Exorcising Salt: In Whose Interest?
America’s food police are a spooky lot, providing alternate doses of humor and consternation, crying for essays asking “can’t we all just get along,” and then delivering more explaining why we cannot. The latter, with progressively reduced patience, can frequently be reduced to essence: Because too many whackos won’t shut up, so deluded are they that the nation desperately needs their personal intervention that they deputize themselves as vigilantes…of de minimis whatever.
Take those do-gooder, for-themselves-mostly, human hyenas at the so-called Center for Science in the Public Interest, last week suing the federal government for not sufficiently regulating salt in our food.
There they go again. Flapping their press releases. Meddling with the food. Clogging the courts with matters so seriously frivolous that they cry for a new descriptor, writ large in 14-syllable profanity sufficiently vile as to upset even liberals.
Contrast that with the fine new Easter catalog from the good people at Williams-Sonoma. Past the chocolate bunnies, dark, milk or white, and baskets, pastel and personalized, right there on Page 58 is the recipe for salt-crusted snapper, requiring nine cups of God’s Own Seasoning, kosher if you please. Yum! A special recipe is food regulation we need, and not from government kitchens, either.
Now, who do you think most Americans like more: the folks at Williams-Sonoma, responsibly bringing quality food preparation equipment and some mighty tasty recipes into the kitchens of America, or the Nurse Ratchetts of CSPI, who threw hissy fits over your movie popcorn and intimidated Chinese restaurants so badly that you now have to pick broccoli from your egg rolls? Williams-Sonoma features salt and broccoli, without discrimination. Your choice of one or both, as it should be.
Despite the “public interest” rhetoric, CSPI only uses that to its own self-promoting ends. Where are their attacks on The New York Times and other major newspapers that weekly publish tantalizing recipes for all manner of food good and evil? Wouldn’t want to bite the media that feed them, would they?
Have you ever noticed that those so concerned over your nutrition that they are driven to issue press releases and file lawsuits in its name never show up in places, many throughout the world, where nutrition is the difference between living through the day or not for entire populations? We are not exactly discussing contemporary Albert Schweitzers laboring selflessly in the heart of darkness.
Perhaps salt should be added to our list of major national concerns, with every politician forced to take a pledge to end oppression by the salt cabal, followed by unannounced urine tests and pantry checks to verify consistency of word and deed. We just aren’t there yet. When we do get there, it’s a fair bet that the public, which usually expresses the public interest better than those who presume to speak for it, can make that judgment.March 3, 2005