Another reason to prefer voluntary solutions to social problems.

“The more you give the watchmen to do, the more tempting it becomes to corrupt them, and for them to let themselves be corrupted.” from recent Reason article by Tucille: What Do I Know About Corrupt Cops? My Family Owned a Few.”

And I think I’ll tune in for the upcoming Al Jazeera America piece on the militarization of our police in the US.  When I was growing up (in a smaller, relatively peaceful town), I perceived the police as being there to ‘serve and protect.’ But now I’m very aware that they can pretty much find a reason to arrest whomever they want, and they treat every encounter with a ‘citizen’ as a threatening one. Either there’s been a shift in the past 30 years or I’m just older and more cynical and more aware…

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Let’s Create Salt Ration Cards While We’re at it…Why Stop at Production?

I read this morning about the recommendation to further regulate/limit salt in the food industry as well as the proposed New York ban on salt in restaurants (!).

Let’s create a salt ration card system while we’re at it. If you want to save people from themselves, don’t be shy about it, for heaven’s sake.

I think that the salt ban doesn’t go far enough, frankly. Us poor, poor folk making bad choices need to be saved from ourselves. Here are some ideas on great ways to make people choose carrots and edamame over french fries and hot dogs.

1. Salt and Sugar ration cards – each household only gets so many units. Grocery stores and restaurants have to register units consumed, and once they’re gone, you are not allowed to buy any more food that contains salt for that week.

2. Regulate all recipes put out in cookbooks, cooking magazines, TV shows and online – make sure they pass FDA standards for healthy eating before we can see them or use them. Let’s keep the dangerous information out of the hands of the masses who can’t handle it.

SERIOUSLY: The last time I checked, no one was holding me at gunpoint, forcing me to buy salty processed foods or forcing me to eat out and choose onion rings rather than a side salad.  Are we going to stop holding individuals to account for their own free choice behaviors entirely? It’s getting insane.

Regulation is not necessary, regulation is harmful, regulation is too costly to implement.

Healthy eating is a powerful trend right now that’s gaining momentum – can you deny it?

  1. Jamie Oliver (in the UK) and the Biggest Loser have done more to change perspectives and individual actions than any government program.
  2. 15 years ago, organic/healthfoodsections in grocery stores hardly existed.
  3. Local Farmers Markets did not exist (now we have four or five during the week)
  4. Chain restaurant menus – they mark healthy options on the menu. They have 500-calorie options!
  5. Frozen yogurt didn’t exist. Egg substitute didn’t exist. Edamame probably existed, but no one in the US knew about it. Heirloom tomatoes were unknown. Egg white omelets were never on a menu. Veggie omelets-no cheese, for that matter, were never on a menu.
  6. The only apples you could buy were granny smith, golden delicious or those mealy red ones…
  7. We can all identify heart-attack-on-a-plate. We know that greasy, salty food is bad for us and that if we actually ate one of those meals Paula Dean cooks on her t.v. show we’d gain 5 lbs overnight.
  8. Gourmet cooking mags now actually have a healthy eating section with healthy recipes (at least they’re trying)

Why won’t we trust PRIVATE individuals, non-profits, for-profits, and media to help fulfill the demand for healthier choices?

What healthy trends have you noticed over the past couple of decades ? Add to my list!