Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bill Bans Use of Salt in Restaurants

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz has introduced a bill to The New York State Assembly that would ban the use of salt by restaurants. The bill reads in part

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting the use of salt in the preparation of food by restaurants PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To prohibit restaurants from using salt when preparing customers' meals. Customers will have the discretion to add salt to their own meal after it has been prepared. SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The general business law is amended by adding a new section 399-bbb, which would prohibit the use of salt by owner or operators of a restaurant when preparing food for consumption by customers.

It is very difficult to imagine that something as stupid and arrogant as this would pass, but there is no shortage of fools in politics, so you never know.

You can read the whole thing, in all of its hubristic glory here


Cameron Siguenza said...

Is that ever stupid - the problem is with factory foods, not with restaurant food.


Mike Pardus said...

Here's what I sent to the Ass - emblyman. I advise you follow up with something similar - the man is obviously an idiot.

Assemblyman Ortiz.

I would ask that you consult Dietitians and Professional Chefs before proceeding with your bill to ban salt in restaurants. Processed foods and fast foods may well contain more salt than is recommended, but the majority of "fine dining" restaurants use fresh ingredients and season judiciously "to taste". Introducing salt ONLY at the table is not clinically or sensorally advisable. Small amounts of salt during cooking season most foods more effectively than seasoning at table alone - consumers are more likely to over salt food which is prepared without salt at all.

One needs also to consider the other effects that salt has on foods - it is necessary to retain color in green vegetables, it is necessary to bind proteins in sausage and pate,it is necessary to assist seared meat to brown. The implications of your proposal are more far reaching than you have stated. "in any form" implys that prepared condiments like Ketchup, Mustard, Soy Sauce would all be banned from restaurants. This is an ill conceived and poorly thought out proposal. If you would like more information on the multi-faceted functions of salt, please contact me.

Bob del Grosso said...

Exactly. I could not have said it better. The guy doesn't know any more about salt than what his mother told him that her doctor told her. I'm glad you wrote him.

Carrie said...

My mother in law cooks like this. She cooks everything without salt and lets people salt as they wish at the table. It's fraking disgusting and I hate it. Everything ends up grey and bland and I find myself desperately wishing for a decent sauce somewhere.

matt74 said...

Bob I think just like you!..and mike you absolutly hit the nail on the head...no wonder why our country is in a fucking tail spin..asses like this wasting critcal time when it could be aimed somewhere more useful!..to me salt is essential to life!

Tags said...

Ban salt from Ortiz's body - then see how long he lasts.

Jon in Albany said...

Instead of writing to Ortiz, I wrote to Steve Barnes at the Times Union newspaper in Albany. He runs a pretty nice local food blog at the paper. My guess is that he already knew about it and this post went soon after I sent the email. Here's what he wrote on the subject:


And then a follow up here:

There was also a good political cartoon in the paper:

It looks as though Ortiz has been properly ridiculed.