Sunday 19 February 2012

Food Snobbery: California Playing Catch Up To UK's Lead

If there is one set of bansturbators who can claim to emulate anti-smokers in terms of hysteria, it can only be the food police. Let's have a peek at what is happening in California, shall we?
The food truck nation is fretting over AB 1678, a bill introduced into the California State Legislature on Tuesday a.k.a. Valentine's Day. But this was no love letter for fans of mobile food. The bill seeks to ban mobile food and beverage vending within 1,500 feet of elementary and secondary schools from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. when schools are in session.

A statement ... reads in part: "Mobile food vending poses a threat to student safety as well as student nutrition. Mobile vending near school campuses incentivizes students to leave school grounds, which increases students' exposure to off-campus hazards such as heavily trafficked streets."
As the article describes, this is what it means for people in the State Capital, Sacramento.

Unless they burrow themselves away from populated areas (i.e. where there are shops, people and, err, schools), they can't operate. It's a cleverly couched ban as even observing the rules would mean such a loss of business that they would become non-viable.

For once, though, we can't laugh at California here, since we are already subject to the same stupid nonsense. I wrote about one such case in 2009, and there are plenty others easily discoverable on Google. California, the spiritual home of health twattery, is actually lagging behind our supposedly free nation.

And what for? The cult of Jamie Oliver and his junk food myth in schools and beyond. Or, as it should be properly termed ... Hoxton-esque snobbery.

A Big Mac contains less than 500 calories, not much more than a tuna sandwich but with less fat content, while the chips contain more vitamin C than apples, pound for pound. The drink? Well, one is 87% water and the rest sugar, and approved. Orange juice.

Caviar and anchovies are hugely salty, but if a top end restaurant opened up near a school, can you imagine their being banned as 'junk'? Course not, despite the rules being quite clear on what is, and is not, junk food based on fat, sugar and salt content.

OK, I know what you're thinking. Kids won't eat such stuff so it's not a threat. You'd be right, but if we are going to have arbitrary rules, let's place them on the food rather than who buys it. Otherwise we'll have something like ... oh yeah, that snobbery I mentioned.

And that's all this is.

Obesity? Do me a favour. Government, as always, dismisses human diversity without a care in the world, despite their spreadsheets and models missing something very important. Individuality and, well, nature.
And this is the most fascinating thing: if Nyström's small group are representative, then it would seem that our bodies are more adaptable than we give them credit for. In other words, metabolism may play a much more important role in the problem of obesity than many people think. Indeed, Nyström claims that for some people, eating 10% more will lead to their metabolism increasing at the same level. The extra energy will be burned off as body heat during sleep.
Not convinced? Well, even if so, let's just remember - for a goddamn minute - why this obesity thing is apparently so important. It's the risk of death, remember.

Jamie - bless his arrogant money-grubbing heart - keeps talking about kids dying younger than their parents. Why does anyone buy this shit when it is patently false, and backed up by life expectancy statistics from every state agency in the developed world?

The difference between a few calories and fat here and there at school lunchtime means what, exactly? Well, nothing really. BMI is such a coarse method of measurement that the entire complement of six nations players would be termed obese, whereas someone unfit and lightweight like me passes with flying colours no matter how many kebab shops I have on speed dial.

And even if one subscribes to the ever-increasing waistlines theory (which hasn't been true for a few years), obesity itself isn't the problem. The small marginal increase in potential problems as a result of obesity is. And when the numbers are crunched, normal, overweight or mildly obese people have almost imperceptible differences in mortality - in fact, life expectancy for those overweight is slightly longer than those classed as 'normal'.

It is solely down to a finger-wagging attitude of what some people want others to eat. You've all met one of these ghastly idiots who swear about how appalling McD's is but consider a Starbucks Dolphin-Friendly Tuna Melt the height of taste (at 93 calories more than a Big Mac). In California, their 'big I am' attitude is now hell bent on destroying businesses based solely on their own spiteful prejudice.

The problem in the UK is that we have MPs in thrall to middle class health bigots who look down their noses at the food choices of others. If they were only able to step back from their circle-jerking bubble for a moment, slap themselves around the head and realise that they are here to serve the public rather than dictate. Oh yeah, and actually look at evidence which isn't fed to them by those with an agenda and/or a salary dependent on it, we might see some sensible government.

If any are reading, I suggest they purchase this book, as reviewed by Snowdon last year. They might actually learn something, while also bringing some relief from their wasteful, pointless, economically-damaging, and often counter-productive hectoring.


Thomas said...

Interesting interconnection among all these food related bannings.

The Waltham Forest police raid was to shut down a black Jamaican owned restaurant, taking it out by force. The proposed upcoming California law will jackboot out of business the lunch wagon trade state-wide, which are predominantly owned and operated by Mexican, Vietnamese and Chinese people, mostly poor immigrants trying to realize the American dream of owning and operating their own enterprises. The San Francisco refusal to renew expiring tobacco retail licenses has forced closures and made worthless for resale tobacco stores owned and operated by immigrants from Russian, China, Turkey, other nations.

In the meantime, in San Francisco, I see popping up portable vending coaches on semi-permanent footing in parking lots off the renovated ("greened") Octavia Street arts district, one specializing in ultra-expensive ice-cream, another specializing in ultra-expensive beer, yet another expensive coffes and teas - this on top of gentrified expensive eateries also positioned there after the area was "greened" - all of out outdoor smoking banned and all of it too expensive for the poorer classes living nearby in public project housing on welfare - the outdoor eateries and drinkeries packed full of mainly whites and I assume wealthy, enough to be able to afford these luxuries, "progressive" since they ban smoking and look down on others. And there are others popping up now too, in other gentrified ("greened") neighborhoods - mobile coaches for expensive coffee, expensive foods, all outdoor smoke banned mind you - to keep out the riff-raff and high priced enough to keep out the non-white, the immigrants and the poor.

So it sounds to me like this is the same blatant in-your-face racism as was practiced decades earlier in California, which back then they just wrote into property deeds very descript and exact names of classes, nationalities and races of people who were not permitted to own or live in entire neighborhoods (eg., Pasatiempo, Santa Cruz County, where Alfred Hitchcock and other Hollywood types once lived, is still on the books in copies of old original deeds, no this, that or the other type of people allowed to live there) - which was eventually named illegal and unenforceable.

Only nowadays, instead of being blatant in-your-face, the ruling elite have produced a generation of willful ignorants who believe on one hand, they are the most enlightened and grant freedom to those beneath them, because they are "progressive" and "liberal" - when in reality, they are only just the same as a generation or two before them, when they were really no different, just acted out their discrimination more truthfully to fact, not hide behind false ideologies in order to shield themselves from their willful ignorance and hatred of those beneath them.

That is some of what is going on with all this food discrimination I think too, as with the smoke discrimination, alcohol discrimination.

Michael J. McFadden said...

Actually, those little red circles should multiply a bit!  After all, they shouldn't be selling this sort of poison to the children at California's universities or to visitors of patients who are trying to get well in hospitals or doctor's offices, right?


Lyn said...

This is something I wrote on Stephen Williams MP blog about plain packaging, but is equally relevant to this food and obesity fanatacism that is becoming more and more prevalent!

Stephen, many things in life can lead to poor health, but banning them all would lead to certain death as most, if not all, are necessary for life to exist. The Victorians regulalry took arsenic – they didn’t drop dead taking it as it is the dose that makes the poison and as, with medecines prescribed regularly by doctors, many contain substances that, taken in excess, are highly poisonous and would kill – hence the ‘dose’ prescribed by the doctor!

Many people today are sick and tired of governments trying to fit square pegs into round holes. None of us are the same because we are INDIVIDUALS. This means that we like different things in terms of food and drink, the jobs we do, what our goals are in life, etc. In fact, if we didn’t then we would not still be in existence! We need to be different to tackle the miriad of problems that life throws at us otherwise none of the challenges of life would have been resolved.

These life challenges do not include trying to mould people into clones of what some see as the ‘perfect’ package. This is why the resistence to bans that affect the choices of individuals, when those choices are to do or partake of something that is legal, never mind the fact of whether or not it is something that raises billions for the treasury, are so strongly opposed.

Just like square pegs will not fit into round holes, people will not be manipulated and squeezed into lifestyle choices that the paranoid wish to impose, simply because WE do not fit! The fit becomes far tighter too when the basis for this manipulatation is totally flawed and based on lies that even a child can see through and on top of that is solely about making money for the huge pharmaceutical industry and at the same time bleeding the public purse dry.

‘Cloning’ to produce the ‘Perfect’ being has been tried before and failed miserably – it will continue to fail because we are individuals and we cherish that fact.

One final point: it is because we are individuals that some die young and some die old; some can lead an exemplary and healthy life, never smoking , drinking or eating anything but healthy produce, early to bed and early to rise, etc and still die in their 30′s and 40′s or earlier – Why? Because that was in their genetics. The same as some can lead a totally debauched lifestyle and live well into their twilight years – their genetic make up was such that short of getting run over by a bus or shot or caught in a burning building, they were always going to live a long life, whatever they did. Some are destined to live sickly lives and some are not, it is all down to genetics.
Very simply, Stephen, THAT IS LIFE!

JonathanBagley said...

Excellent post Dick.

nicholas.ashley1 said...

"Trafficked streets" there  black market in streets in the US?

GAinNY said...

Life expectancy will go down as a result of Fukushima (crisis still going on—did you know?) and other aged nuclear plants (built for twenty years, license extended for another twenty, now petitioning for yet another twenty). As a result of media suppression ( is one of the few sites that covers nuke news), expect to see rising mortality rates blamed on the usual suspects, tobacco, alcohol, and food.

This is the major story of our time, but we're not supposed to remember it.


Dick_Puddlecote said...

Very kind of you, squire. Good review, too. :)

J Motes said...

Thanks! I love your blog. Sorry for the appalling formatting of my comment.