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Monday, December 11, 2006

Big Mother is Watching

Isnít it Mother who tells you what to eat and not eat? I guess the government had decided that mothers are not doing a very good job so Big Mother has said that there will be no trans fats in New York City. The Los Angeles Times wrote:

The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously Tuesday to prohibit restaurateurs from cooking with artificial trans fats, setting a precedent for public health agencies eager to take on unhealthy eating.

The city's 24,000 restaurants have six months to stop frying foods in oils that contain high levels of trans fats, which are believed to be a leading cause of heart disease. Within 18 months, they must switch to alternative ways of cooking pie crusts, doughnuts and other baked goods ó or face fines for each violation.

No restaurant in New York will be able to use any trans fats. I wonder if there will be a border check to make sure that no one is smuggling in trans fat doughnuts. The FDA says that the following are the biggest sources of trans fats:

40% - cakes, cookies, crackers, pies, bread, etc.
21% - animal products
17% - margarine
8% - fried potatoes
5% - potato chips, corn chips, popcorn
4% - household shortening
3% - salad dressing
1% - breakfast cereal
1% - candy

It would appear that all the good tasting food will now have to be made according to the government approved shortening and probably a government approved recipe. Will we have to get prior approval before we bake cookies or make pies or make a favorite recipe handed down from Grandma?

Big Mother is hard at work in Virginia, too. I love this story. Cooks in Fairfax County Virginia were cooking meals in their homes and bringing them to churches to feed the homeless. They were told that from now on, feeding the homeless in Fairfax County will require more than just a big heart. You'll also need a commercial-grade refrigerator, a three-compartment sink and county certification, after all we donít want to interfere with the good wholesome food they are getting from the dumpsters.

I laughed at the response of one of the women. She said they would continue bringing food no matter what the officials said. The officials have relented and decided that perhaps the women were not poisoning the homeless. The head of the Board of Supervisors, Gerald E. Connolly, blames overzealous county employees for trying to force churches to comply with a Virginia law requiring that all food served to the public must be cooked in certified kitchens. The law exempts "occasional" dinners hosted by school and church groups as well as bake sales by PTAs and sports teams. He said that attempts by county employees to apply the law without exception resulted in nationwide ridicule.

I know I laughed.

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