Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Celebrate Repeal Day With Irony

Seventy-three years ago today, Congress enacted the first and only repeal of a Constitutional Amendment. The 21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed the 18th Amendment which prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol. This celebrated event is met today with a strong shot of irony. Today, the New York health board voted to ban trans fats in city restaurants. It's sad really because of comments like this:

Toni Lewis, catching a quick dinner at McDonalds before her daughter's piano lesson on the eve of the vote, acknowledged that yes, it might be an intrusion for the city to tell people what they can and can't put into their stomachs. But, she added, it was a welcome one.

"This is New York," she said. "People eat out a lot. We don't have a choice. We need someone to make it a healthier proposition."

So because of people like this who say they can't resist McDonalds, "we need someone" to make it healthier?!? Oh personal responsibility, where have you gone?

It's the danger a bad diet poses to children that has experts the most worried. It's also what worries Kathy Ramirez, a 26-year-old New York mother who takes her toddler to McDonalds every week. She approves of the ban and a related measure passed Tuesday, requiring restaurants that already disclose calorie counts -- mostly chain restaurants -- to post them right on the menu.

"It's hurting us, all this fat, but the kids really like it," said Ramirez, pointing to 3-year-old Amber, who'd just finished her dinner. "It would be better to know what we're getting."

She should have said, "I'm too lazy to cook for my daughter so I take her to McDonalds, but it's so bad for her, someone should pass a law..."

Don't get me wrong, I think the food at McDonalds is by and large gross. But if I want to eat an Egg McMuffin, I will. It's so easy to choose not to eat bad food. We don't need more laws or city ordinances. Can't we just take a tiny bit of responsibility dammit?

"It's basically a slow form of poison," said David Katz, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center. "I applaud New York City and frankly, I think there should be a nationwide ban."

Not everyone agrees with Katz -- he's gotten angry e-mails calling him and colleagues the "food police" and saying, "If I want to eat trans fats, that's my inalienable right." To which he [cynically -- ed.] responds: "Would you want the burden of asking your restaurant whether there's lead in the food? Whether there's arsenic in the bread? For all I know, maybe arsenic makes bread more crusty. But it's poison."

They've banned trans fats in NY, they are close to banning cigarettes in NY, how soon until someone proposes a ban on alcohol? It is, after all, a poison.


Bubba's Sis said...

This is totally nuts. I agree with you - WHERE IS THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THIS COUNTRY?

Bubba said...

Where am I going to get my trans fat now?

Bubba said...

I saw once where they thought trans fat was better for you than saturated fat, now they are back on saturated fat.

The no smoking in bars is REALLY COOL though. Smoking annoys others, eating McDonald's doesn't.

Bubba's Mom said...

There's Big Brother again!! They've got our smoking habits, now our eating habits - can sex be far behind???

Wes Raine said...

I don't like smoke in bars either, but a private establishment should have the right to decide if they want to cater to a smoking crowd. It just seems like there are ways to have non-smoking or trans fat free establishments without passing new laws. You might agree with banning smoking because you're not a smoker, but there will be something that someone wants to ban someday that you will disagree with. This sets a dangerous precedent.

Bubba said...

I think smoking is a public health issue. So, I shouldn't put my health in harm because I want to eat out.

In NY they have no smoking bars. Our bar has a sign, "If there was a demand for non smoking bars some capitalist pig would have had that idea a while back." I think that is over simplification of the issue. Why would you limit your customer base in a bar, non smokers are conditioned to smoking bars, so why eleminate all your smoking customers?

Anyway, what you are doing that affects me, is a public issue, what you do that doesn't affect me, not a public issue.