Banning foods makes them sexier
Posted: July 6th, 2012 - 6:37pm by Doug Powell
Proponents, critics and others usually agree on one thing, especially when it involves food.
That if people were just better educated, things would be better.
It’s a deceit and hopelessly arrogant – that if you just saw the world and knew about the world the way I know about the world, we would agree and make better choices.
In my teaching I use the same quote from Thomas Jefferson for every class:
"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education."
Take out the “by education” and I agree.
Which is what I was trying to say when Kelli Grant, a writer for SmartMoney.com asked me about food bans, and said, “Any time there’s an attempt to ban a food, it just makes the food sexier, like Prohibition.”
Recently, California put into effect a ban on foie gras—a fattened duck or goose liver dish that animal-welfare advocates say is inhumane because it requires the force-feeding of animals. In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on sugary drinks exceeding 16 ounces, while Massachusetts recently passed a law, to take effect in August, that will limit students’ access to junk food during the school day.
Those looking for restricted foods may not be totally out of luck, however. Most laws and food codes are at the state, or even county, level. They’re also difficult to enforce, food experts say.
That leads to grass-roots groups that fight the legislation, and efforts among eaters to find ways to buy restricted foods.
Diners may not even have to travel to another state to indulge in their favorite banned food. Experts say they can often find a restaurant or supplier willing to bend the rules. Of course, health-safety concerns may make that a bad idea, Powell said. Unlike foie gras, which was banned for animal-rights concerns, many foods including rare burgers and raw milk are outlawed with the aim of protecting consumers from foodborne illness.
I’m all for providing evidence–based information in a compelling manner and adults can decide what they want. For kids it’s different. In the same way we don’t sit around with our 3-year-olds with a smoke, a rock-and-rye and a line of coke, they should be protected from potentially dangerous foods, regardless of beliefs.
This one’s for you, Rob, which is the vintage of when I took my now 25-year-old daughter to see the Grateful Dead when she was 6-weeks old.