Skip to comments.Food Totalitarians on Parade
Posted on 07/29/2011 1:06:33 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Within the last few years, we have been treated to attempts by government to control our food intake with regulatory nudges and legislative edicts. Sugar, salt, trans-fats, fats in general, fast foods, and school lunches are just a few ingredients and food types which have come under assault by sanctimonious busybodies seeking to dictate healthy eating to everyone.
New York Times food writer provides the latest in we-know-whats-best-for-you babble. In a Times op-ed, Bittman complains, WHAT will it take to get Americans to change our eating habits?
The question itself makes a fundamentally flawed assumption and exhibits arrogance. Why is it anyones job to get Americans to change [their] eating habits? By posing the question in the first place, Bittman implicitly considers himself to be among a select minority tasked with providing guidance to the majority.
It doesnt take long for Bittman to shift the blame for unhealthy eating habits from eaters to providers of that which is eaten. Only six sentences into the article, he laments that the food industry appears incapable of marketing healthier foods.
The statement exhibits an elemental misunderstanding of human nature and sound business practiceknowledge voids common to food totalitarians. In fact, Bittman gets cause and effect bass-ackwards. Successful businesses comprehend peoples desires and market products designed to satisfy those desires. But our food writer thinks that clever advertising can alter human biology, that 175,000 years of DNA-programmed craving for calorie- and taste-laden fats can be erased from Homo sapiens. TV commercials featuring impossibly slender, scantily-clad carrots will entice the masses to give up Whoppers and Big Macs and clamor for the sensual mouth-feel of Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
How does Bittman propose to convince America to eat more healthily? He gets specific:
The average American consumes 44.7 gallons of soft drinks annually. (Although that includes diet sodas, it does not include noncarbonated sweetened beverages, which add up to at least 17 gallons a person per year.) Sweetened drinks could be taxed at 2 cents per ounce, so a six-pack of Pepsi would cost $1.44 more than it does now. An equivalent tax on fries might be 50 cents per serving; a quarter extra for a doughnut.
Bittman exclaims, Its funinspiring, evento think about implementing a program like this.
But who will decide which foods are healthy and which foods are not? Who will set the penalties for eating the wrong stuff? Bittman supplies the answer.
We have experts who can figure out how bad a food should be to qualify, and what the rate should be; right now theyre busy calculating ethanol subsidies. Diet sodas would not be taxed.
Ah, there it is, the vision of the anointed, to use Thomas Sowells words. Sowell points out that self-anointed visionaries, who see a mostly dumb humanity as moldable by a smart few, assign themselves a special state of grace. In fact, Those who accept this vision are deemed to be not merely factually correct but morally on a higher plane.1 Sowell expands further, for implicit in the vision of the anointed,
is the notion that the potential is very different from the actual, and that means exist to improve human nature toward its potential, or that such means can be evolved or discovered, so that man will do the right thing for the right reason, rather than for ulterior psychic or economic rewards.2
To food totalitarians, the right thing is the consumption of foods specified by experts. The right reason is because food totalitarians decree that their decree is infallible.
Here we have the folly of big-government liberalism on grand display. How long before some starry-eyed but angry-faced Democrat proposes legislation to force healthy food advertising? Food totalitarians think that human nature can be remolded by anointed administrators using food rules concocted by anointed experts, that psychic or economic rewards can be rendered irrelevant, that humans will then crave organic beet juice and bean sprouts instead of beer and hot dogs. Liberals think that the impossible can be willed into existence by force of law.
1 Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed, Basic Books, 1995, pp.2-3.
2 Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions, Basic Books, 2007, p. 18.
ping for the Gardening and Prepper lists....
Bittman’s a douche.
I am reminded of a joke:
A man and woman in their late nineties die, and go to heaven, it is a wonderful place and are having the time of their eternal life. The man looks at the woman and says “if you hadn’t made me eat those horrible health foods, and disgusting tofu, I could have been here years sooner.”
That’s an insult to douches.
Yes, they are coming for YOUR vice. Bwahahaha
Yes, they are coming for YOUR vice. Bwahahaha
What’s Michelle eating? House cat?
That’s just sick.....
That’s right. Douches have a cleansing function. These people are just obnoxious.
Nanny State PING!
As a smoker who never had a weight problem I am thrilled about this.
Let them overtax someone else for a change.
Will it now be acceptable to make comments to complete strangers about their eating habits,as it has been done to smokers for years? The answer is probably yes.
Looks like I’m in for some fun.
Why not just do what all communist regimes have done? Tax them mercilessly. Drive them into poverty, then into the streets. Seize their assets. Round them up. Shoot them. Beat them. Starve them. Destroy them. They are not agreeing with the group - what possible rights can they have?
The question, Mark Bittman, is what are you willing to do for the group? Will you shy away from your duty, or will you vote for the Health Gestapo to have full enforcement power? Will you turn away, or turn in your neighbor, for the needs of all? What will you do, Mark Bitmann? Are you willing to stand in the blood of millions, like your communist forefathers, for the greater glory of humanity? Are you willing to do what needs to be done? Or will you hide away in cowardice, and refuse to destroy those who refuse to obey the needs of the many? What are YOU willing to do, Mark Bittman?
“Whats Michelle eating? House cat?”
I thought it was a rack of brontosaurus ribs.
With you! Sideline, though, as a fellow smoker (along with wifey)....road trips are gettin' tough. If you're just toodling around the country with no reservations such as we wrapped up last week, finding 'smoker friendly' accomodations is turning out to be a real bitch.
The entire "Choice Hotels" chain is now smoke-free, and we've come across two cities (Rapid City, SD and Salina, KS) that actually have deemed ALL their lodging to refuse puffers.
Au contraire! WHAT will it take till you finally learn it's NOYFB??!! Your head on a pike?
There was an extra word in that sentence.
It is? Makes me wanna puke. Methinks Buttman's a totalitarian. When, OH WHEN will we learn it's bad to put our penises in other men's rectums? Must be the condom mfgr's fault.