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LAZ

The slippery slope

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In case you missed it, Chicago's aldermen are now looking at another food ban.

Chicago Sun-Times:

Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) followed through on a promise to make Chicago the first big city in the nation to prohibit restaurants from using oils containing artificial trans fats in food preparation.

"Chicago has the opportunity to take a bold step and protect its citizens from the ravages of unhealthy trans fats by banning their use in restaurants,” Burke said. "The end result could well be longer, healthier lives and reduced health costs for many Chicagoans."

I wonder if the alderman has any idea that this ordinance, if passed, may well promote the use of lard, duck fat, beef tallow, butter and coconut and palm oils.

Ironically, most restaurants gave up using such products in the early 1990s, after do-gooder Phil Sokolof, a self-dubbed "cholesterol crusader," took out full-page ads in major newspapers chastising McDonald's Corp. for cooking its famous french fries in supposedly artery-clogging beef tallow. McDonald's obligingly switched to a cholesterol-free vegetable-based cooking fat, despite sacrifices in flavor. But then it turned out that the tasteless hydrogenated vegetable oil was full of trans-fatty acids, saturated fats possibly even more harmful.

Who knows what this action may spawn?

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I think bananas should be the next to go. Think of all the vaudevillians who suffered injury needlessly because of those treacherous peels!

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I did take a minor poke at this in yesterday's media digest.

Of course, in this battle, the do-no-wrong city council will be fighting huge conglomerates with very deep pockets and lots of political influence. It'll be fun to watch Ald. Burke get thumped on this one.

I can't believe that I'm actually rooting for trans fats in this battle. How sad is that?

=R=

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I can't believe these goofs insist on trying to protect me from myself. The trans-fat police.

But I guess it's easier to do that than to find funding for the schools or some of the other incidentals that they haven't found the will to tackle.

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Je**s Ch**st!!!! Are they really trying to kill the food business here in Chicago? I can't believe they're doing stupid shit like this versus taking care of more pressing matters like the quality of public education, neighborhood crimes, etc. WOW!!! I'm speechless, while most of my colleagues in the military are fighting wars in other countries, our politicians here have the time to dilly dally about trans fat, and foie gras.... thats just very sad and very annoying at the same time.

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Great! and I just posted something earlier about where to find duck fat....*shakes head*

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Great! and I just posted something earlier about where to find duck fat....*shakes head*

Duck fat will be next. :wink:

=R=

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Phil Vettel responds

So who needs an ordinance banning trans fats?

Nobody. But it does convey the illusion of accomplishment. We may not be able to do much about gang violence, under-performing schools and political corruption, but we can sure make it marginally less convenient for you to eat foie gras or canned cake frosting!

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Phil Vettel responds
So who needs an ordinance banning trans fats?

Nobody. But it does convey the illusion of accomplishment. We may not be able to do much about gang violence, under-performing schools and political corruption, but we can sure make it marginally less convenient for you to eat foie gras or canned cake frosting!

HA! i couldn't ahve said it better myself

i thought we lived in a free country, but that apparently someone forgot to mention they really meant-- "fat" free country...


Edited by djsexyb (log)

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I can't believe how misguided this is. It would be like focusing an entire week on whether or not burning the flag should be an infraction worth of a Constitutional amendment while the rest of the world is filled with war and famine....oh, wait, never mind.

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*puts on moderator cap*

Ok folks, let's please keep the discussion focused on the issue at hand. :smile:

Carry on!

=R=

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*puts on moderator cap*

Ok folks, let's please keep the discussion focused on the issue at hand. :smile:

Carry on!

=R=

Sorry! My fingers got away with me for a second. :biggrin:

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Next? Maybe they'll take a cue from New York and ban sous vide.

Eileen

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I can see the poor geek who gets to test truck stop kitchen grease just getting thumped every time he goes to check.

Thanks, Chi-town.

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Next? Maybe they'll take a cue from New York and ban sous vide.

Eileen

Luckily, the Chicago city council isn't well enough informed to know about sous vide . . . yet.

=R=

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I'm reminded of the beginning of an old SciFi novel I read (I think it was a Phillip K. Dick novel, but I'm not 100%), that opened with a scene in a little diner, serving real bacon and buttered toast and eggs cooked in butter. The catch? All of those things were "bad for you" and had hence been declared illegal. The main character sits down to breakfast and practically moans with pleasure, remembering her childhood when such meals had been the norm. The younger members of society having been inculcated to the tasteless, nutritional, and legal foodstuffs of the time, had no idea of what they were missing. How can you miss something you've never experienced.

I'm not going to agree entirely with alarmism about these bans, partially because I'm not sure I beleive in the idea of a slippery slope in general, as anything much more than a rallying point for those opposed to something. The idea reminds me a of a cheap high-school debate tactic of forcing your opponent to take an absolute stance, then holding them accountable for the extreme fringes of their veiws. Fun to do, but a kind of logical fallacy as well.

This is not the first thing in modern eating culture that makes me thing of that novel. I know plenty of people around my age (25) who have never tasted real butter, having been raised on margerine and I-can't-beleive-it's-not. A statement like that around here is so un-shocking as to almost be a cliche - we all know people like that. My inclination in that situation is to show them what it is there missing, just as I guide my parents to tiny, imperfect looking local strawberries and away from the supermarket imitations. But I would never ban margerine, or importation of strawberries to force my viewpoints on someone. I'm choosing to eliminate trans fats from my diet, but shouldn't that be MY choice? I'm completely in favor of leaving the decision in the hands of the consumer, as long as they have access to the information they need to make an informed decision. The problem is that consumers act like they don't even have time to read the menu at the drive through, ordering blindly by number, paying in 3 seconds with a credit card, and finishing their value meals before they've driven 5 blocks. They can't be bothered to take the time to make informed decisions about what they eat beforehand, we are getting fatter and fatter as a society, our culture rewards and encourages blaming someone else for our own decisions, our governmental agencies evolve into nannies, and the evil corporations feeding them cheap trans fat-laden gunk have deep pockets. End result? Bans and lawsuits.

Better idea? Let people make their own decisions and reap the consequences or the rewards. Don't tell ME that I can't eat foie gras because it violates YOUR moral standards, and I won't tell YOU that you can't have your trans-fat fried chicken because it violates MY personal standards. I may try to talk you out of it, but at least we'll know that conversation can take place over an extra large order of breaded foie gras nuggets deep fried in partially hydrogentated soy bean oil. Many ducks will "suffer", maybe we'll both gain 15 lbs, but it will be OUR choice.

EDIT: I don't spell well whilst ranting.


Edited by dividend (log)

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Next? Maybe they'll take a cue from New York and ban sous vide.

Eileen

Luckily, the Chicago city council isn't well enough informed to know about sous vide . . . yet.

=R=

They'd probably want to know who she is first! :biggrin:

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Don't they know the key ingredient to good fried chicken is Crisco!? :biggrin:

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