and restaurant owners said they are tired of politicians dictating what they can serve and what people can eat. They have opposed the city's anti-sodium and anti-transfat campaigns.

"Chefs would be handcuffed in their food preparation, and many are already in open rebellion over this legislation," said Orit Sklar, of My Food My Choice. "Ortiz and fellow anti-salt zealot Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City seek to undermine the food and restaurant business in the entire state."

The American Heart Association encourages Americans to reduce their sodium intake and has advocated the reduction of sodium used by food manufacturers and restaurants by 50 percent over a 10-year period.
New York State is quickly becoming part of my no-visit zone :\ NYC was already on that list. Man, I hope this doesn't pass. What kind of fucktarded idiot would pass such a thing? What kind of fucktarded idiot would even introduce such a thing?

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby brakos82 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:34 am UTC

In other news, Los Angeles will soon change its name to San Angeles after this year's earthquake, we've been cryogenically freezing those damn prisoners *buzz* "Brakos82, You have been fined one credit for violation of the Verbal Morality Statute."
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby poxic » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:35 am UTC

My first thought was "NY banning the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks? WTF?"

This, though, was ever so much WTFer than that.

"In today's news, New York State is hoping to ban tasty food in the hope that people will just give up eating and thus propel the state into the top US rank of healthy-weight and underweight population."

Seriously though, I can see the thinking: "Too much salt is bad for people. Hey, let's stop restaurants from using salt so people can choose their own salt levels!" In practise, though, people will a) think the food sucks and fight with the restaurant, or b) add even more salt than the chef would have. I recall reading somewhere that people left to salt their own food tended to use more than would have been added by the cook. (I'll poke around a bit and see if I can goog up a reference.)

Edit: unable to find a ref, since "salt cook add people extra more chef unsalted bloody hell argh" produced ambiguous results.
Last edited by poxic on Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:57 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:40 am UTC

I keep wanting to type a reply to this, and can't get past the WTF? stage.

Next up on the list of things to ban:
Sharp knives (slashing)
Sharp forks (peircing)
Foods above 55C (burning)
Liquids (drowning)
Food (obesity)
Oxygen (toxic)

Also, poxic, glad I'm not the only one to make that mistake.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Outchanter » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:41 am UTC

Ortiz has said the salt ban would allow restaurant patrons to decide how salty they want their meals to be.

But shouldn't patrons also decide how much sugar is in their food? How much fat? Vegetables? Protein? I can see the headlines now...

THE FUTURE wrote:New York Restaurants Forbidden to Add Ingredients to Food.

Ortiz says the plan to give patrons an EasyBake oven and a pile of raw ingredients will allow them to decide on every detail of their meal. "It'll be almost as fun as cooking at home."

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Amie » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:01 am UTC

Ban ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate), not salt! :(
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Kayangelus » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:15 am UTC

Ortiz has said the salt ban would allow restaurant patrons to decide how salty they want their meals to be.


Right, and what if I'm a patron, and I want to have a tasty, salty meal that I don't have to spend a lot of time preparing myself?

Because honestly if I had to prepare it myself, I just wouldn't pay a restaurant to do it.

Honestly, requiring the restaurant to have meals with different salt levels from none to excessive (maybe give the customer an option of how much salt they want with the food, along with a chef recommendation for salt level) I can understand... maybe.

but outright banning?

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Lucrece » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:52 am UTC

I already get annoyed when the local fast food restaurant gives me fries without salt. If a careful diet is mandatory for your health, get the fuck out McDonald's.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:07 am UTC

Really now? I hate the idea of this being regulated, but I have no personal love of salt apart from health reasons and would not at all mind a draw down in salt concentrations in food. In cases where the salt addition really just comes down to either you or the clerk giving a salt shaker a few goes, it doesn't hurt to let the customer to handle it.


+1 for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks interpretation...

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby folkhero » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:47 am UTC

There are lots of foods where you have to add the salt in the preparation, before it gets to the table. Salt isn't even particularly bad for you unless you have one of a handful of medical conditions. Food without salt generally tastes absolutely terrible. This seems nearly unenforceable anyway. Long story short, this is one of the dumbest bills imaginable and represents some sort of fever-dream logic that, a few years ago, couldn't be considered anything other than a Swiftian parody of the nanny-state. I don't even live in New York, but I sent Ortiz an email suggesting that he is far too stupid to hold public office.

On a slightly related topic, New York (I don't know if it's just the city, or if it's statewide) has already banned trans fats. While trans fats are generally awful for you, I hear that it's been tough for kosher restaurants, because if they serve meat, they can't serve dairy, including butter. Typically they would use margarine in place of butter in deserts, but they can't even use good margarine because those have trans fats in them.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby netcrusher88 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:57 am UTC

This is nothing more than a publicity stunt, same as that bill that Grayson (I think) introduced to strip congresspeople of their government-managed health plan and make them fend for themselves on the private market. This won't pass, and nobody in their right mind would want it to.

What this could do is draw attention to the amount of salt used by some restaurants and prepared foods. I can see legislation to limit that, maybe, even though it is the roughly 1:1 salt:potato ratio that makes McDonald's fries taste good. That and the sugar, but that's another thing.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Fume Troll » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:12 am UTC

It makes no more sense to ban salt than it does to ban trans fats. If public health was really the priority, one would ban tobacco and alcohol first...

What would be more sensible, and I think quite useful, would be to require restaurants to provide nutritional data on the food they provide, so that people could make informed decisions about what they're eating. It's quite easy to have a meal in a restaurant which contains considerably more calories or salt than you might have expected. Once you know the ingredients and the portion sizes, its not to hard to provide that information.

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby rpgamer » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:24 am UTC

"Salt is what makes things taste bad when it's not in them." ~Irena Chalmers.

Wonder if anyone pushing for this has even tried unsalted food. Or if they're even trying to really push for it..
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby lulzfish » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:27 am UTC

Hey, so some of us are trying to cut back on water and it's not fair how they always put it in food without even asking...

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Silas » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:28 am UTC

Fume Troll wrote:It makes no more sense to ban salt than it does to ban trans fats. If public health was really the priority, one would ban tobacco and alcohol first...

I'm not sure that's a useful comparison. If memory serves, trans fats were (a) easily replaced with cis fats, which were virtually identical in taste and (b) obviously (if not very) poisonous; it was more akin to banning vodka that was cut with methanol than to banning vodka altogether.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Diadem » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:57 am UTC

Indeed, transfats do not belong in food. It adds absolutely nothing to food, except extra profit for the producer.

Though I disagree with banning it - I'm too liberal (in the European sense of the word, mind) for that - I can at least see some sense in this.

But banning salt? You have to be completely insane to even consider that.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Jesse » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:41 am UTC

I'd like to point out that I eat lots of food that lack in salt and find them to be perfectly tasty. I've never got the obsession with salt as anything other than a preservative. I even worked for a year in a restaurant that only added salt to the food if the customer asked for it, and we had no problems at all.

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby EmptySet » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:21 am UTC

This is absurd. Salt is a legitimate ingredient and is perfectly healthy in moderation. Some amount of sodium is a necessary part of a healthy diet, and iodised salt can also prevent iodine deficiency. If people want to eat in restaurants which put salt in the food, that's their choice.

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Vieto » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:44 am UTC

On the bright side, NY will be the one state with-out Mcdonalds, or any fast food joint for that matter.

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Diadem » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:02 pm UTC

utterly offtopic, but who does it load jsmath for this thread? Very annoying, since that freezes my computer for about 30 seconds.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby mmmcannibalism » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:30 pm UTC

My first thought was "NY banning the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks? WTF?"


guess I'm not alone.

While I didn't mind the trans fat bans; banning something that is only unhealthy if overeaten is absurd; but I do think we should move to ban water to prevent overhydration.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Ixtellor » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:17 pm UTC

poxic wrote:My first thought was "NY banning the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks? WTF?"


Me too. I assume because he it put it in all caps. (Kudos for knowing that -- you are in the top 5% of Americans)

To summarize the article:

Politicians propose crazy ideas that never become laws.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:51 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:This is nothing more than a publicity stunt, same as that bill that Grayson (I think) introduced to strip congresspeople of their government-managed health plan and make them fend for themselves on the private market. This won't pass, and nobody in their right mind would want it to.

What this could do is draw attention to the amount of salt used by some restaurants and prepared foods. I can see legislation to limit that, maybe, even though it is the roughly 1:1 salt:potato ratio that makes McDonald's fries taste good. That and the sugar, but that's another thing.

I think legislatures need a specific committee for legislation that's not intended to pass, or that's being drafted to make a point. Because fuck.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Atlas. » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:14 pm UTC

I'm sure there was a time when people thought banning smoking in bars was a publicity stunt as well. This probably won't pass now, but it is getting the idea out there and will slowly become more acceptable. I would not be surprised if proposals like this started gaining more traction in certain areas. It only takes one small town to set a precedent for more to follow. New York will probably not be the first to actually ban salt, but I don't think the notion that someone will seriously try it is all that absurd.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby PurpleMint » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:33 pm UTC

Atlas. wrote:I'm sure there was a time when people thought banning smoking in bars was a publicity stunt as well. This probably won't pass now, but it is getting the idea out there and will slowly become more acceptable. I would not be surprised if proposals like this started gaining more traction in certain areas. It only takes one small town to set a precedent for more to follow. New York will probably not be the first to actually ban salt, but I don't think the notion that someone will seriously try it is all that absurd.


Are you seriously comparing cigarette smoke to salt?

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Atlas. » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:09 pm UTC

I am saying once something is targeted then it is slowly becomes more acceptable to start banning it. I would not just brush this off as a bunch of cooks trying to get noticed; down the road I could easily see mandates taking large quantities of salt out of food or excessive taxes on foods with high concentrations of salt. I used smoking as merely an example of this being done before and in places where smokers far outweigh non-smokers. Fast food is also under assault for how much fat is in their food. I am just saying there is a pattern and wouldn’t overlook it.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby natraj » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:35 pm UTC

Guys, think about it, this is going to be awesome. This is an excuse to open shady back-alley salt speak-easies where everyone listens to awesome jazz music and dresses all flapper-like while eating their illegally seasoned food.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby masher » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:56 pm UTC

poxic wrote:My first thought was "NY banning the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks? WTF?"


Me too, except I was thinking "Banning that nuclear weapons thingy?"

.

On salt, yes, this does seem over the top. As others have said, what about fat? sugar?

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Diadem » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:02 am UTC

Haven't there been some ancient civilizations that used salt as a currency?

Looks like we might return to those happy days!
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:34 am UTC

Amie wrote:Ban ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate), not salt! :(

If there's one substance I'd ban form the country and one only, it would be this. I can't stand MSG-laden Chinese food for more than the first few bites and it nigh on impossible to find a decent Chinese buffet without massive amounts of MSG nearby
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:20 am UTC

This won't get passed: if it does get passed, it will be quickly repealed. If it doesn't get repealed, it won't be enforced. I have that much faith in the "system."

Salt tastes good because it is an essential, but rare nutrient. We die without it. The other two rare essential nutrients (that taste good) we now have too much access to are fat and sugar.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Texas_Ben » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:29 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:The other two rare essential nutrients (that taste good) we now have too much access to are fat and sugar.

Well they already banned some types of fat too... Sugar, I'm looking at you!

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Nath » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:24 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
Amie wrote:Ban ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate), not salt! :(

If there's one substance I'd ban form the country and one only, it would be this. I can't stand MSG-laden Chinese food for more than the first few bites and it nigh on impossible to find a decent Chinese buffet without massive amounts of MSG nearby

Yes, let's ban everything you don't like!

MSG in sane quantities is almost certainly harmless for most people, and quite probably harmless for everybody else.

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby lulzfish » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:07 am UTC

Nath wrote:
cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
Amie wrote:Ban ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate), not salt! :(

If there's one substance I'd ban form the country and one only, it would be this. I can't stand MSG-laden Chinese food for more than the first few bites and it nigh on impossible to find a decent Chinese buffet without massive amounts of MSG nearby

Yes, let's ban everything you don't like!
MSG in sane quantities is almost certainly harmless for most people, and quite probably harmless for everybody else.

Yeah, I need MSG for instant ramen.
Maybe you could get a few other people and complain to the specific restaurant in question.

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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Lazar » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:11 am UTC

Trans fat is the only one of these substances that I'm in favor of banning.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Goldstein » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:33 am UTC

folkhero wrote:Food without salt generally tastes absolutely terrible.

This is the sort of hyperbole that I can only take as blatant sarcasm, but it doesn't fit with anything else you've said. Just what is going on in this thread? Otherwise reasonable people are frothing at the mouth.

And this:
kayangelus wrote:Right, and what if I'm a patron, and I want to have a tasty, salty meal that I don't have to spend a lot of time preparing myself?

Is there some sort of massive in-joke going on here that I don't know about?
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby Dream » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:31 pm UTC

natraj wrote:Guys, think about it, this is going to be awesome. This is an excuse to open shady back-alley salt speak-easies where everyone listens to awesome jazz music and dresses all flapper-like while eating their illegally seasoned food.

While drinking their illegal margaritas!
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:01 pm UTC

Kayangelus wrote:
Ortiz has said the salt ban would allow restaurant patrons to decide how salty they want their meals to be.


Right, and what if I'm a patron, and I want to have a tasty, salty meal that I don't have to spend a lot of time preparing myself?


More importantly, what if my Nemisis and I want to bilaterally reduce our quantities of medium ranged nuclear weapons at the same time?
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby SWGlassPit » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:30 pm UTC

Goldstein wrote:
folkhero wrote:Food without salt generally tastes absolutely terrible.

This is the sort of hyperbole that I can only take as blatant sarcasm, but it doesn't fit with anything else you've said. Just what is going on in this thread? Otherwise reasonable people are frothing at the mouth.


Ever do any baking? Try making bread without salt--the yeast will grow too quickly, and the gluten in the flour will not set up properly. Try making biscuits or pancakes without salt. I've done both by mistake and was so disgusted I had to throw the whole batch out.

Granted, I think we can make do with LESS salt, but cutting it entirely is throwing the baby out with the bathwater, to use the cliche.
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Re: New York State to ban SALT

Postby stevey_frac » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:53 pm UTC

I'm no master chef, but adding a bit of salt to the stir fry really brings out it's flavor.

Piling salt on top of that steak makes me want to throw large, heavy pointed objects at you.

Hey cool... i just described a spear without meaning too... I bet that's how the first spear was invented...

Someone got angry, and said... i want to throw something at you... something large, and heavy... and with a sharp point on it.
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