June 1 2012
I disagree with what you eat but I will defend to death your right to eat it. Okay, maybe I won’t take a bullet for your food preferences. Let’s hope the food police don’t make breaking their laws a capital crime.
It may come to that. As Julie wrote earlier, NYC Mayor Bloomberg just announced that he plans to ban the sale of soft drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces at the city’s delis, fast-food restaurants, and sports arenas. Six years ago the mayor went after cooking oil—banning the use of trans fats in bakeries and restaurants. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, a ban on foie gras, a type of goose liver pate, is about to go into effect in California.
For the record, I generally avoid soda and I never eat foie gras. In fact, I don’t eat fried foods, potato chips, donuts, cake, fast food or most sugary drinks because they don’t taste good to me. I consume loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats because I like them. I would eat them if they turned out to be toxic, fat producing, brain damaging garbage. As for foie gras, I’m not comfortable eating it or veal because I’m not comfortable with the farming methods used to produce the meat.
I’m one of those free range chicken owning, beekeeping, organic gardening girls who works out every chance she gets. I’m also a libertarian and am appalled by the idea of illegal food. The hand wringing over obesity craze has gone too far. You know—the patronizing speeches, the cable network specials, even the use of the word “epidemic” as if pie was an airborne pathogen. How is anyone’s weight anyone else’s business? How is this not about thin people jeering at fat people. Suddenly I’m back in a junior high locker room.
We should be free to eat what we want and be as active or inactive as we prefer to be. It’s your life, your liberty, and your pursuit of happiness (and all things delicious) that’s at stake. First they came for the hotdogs but I didn’t eat hotdogs…then they came for my sprouts. Be alarmed.
Bloomberg justifies his soda size limit saying “We're not taking away anybody's right to do things. We're simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another cup.”
Forcing us? He’s right about one thing, only government has recourse to force. Your mom can give you the “Do you really need that second helping?” look but she can’t levy a fine against your family deli. She can’t shut down your restaurant for selling supersized soda, trans fat French fries, or foie gras du jour. Only government can make food illegal. In a free country, that’s just wrong.