The nostalgic phrase "just like mom made" may lose all meaning for future generations, thanks to the incessant meddling of food police from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). For the past 36 years CSPI has lectured the public, petitioned the government, and sued the food industry over alleged hazards lurking on every grocery store aisle. And now — due to copycat legislation based on New York City’s trans fat ban — the residents of Montgomery County, Maryland may soon feel CSPI’s reach at their next school festival, farmers market, or church bake sale.
Today the Washington Post outlined the concerns of Margie Denchfield, who has sold her baked goods at the local Women’s Cooperative Market for almost a quarter century. On account of the trans fat ban, Denchfield will now be forced to experiment "with decades-old recipes she inherited from her mother and grandmother."
Where will this recipe harassment end? According to a report on New York’s trans fat ban in the New England Journal of Medicine, this is just the beginning:
Even the savviest consumers probably need frequent reminders that trans fats aren’t the only obstacles to steering a healthy course through the U.S. diet. [New York City Health Commissioner Thomas] Frieden himself is a case in point: to celebrate the approval of the trans fat regulations, the lean and fit health commissioner ordered doughnuts for his staff from Doughnut Planet, which has eliminated trans fat from its confections. "Oh, wow, those doughnuts are delicious," he recalled wistfully. "They were so good I couldn’t stop eating them."
That’s right. Evidently, concepts of nutrition are just too complicated for even the city’s health commissioner to comprehend. The solution — suggested by socialist scholar Marion Nestle and other dieticians in the report — lies in even more regulation: mandatory menu labeling.
When that doesn’t work — and studies show that it won’t — these mealtime malcontents will push for another round of legislation (see flowchart). Andrew Ferguson of The Weekly Standard can already see the writing on the menu:
Among a very large majority of people, the need to moralize, to be censorious, to alert our neighbors to the failings of others, is undying and ineradicable — as vital as the human need for food or warmth … They can begin with smoking and SUVs and junk food, and pretty soon maybe they can work their way up to things that really matter.