Who’s Place Is It?
New York City recently passed an ordinance banning the use of trans fats by restaurants. The idea is that this new law will make New Yorkers more healthy.
Apparently trans fats are used because they make food taste better and have a longer shelf life than other kinds of fats. And it seems they are often used for frying in restaurants mostly because they melt at higher temperatures (I guess the fryers can get hotter), generally taste better, and because they last longer than other types of fats before they go bad.
Unfortunately they are really bad for you.
So bad in fact that the City of New York feels they have to protect their citizens from them. Sort of.
The much publicized ban so far only applies to restaurants. So the packaged food in grocery stores in New York will remain an apparent toxic health hazard. For now.
But heaven forbid if you want to get a Krispy Kreme in the Big Apple.
Now here’s where I’ll probably loose some of you because I’m not sure it is the government’s place to tell us what things we can and cannot eat.
No. Actually I’m pretty sure it is not their place.
What happened to personal responsibility?
Have humans finally evolved to the point where we are incapable of making decisions personal on our own and we need the government to make them for us? Are we no longer responsible for what we put in our own mouths?
I mean I can see some sort of labeling requirement. That way we all could be better informed. I’m all about better information flow.
But even so, we still have choices. As consumers in a (still as yet mostly) free market economy we have the ability to choose what we want to buy, where we want to eat. If healthy eating is really important to folks then they can choose where they want to eat and avoid restaurants that serve unhealthy, trans-fatty filled food. Even if it is yummy tasting.
I see this issue in the same vein as the whole push to outlaw smoking in private businesses, another fight that New York City has championed. I don’t smoke. I don’t much like smoking. Mainly because it gums up my contact lenses and wreaks havoc with my sinuses.
But I don’t think it is the government’s place to tell businesses that they can’t allow their patrons to smoke just because I don’t like it.
Last time I checked this is still America
I’m a big boy. I can still choose which restaurants I want to go to. I have the power to choose to spend my money in non-smoking restaurants if I want. Or I can deal with it if I want (which I gladly do quite often). I don’t need the government discriminating against smokers on my behalf.
Do you think that it is impossible to influence big business by how we spend our money?
It happened to a fast food joint in the UK. Apparently there was at least one McDonald’s that was forced to shut down from lack of business because the local folks were making healthier eating choices. Amazing that capitalism can work if the government is willing to stay out of the way.
But New York City doesn’t see it that way. They feel I really need them to protect me from trans fat if I ever want to eat there.
That’s OK, I guess. Good thing I can still get my Krispy Kreme fix here in Savannah.
But hey, that’s just The Way I C it.
Chris Cree is a regular contributor here at Successful-Blog and he helps businesses fuel growth through blogging with his consulting business, SuccessCREEations.