Be Healthier — Or Else!

      91 Comments on Be Healthier — Or Else!

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” — C.S. Lewis.

Government solutions to obesity and other health issues continue to spring up everywhere. San Francisco followed through on its threat to outlaw Happy Meal toys, as I recounted in a previous post. Several states have ordered restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus. Mayor Bloomberg in New York wants to tell food manufacturers how much sodium their products can contain. And now the city council in Cincinnati is considering ordering restaurants to “go vegetarian!” on Mondays.

Cincinnati’s Food Task Force has proposed instituting “Meatless Mondays” in Cincinnati, and forcing restaurants to offer dishes that don’t contain meat.

“Everybody cares about their health, health of their children. It’s an invitation to try something new once a week,” said Meghan Burke, a member of the task force.

An invitation?! What a lovely euphemism.

Ms. Burke, when you pass a law, it’s not an invitation; it’s a government mandate. And like all government mandates, it will be enforced with the threat of violence — that’s what “enforced” means. If you don’t believe me, ignore a government mandate sometime. When the government levies a fine for noncompliance, call the department in charge and tell them to piss off. Eventually, uniformed people with guns will show up at your door. This is no more of an “invitation” than a tax bill from the IRS is an “invitation” to donate to the treasury. What kind of nut-case could possibly see it any other way?

Burke is also co-owner of the vegan restaurant Loving Hut.

Oh, thaaaaat kind of nut-case. Now I get it. So Ms. Burke is proposing a law that would just happen to benefit the business she owns. Man, it’s inspiring to watch government officials serve the public so selflessly.

She said healthier food is better for the environment. “If people cut out meat once a week, it’s the equivalent of taking thousands of cars off of the street,” Burke said.

The idea that eating meat contributes to excess greenhouse emissions is vegan poppycock, of course, as explained recently by a columnist for the Guardian. Lierre Keith also did a bang-up job in The Vegetarian Myth of showing how it’s mono-crop farming that’s destroying the planet, not raising livestock.

But I agree with Ms. Burke that forcing Cincinnati restaurants to go vegetarian on Mondays will probably remove thousands of cars from the street … because restaurant patrons will stay home and grill their own steaks and burgers. Or it could produce exactly the opposite outcome:

“Yes, I’d like the prime rib, and my wife will have the New York Strip.”

“I’m sorry, sir. We can only serve vegetarian meals on Mondays.”

“What?! Says who?”

“The city council.”

“I see. Well, how far is the nearest city that isn’t run by dimwits?”

“About 17 miles.”

“And they have restaurants there?”

“Yes.”

“Bye.”

Either way, the restaurants in Cincinnati are going to lose business if this law passes — except for Ms. Burke’s, of course. Some hard-working entrepreneurs will take a financial hit, which means some employees could lose their jobs — but hey, that’s okay, as long as the people in government believe they might, perhaps, just maybe persuade a few people to eat what they believe are more nutritious foods.

A few vegans who showed up on this blog to comment on previous posts accused me of being hostile towards vegetarians. Not true. If people choose not to eat meat, I don’t really care. But I definitely feel hostile towards people who try to impose their dietary preferences on others, and wouldn’t ya know it,  every time a law like this comes around, there are vegan nut-cases behind it. (Have you ever heard of meat-eaters trying to force restaurants to serving nothing but steaks, ribs and chops once per week?)

I’m thoroughly convinced wheat is one of the worst foods you can eat. I can cite evidence that wheat and other grains are a factor in obesity, heart disease, diabetes, schizophrenia and a host of auto-immune disorders. But just imagine the reaction in the vegan community if I convinced the Nashville city council to mandate Wheatless Wednesdays. I’m pretty sure the vegans would shake their little fists and stamp their little feet so hard, they’d split the heels on their Birkenstocks.

Of course, I’d also oppose Wheatless Wednesdays. Call me crazy, but I believe that in a (supposedly) free country, governments should not be allowed to prohibit adults from making voluntary exchanges unless there’s one heck of a compelling reason. And by compelling, I mean actual proof that we’re preventing actual harm that people can’t voluntarily avoid … not “it would be a good idea if people did this” or “we’re rather people didn’t do that” or “we think maybe this will work.”

If Cincinnati is going to mandate Meatless Mondays in restaurants, the city council should be required to produce solid, indisputable evidence that the law will lead to a healthier, leaner, happier citizenry — and even then, the law would merely be an outrage, as opposed to an outrage perpetrated by misinformed imbeciles. (Or as Curly Howard might would put it, intelligent imbeciles … nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.)

If San Francisco is going to ban Happy Meal toys — thus preventing supposedly free adults in a supposedly free country from making decisions for their kids — they should be required to justify that ban with solid, indisputable evidence that:

  • Happy Meals toys cause kids to eat at McDonald’s more frequently than they would otherwise
  • Eating frequently at McDonald’s causes kids who would otherwise remain lean to become obese
  • Outlawing Happy Meals toys will discourage kids from eating at McDonald’s
  • Kids who would otherwise become obese remain lean if they are discouraged from eating at McDonald’s

For the Happy-Meal ban to actually do any good, all four of those conditions would have to be true. But of course, the do-gooder dimwits running San Francisco can’t prove that all four conditions are true. They can’t prove that any one of them is true.

But for big-government dimwits, proof of an actual benefit isn’t a necessary condition before taking away basic freedoms. All that’s necessary is for them to believe they know what’s best for us. As Milton Friedman replied when he was asked why so many intellectuals favor big-government authoritarianism, “It’s not the smart people who are dangerous. It’s the people who think they’re smarter than everyone else.”

I suppose I should be grateful to the San Francisco city council for reminding me that leaving California was the smartest move I ever made. The state is run by do-gooder dimwits, apparently because a majority of voters share the same do-gooder dimwit ideas. If The Guy From CSPI lived in California, he could probably be elected to the U.S. senate.

As you know, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Malcolm Kendrick’s book The Great Cholesterol Con, partly because he shreds the Lipid Hypothesis, and partly because he’s a brilliant writer … clear, direct, logical and laugh-out-loud funny, all at the same time. It’s a rare treat to be educated and amused at the same time.

Dr. Kendrick recently sent me an email (including the C.S. Lewis quote at the top of this post) in which he explained the progression from good intentions to outright authoritarianism in government health policies. He’s threatened to expand on the topic in a book someday, and I hope he does. But in the meantime, with his permission, here’s part of what he wrote:

——————————————————————————-

We carry on forever. We give drugs to the terminally ill, the extremely old and severely demented. Once started we never, ever, stop, no matter what, until the patient is dead. Perhaps we should scatter statins on their ashes, just to make absolutely and completely certain that we aren’t missing a trick. After all, I would hate be thought of as ‘deadist’.

And what, exactly, does this prove – you may well ask.

It proves that the activity we call preventative medicine is no longer a rational activity, if it ever was. It is something else completely. Quite what it is, I am not entirely sure anymore. On one level it is an honest attempt to help people live longer and healthier lives. Hopefully, happier lives too.

But on other levels it has become hijacked by rather more sinister forces and desires. The desire that always seems to end up in the driving seat, unfortunately, is the deep-seated authoritarian desire to control other people. So what starts as concern and advice evolves, with wearisome inevitability, into laws and punishment.

Essentially, preventative medicine travels through the following stages:

Stage 1: Something is identified as being harmful to health e.g. smoking, drinking, boxing, eating crisps
Stage 2: Doctors raise awareness of this harmful thing
Stage 3: Education begins
Stage 4: Nothing much happens
Stage 5: Three parallel activities then occur
(i): Doctors begin to lobby the Government to take action
(ii): Advertising starts against the harmful thing
(iii): The harmful thing is chastised as being immoral/damaging to as wide a population as possible – especially children
Stage 6: A law is passed restricting the harmful thing
Stage 7: More laws are passed further restricting the harmful thing
Stage 8: The harmful thing is completely outlawed/banned

The full progression is not absolutely certain, and can sometimes move backwards. Drinking alcohol, for example has been made illegal at various times in several countries, with prohibition in the USA being the most famous example. However, the US moved back, by repealing prohibition, as did Finland, Sweden, and a few other countries. Which means that the process of preventative medicine can undergo some degree of reversal. Usually from stage 8, back to stage 7.

Having said this, things rarely reverse very far. Alcohol consumption is still very tightly regulated in most countries with law after law passed to control it, ban it and tax it. It seems very unlikely that drinking alcohol will move much further back than Stage 7 any time soon.

Other activities, despite repeated attempts, have not been completely banned yet. Smoking and boxing spring to mind. However, I can’t see this situation lasting much longer. They have both reached stage 7, and the pressure to move towards a complete ban is pretty unrelenting.

Of course, preventative medicine is not just about stopping people from doing things. The other side of the preventative coin is about things deemed to be good for you. For example, exercising, or eating five portions of fruit and vegetables, or drinking water that has had fluoride added to it.

As with banning, once something has been decreed to be a ‘good thing’ the process of ensuring that it becomes mandatory (or as close to mandatory as possible) begins. Essentially, this is the same process as banning, in reverse:

Stage 1: Something is identified as being good for health, e.g. water fluoridation, vaccination, eating fruit and vegetables
Stage 2: Doctors raise awareness of this good thing
Stage 3: Education begins
Stage 4: Nothing much happens
Stage 5: Three parallel activities then occur
(i): Doctors begin to lobby the Government to take action
(ii): Advertising starts in support of the beneficial thing
(iii): The beneficial thing is promoted as being beneficial to as wide a population as possible
Stage 6: A law is passed making the ‘good thing’ mandatory for some people
Stage 7: More laws are passed making the ‘good thing’ mandatory in a wider population
Stage 8: The activity is imposed/enforced on everyone

And so it goes.

———————————————————————————–

Looking forward to that book, Dr. Kendrick.

The end of freedom to make your own diet and health decisions won’t begin with snarling, jack-booted thugs showing up at your door. It will begin with smiling, sincere people in government telling you, “We’re only trying to help you.” And they’ve already started.

p.s. – speaking of thugs, you may want to read about the TSA airport screeners on my other blog.


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91 thoughts on “Be Healthier — Or Else!

  1. Dan

    Dr.Kendrick is right on. It’s too bad that any of these trajectory have become orthodoxy in our present time.

    Indeed.

    Reply
  2. Turducken

    Came to think of the three big lies:
    1) The check is in the mail.
    2) Of course I respect you in the morning and
    3) We’re from the government and we’re here to help you.

    As always: excellent post Tom.

    I’ve recently added a fourth big lie: “Your call is important to us.”

    Reply
  3. eddie watts

    not sure i’d agree with the boxing thing.
    sure there are some fatalities, but compared with all the people that do “boxing” to get fit and defend themselfbut never actually go into the full contact sport as seen on tv, i think overall the sport is less dangerous compared to american football, racing (car/motorbike) and possibly even bodybuilding(see ronnie coleman being given oxygen from a cannister before going on stage as an example of what i mean in these sport)

    otherwise great post!
    smoking is sure to be banned at some point

    Dr. Kendrick wasn’t suggesting banning boxing or smoking. He was naming them as two activities that are probably on the way towards being banned. I’d oppose banning either, although I don’t smoke cigarettes and sure as heck don’t box.

    Reply
  4. Karen

    I so dread to think the hold over the American public once insurance laws are in force. Once a person is, by law, required to have health insurance, and those insurance companies have more and more say over what they will require to know and how they will adjudicate claims based on that knowledge is sickeningly frightening. Already there are stories (a lot I’ve read in your comments sections) of folks who are held hostage by their insurance companies to do this or that, or else.

    Thanks for this story Tom. I’m gonna be sure to bring this stuff up for discussion whenever I can.

    Obama’s head of Medicare/Medicaid is also on record advocating for “harmonizing” medical treatment by requiring specific protocols and reducing physician “autonomy.” In other words, you’ll get the treatment the government says you need, not the treatment your doctor believes you need. Does anyone believe big pharma won’t have a hand in deciding what those “harmonized” protocols should be?

    Reply
  5. Tammy

    What about the fast food restaurants in Cincinnati? It doesn’t seem like they’d have an easy time of going “meatless” on any given day of the week. Seems like there’d be a pretty big lobby against it (I’d hope) so it wouldn’t get passed.

    As for other “rights” I totally agree, with the exception of smoking. I don’t agree that it should be banned, after all you have the right to give yourself lung cancer if you want. But, I’m glad for all of the regulation because I feel that I also have the right to NOT be exposed to your smoke when I’m out in public like at a restaurant trying to enjoy a meal.

    I don’t have any problem with governments banning smoking on government property, but I’m very much opposed to banning smoking on private property, including bars and restaurants. That decision should be up to the owners, and the public can decide to patronize the place or not.

    Here’s an analogy: I hate loud music, and loud music can damage your ears. But I would never, ever try to pass a law telling all the bars and nightclubs they can’t play loud music just because I’d like to patronize their establishments without being exposed to it.

    Reply
  6. anon

    I thought for a second that you were going to advocate vegetarian diets. What a pleasant surprise the next 10 minutes were!
    Knowing what I do after actually researching my food, I can understand why people like Gordon Ramsay are so furious with these people!

    Reply
  7. Jan

    What’s really stupid about the vegan restaurant lady trying to pass the law that all restaurants serve only vegetarian dishes on Mondays is that it COULD hurt her business. She probably has a pretty large market share in the vegetarian/vegan community that eats out – vegetarian/vegan restaurants aren’t nearly as numerous as mainstream restaurants, and it’s often hard to find good vegetarian dishes in mainstream restaurants (a vegetarian blogger friend of mine just wrote a post on this). If she manages to force every eating establishment in the city to conform to her way of eating on Monday, her vegetarian/vegan patrons are going to have a lot more places to go – what will keep them going to her establishment?

    I don’t know … if I owned a seafood place and then passed a law that all restaurants must offer seafood dishes, I’d count on the fact that everyone knows I specialize in seafood, while the others were merely tagging on a few fish dishes.

    Reply
  8. Turducken

    Came to think of the three big lies:
    1) The check is in the mail.
    2) Of course I respect you in the morning and
    3) We’re from the government and we’re here to help you.

    As always: excellent post Tom.

    I’ve recently added a fourth big lie: “Your call is important to us.”

    Reply
  9. Bruce

    I understand your concern for the forced meatless Mondays, but it does say “to offer dishes that don’t contain meat”, so I’m assuming (I know, I know) that the restaurant could offer the house salad as a meatless alternative.

    Of course this “Invitation” would need to be extended to Ms. Burkes and other vegetarian restaurants to include MEAT on one day of the week.

    Or you could go to one of my favorite locals restaurants and enjoy the following healthy foods:

    Saganaki
    Supreme Nachos with just cheese
    Mozzarella cheese sticks
    Potato skins (hold the bacon)
    Onion rings.

    These and many salads are available 7 days a week!! And they are all vegetarian.

    Or go to Chili’s, and get the delicious black bean patty substitute for the burger…at the same cost as beef.

    The key sentence is “forcing restaurants to offer dishes that don’t contain meat.” Governments have no business forcing restaurants to offer dishes of any kind.

    Reply
  10. labrat

    Malcolm!!! I miss your Red Flags columns. Hope all is well. Proud to have inspired 2 of them.
    Where have you been?

    Meatless Mondays! Ugh. Friday’s during lent isn’t enough? At least we can eat fish! Is fish allowed on Meatless Mondays?

    Reminds me of an MD blogger that bragged about his “healthy dinner”. Trader’s Joe’s soy corn dogs and soy wings – he described it as “all natural and wholesome food for the heart”. I kid you not.

    Ugh. Keep me away from that doctor.

    Reply
  11. Jo

    I do hope Kendrick writes another book. I laughed out loud at his last one. He is a talented writer and smart too.

    Sorry about the weight dig the other day. I’m hefty too, so I ought to know better! LOL.

    No offense taken.

    Reply
  12. eddie watts

    not sure i’d agree with the boxing thing.
    sure there are some fatalities, but compared with all the people that do “boxing” to get fit and defend themselfbut never actually go into the full contact sport as seen on tv, i think overall the sport is less dangerous compared to american football, racing (car/motorbike) and possibly even bodybuilding(see ronnie coleman being given oxygen from a cannister before going on stage as an example of what i mean in these sport)

    otherwise great post!
    smoking is sure to be banned at some point

    Dr. Kendrick wasn’t suggesting banning boxing or smoking. He was naming them as two activities that are probably on the way towards being banned. I’d oppose banning either, although I don’t smoke cigarettes and sure as heck don’t box.

    Reply
  13. Cindy L Rondeau D.O.M.

    If the supposed Food Safety Bill S-510 passes today – it will soon be illegal to eat anything the FDA deems “unsafe”.

    It’s going to be a strange society when we have to sneak off to buy illicit foods from farmers.

    Reply
  14. Karen

    I so dread to think the hold over the American public once insurance laws are in force. Once a person is, by law, required to have health insurance, and those insurance companies have more and more say over what they will require to know and how they will adjudicate claims based on that knowledge is sickeningly frightening. Already there are stories (a lot I’ve read in your comments sections) of folks who are held hostage by their insurance companies to do this or that, or else.

    Thanks for this story Tom. I’m gonna be sure to bring this stuff up for discussion whenever I can.

    Obama’s head of Medicare/Medicaid is also on record advocating for “harmonizing” medical treatment by requiring specific protocols and reducing physician “autonomy.” In other words, you’ll get the treatment the government says you need, not the treatment your doctor believes you need. Does anyone believe big pharma won’t have a hand in deciding what those “harmonized” protocols should be?

    Reply
  15. Tammy

    What about the fast food restaurants in Cincinnati? It doesn’t seem like they’d have an easy time of going “meatless” on any given day of the week. Seems like there’d be a pretty big lobby against it (I’d hope) so it wouldn’t get passed.

    As for other “rights” I totally agree, with the exception of smoking. I don’t agree that it should be banned, after all you have the right to give yourself lung cancer if you want. But, I’m glad for all of the regulation because I feel that I also have the right to NOT be exposed to your smoke when I’m out in public like at a restaurant trying to enjoy a meal.

    I don’t have any problem with governments banning smoking on government property, but I’m very much opposed to banning smoking on private property, including bars and restaurants. That decision should be up to the owners, and the public can decide to patronize the place or not.

    Here’s an analogy: I hate loud music, and loud music can damage your ears. But I would never, ever try to pass a law telling all the bars and nightclubs they can’t play loud music just because I’d like to patronize their establishments without being exposed to it.

    Reply
  16. RobR

    Don’t all restaurants offer meatless dishes?
    Even at a steakhouse you can get a salad and some potatoes.

    I can’t imagine anything more horrific than a vegetarian version of skyline chilli.

    Loving Hut is a vegan cult.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ching_Hai

    There ends up not being much to say on these topics.
    Control freaks push bad science as justification to moralize while holding a gun.

    The cult members may want to pay attention to their own precepts as listed on the wiki page, such as:

    Refrain from speaking what is not true. (Such as “Meat makes you unhealthy and causes global warming.”)
    Refrain from taking what is not offered. (Such as my right to sell whatever dishes I choose in my own restaurant.)

    Reply
  17. Jan

    It was my understanding that the Vegan Restaurant Lady wasn’t pushing to have restaurants add vegetarian options to their menus on Monday – most restaurants already do – but to serve nothing BUT vegetarian dishes on Monday. Either way, it’s none of her damn business what other restaurants choose to serve on any day of the week, and is the kind of thing that could very well come back to bite her in the behind.

    Be very, very careful, Vegan Restaurant Lady; if the government can force another business into doing something they don’t want to do, they can do it to you, too.

    Oh, and there are already underground food co-ops – Sandor Ellix Katz talks about them in The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved. My favorite line out of the book: “Eating well has become an act of civil disobedience.”

    Drop the pork chop! Drop, or we’ll shoot!

    Reply
  18. anon

    I thought for a second that you were going to advocate vegetarian diets. What a pleasant surprise the next 10 minutes were!
    Knowing what I do after actually researching my food, I can understand why people like Gordon Ramsay are so furious with these people!

    Reply
  19. Jan

    What’s really stupid about the vegan restaurant lady trying to pass the law that all restaurants serve only vegetarian dishes on Mondays is that it COULD hurt her business. She probably has a pretty large market share in the vegetarian/vegan community that eats out – vegetarian/vegan restaurants aren’t nearly as numerous as mainstream restaurants, and it’s often hard to find good vegetarian dishes in mainstream restaurants (a vegetarian blogger friend of mine just wrote a post on this). If she manages to force every eating establishment in the city to conform to her way of eating on Monday, her vegetarian/vegan patrons are going to have a lot more places to go – what will keep them going to her establishment?

    I don’t know … if I owned a seafood place and then passed a law that all restaurants must offer seafood dishes, I’d count on the fact that everyone knows I specialize in seafood, while the others were merely tagging on a few fish dishes.

    Reply
  20. Bruce

    I understand your concern for the forced meatless Mondays, but it does say “to offer dishes that don’t contain meat”, so I’m assuming (I know, I know) that the restaurant could offer the house salad as a meatless alternative.

    Of course this “Invitation” would need to be extended to Ms. Burkes and other vegetarian restaurants to include MEAT on one day of the week.

    Or you could go to one of my favorite locals restaurants and enjoy the following healthy foods:

    Saganaki
    Supreme Nachos with just cheese
    Mozzarella cheese sticks
    Potato skins (hold the bacon)
    Onion rings.

    These and many salads are available 7 days a week!! And they are all vegetarian.

    Or go to Chili’s, and get the delicious black bean patty substitute for the burger…at the same cost as beef.

    The key sentence is “forcing restaurants to offer dishes that don’t contain meat.” Governments have no business forcing restaurants to offer dishes of any kind.

    Reply
  21. Dave Fish

    The madness abounds. Baltimore public schools have meatless Monday. Our good friends in San Francisco have passed a resolution to “encourage” schools, restaurants, and stores to have a meat free Monday. They haven’t made it mandatory yet, but given what they did to McDonalds isn’t it only a matter of time?

    The state of Michigan held a one day “meatout” where they encouraged their residents to not eat meat. Fortunately the residents responded by holding a one day “Democratout” on November 2nd.

    We need a nationwide “meathead-out” day.

    Reply
  22. Bullinachinashop

    The happy meal toy law would be quickly repealed if the lawmakers were forced to come to Mcdonalds and them the screaming 3 year olds themselves that they can’t have one. Even better, we can use it as an opportunity to raise kids to be anti-liberal. “I’m sorry Billy, but the Democrats say you’re too dumb to play with the Shrek toys. Are they ‘bad’ guys or ‘good’ guys, Billy?”.

    I like it. The kids who’ve had their bake sales and lemonade stands shut down by local governments should certainly grow up to be fiscal libertarians … I hope.

    Reply
  23. labrat

    Malcolm!!! I miss your Red Flags columns. Hope all is well. Proud to have inspired 2 of them.
    Where have you been?

    Meatless Mondays! Ugh. Friday’s during lent isn’t enough? At least we can eat fish! Is fish allowed on Meatless Mondays?

    Reminds me of an MD blogger that bragged about his “healthy dinner”. Trader’s Joe’s soy corn dogs and soy wings – he described it as “all natural and wholesome food for the heart”. I kid you not.

    Ugh. Keep me away from that doctor.

    Reply
  24. Jo

    I do hope Kendrick writes another book. I laughed out loud at his last one. He is a talented writer and smart too.

    Sorry about the weight dig the other day. I’m hefty too, so I ought to know better! LOL.

    No offense taken.

    Reply
  25. Cindy L Rondeau D.O.M.

    If the supposed Food Safety Bill S-510 passes today – it will soon be illegal to eat anything the FDA deems “unsafe”.

    It’s going to be a strange society when we have to sneak off to buy illicit foods from farmers.

    Reply
  26. Norman Robert Spencer

    Norway, being a Scandinavian country with high taxes and an aggressively regulatory government, is, surprisingly perhaps, a great country to live in if you like real food. Until the advent of cheap noodles, potatoes were the primary starch, along with rye bread (wheat is imported). The terrain and climate do not permit large scale cultivation of grains and legumes, but there is lots of acreage for grazing, and nothing compares to grass and juniper fed lamb for succulence and omega-3 to -6 balance (making fall my favorite season). While we have our share of healthy-eating busybodies, there is no established economic interest that pushes commodity grains (except for barley and oats, they just don’t grow here).
    Low-carb and primal eating are making inroads in Norway. A famously chubby politician lost 15 pounds in half a year eating low-carb in the parliament canteen. My fellow low-carbers (I see them in the canteen at work) can only lead by example. At my last job, nearly all the women started to copy the way I ate after I lost 20 pounds in 6 months. At my current job I have already inspired colleagues to skip the bread and have salad with meat and cheese. The word will get out eventually.

    That’s what I hope happens: people see who’s healthy and who isn’t and decide from there.

    Reply
  27. RobR

    Don’t all restaurants offer meatless dishes?
    Even at a steakhouse you can get a salad and some potatoes.

    I can’t imagine anything more horrific than a vegetarian version of skyline chilli.

    Loving Hut is a vegan cult.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ching_Hai

    There ends up not being much to say on these topics.
    Control freaks push bad science as justification to moralize while holding a gun.

    The cult members may want to pay attention to their own precepts as listed on the wiki page, such as:

    Refrain from speaking what is not true. (Such as “Meat makes you unhealthy and causes global warming.”)
    Refrain from taking what is not offered. (Such as my right to sell whatever dishes I choose in my own restaurant.)

    Reply
  28. Jan

    It was my understanding that the Vegan Restaurant Lady wasn’t pushing to have restaurants add vegetarian options to their menus on Monday – most restaurants already do – but to serve nothing BUT vegetarian dishes on Monday. Either way, it’s none of her damn business what other restaurants choose to serve on any day of the week, and is the kind of thing that could very well come back to bite her in the behind.

    Be very, very careful, Vegan Restaurant Lady; if the government can force another business into doing something they don’t want to do, they can do it to you, too.

    Oh, and there are already underground food co-ops – Sandor Ellix Katz talks about them in The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved. My favorite line out of the book: “Eating well has become an act of civil disobedience.”

    Drop the pork chop! Drop, or we’ll shoot!

    Reply
  29. Dave

    From the mouths of babes . . . when I told my kids (son 10, daughter 6) about the Happy Meal toy ban, here’s what they had to say:

    Son: Why?
    Me: Because they think it will make kids eat less McDonald’s.
    Son: (looks at me like I’m an idiot) The government is stupid. I’m never going to San Francisco again.
    Daughter: I don’t eat McDonald’s because it makes me throw up.

    I’ll run the Meatless Monday thing by them and see what they come up with.

    Brilliant commentary by youngsters.

    Reply
  30. Debbie

    Yeah, as Jan says, there are already underground food co-ops. I get my “bootleg” raw milk and cream through one, as well as my pastured eggs and raw-milk cheese and butter. Part of belonging to the co-op is a financial contribution to a defense fund, so that if the government ever comes after our farmer there will be money available to pay the legal fees.

    Imagine having to hunt around for an underground meat co-op also? But if it came to that I guess I would have to hunt around!

    If that happens, perhaps we should hunt the enforcers.

    Reply
  31. Hilary Kyro

    My hypoglycemic pal and I got busted for selling DHA and CLA concealed in wheatless, carb-controlled food.
    Yup, seven years old and already firmly established in the vice world; pushing all-meat franks on a stick, fruit & veggie crudites, salmon shooters in a Dixie cup and full-fat milk with a whipped cream hat to our comrades in grade 2. Our assets, tools and profits were seized and transfered to the UN and the Salvation Army. The food was intercepted by concerned teachers who didn’t want us to get clogged arteries…or morally corrupted by the money we earned…or to achieve status among our hungry peers. I couldn’t find any lawyers to represent my rights who weren’t also interested in eating us out of house and home.
    I remember the outrage of the intentionally spilled milk, the starving crying children waving useless unspendable dimes and the pig teachers stuffing their faces with smug smiles of victory. “There is such thing as a free lunch.” we were taught, “School must never EVER be used for commercial purposes!”
    We made a scabby buck on their union turf. We were shaken upside down. We had our underwear, genitals and buttocks searched for concealed coins. Whoops! Sorry teacher/rapist who knew you could get your hands dirtied down there?
    It was rape, molestation, mugging and terrorization, yet no adults considered it a crime. It’s normal discipline. It’s crucial by-law enforcement. What if everyone sold food on the playground? Hell’s Bell’s, it would be a circus!
    The Notorious Bad Couple developed a brain-energizing, eye-opening menu that made it impossible to keep divorced 7 year-olds shut-up, not giggling and quadraplegic while they absorb a “sensitivity” tv show about the OOpsy-Daisy puppets in wheelchairs who canna speaka da English.
    Damn and ban the insensitive psychotic laughter at palsied, dismembered and brain-damaged Francophone puppets with coke-bottle glasses, humongous partially-implanted reel-to-reel hearing aids and a lot of positive feelings about hospital life and Baron Von Munchausen. Damn that DHA! Tom, when will the DEA and ADA stop the DHA-laced Dixie Salmon Shooters from seeping into the next innocent compulsory school and causing a sudden acute diminution of ADHD?

    Reply
  32. Dave Fish

    The madness abounds. Baltimore public schools have meatless Monday. Our good friends in San Francisco have passed a resolution to “encourage” schools, restaurants, and stores to have a meat free Monday. They haven’t made it mandatory yet, but given what they did to McDonalds isn’t it only a matter of time?

    The state of Michigan held a one day “meatout” where they encouraged their residents to not eat meat. Fortunately the residents responded by holding a one day “Democratout” on November 2nd.

    We need a nationwide “meathead-out” day.

    Reply
  33. Bullinachinashop

    The happy meal toy law would be quickly repealed if the lawmakers were forced to come to Mcdonalds and them the screaming 3 year olds themselves that they can’t have one. Even better, we can use it as an opportunity to raise kids to be anti-liberal. “I’m sorry Billy, but the Democrats say you’re too dumb to play with the Shrek toys. Are they ‘bad’ guys or ‘good’ guys, Billy?”.

    I like it. The kids who’ve had their bake sales and lemonade stands shut down by local governments should certainly grow up to be fiscal libertarians … I hope.

    Reply
  34. Norman Robert Spencer

    Norway, being a Scandinavian country with high taxes and an aggressively regulatory government, is, surprisingly perhaps, a great country to live in if you like real food. Until the advent of cheap noodles, potatoes were the primary starch, along with rye bread (wheat is imported). The terrain and climate do not permit large scale cultivation of grains and legumes, but there is lots of acreage for grazing, and nothing compares to grass and juniper fed lamb for succulence and omega-3 to -6 balance (making fall my favorite season). While we have our share of healthy-eating busybodies, there is no established economic interest that pushes commodity grains (except for barley and oats, they just don’t grow here).
    Low-carb and primal eating are making inroads in Norway. A famously chubby politician lost 15 pounds in half a year eating low-carb in the parliament canteen. My fellow low-carbers (I see them in the canteen at work) can only lead by example. At my last job, nearly all the women started to copy the way I ate after I lost 20 pounds in 6 months. At my current job I have already inspired colleagues to skip the bread and have salad with meat and cheese. The word will get out eventually.

    That’s what I hope happens: people see who’s healthy and who isn’t and decide from there.

    Reply
  35. Dave

    From the mouths of babes . . . when I told my kids (son 10, daughter 6) about the Happy Meal toy ban, here’s what they had to say:

    Son: Why?
    Me: Because they think it will make kids eat less McDonald’s.
    Son: (looks at me like I’m an idiot) The government is stupid. I’m never going to San Francisco again.
    Daughter: I don’t eat McDonald’s because it makes me throw up.

    I’ll run the Meatless Monday thing by them and see what they come up with.

    Brilliant commentary by youngsters.

    Reply
  36. Debbie

    Yeah, as Jan says, there are already underground food co-ops. I get my “bootleg” raw milk and cream through one, as well as my pastured eggs and raw-milk cheese and butter. Part of belonging to the co-op is a financial contribution to a defense fund, so that if the government ever comes after our farmer there will be money available to pay the legal fees.

    Imagine having to hunt around for an underground meat co-op also? But if it came to that I guess I would have to hunt around!

    If that happens, perhaps we should hunt the enforcers.

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      They’d taste terrible, but with added butter or ghee and a hot curry sauce might be palatable.

      Reply
  37. Hilary Kyro

    My hypoglycemic pal and I got busted for selling DHA and CLA concealed in wheatless, carb-controlled food.
    Yup, seven years old and already firmly established in the vice world; pushing all-meat franks on a stick, fruit & veggie crudites, salmon shooters in a Dixie cup and full-fat milk with a whipped cream hat to our comrades in grade 2. Our assets, tools and profits were seized and transfered to the UN and the Salvation Army. The food was intercepted by concerned teachers who didn’t want us to get clogged arteries…or morally corrupted by the money we earned…or to achieve status among our hungry peers. I couldn’t find any lawyers to represent my rights who weren’t also interested in eating us out of house and home.
    I remember the outrage of the intentionally spilled milk, the starving crying children waving useless unspendable dimes and the pig teachers stuffing their faces with smug smiles of victory. “There is such thing as a free lunch.” we were taught, “School must never EVER be used for commercial purposes!”
    We made a scabby buck on their union turf. We were shaken upside down. We had our underwear, genitals and buttocks searched for concealed coins. Whoops! Sorry teacher/rapist who knew you could get your hands dirtied down there?
    It was rape, molestation, mugging and terrorization, yet no adults considered it a crime. It’s normal discipline. It’s crucial by-law enforcement. What if everyone sold food on the playground? Hell’s Bell’s, it would be a circus!
    The Notorious Bad Couple developed a brain-energizing, eye-opening menu that made it impossible to keep divorced 7 year-olds shut-up, not giggling and quadraplegic while they absorb a “sensitivity” tv show about the OOpsy-Daisy puppets in wheelchairs who canna speaka da English.
    Damn and ban the insensitive psychotic laughter at palsied, dismembered and brain-damaged Francophone puppets with coke-bottle glasses, humongous partially-implanted reel-to-reel hearing aids and a lot of positive feelings about hospital life and Baron Von Munchausen. Damn that DHA! Tom, when will the DEA and ADA stop the DHA-laced Dixie Salmon Shooters from seeping into the next innocent compulsory school and causing a sudden acute diminution of ADHD?

    Reply
  38. mezzo

    You want the spirit of the old Boston Tea Party back. Whatever happened to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave? Is it turning into the Land of the V’s and the Home of the Knaves?

    I’m afraid so. The Land of the Free has been slowly devolving into the Land of the “Take My Money and My Freedom but Just Promise to Take Care of Me.”

    Reply
  39. Richard Tamesis, M.D.

    Even with the benefits of a ketogenic diet in the management of epilepsy, the anti-low carb bias reeks through this NY Times article. http://tinyurl.com/2frokw5

    Fascinating … this quote pretty much says it all about modern medicine:

    “The diet was quickly adopted and widely used through the 1930s. And then, almost as fast as it had appeared, the keto diet disappeared. When Dilantin was first used as an antiepileptic drug in 1938, its success steered medical minds toward pharmaceutical solutions.”

    We’ve got health “experts” telling parents to put kids on low-fat diets starting at age two. And yet as the article notes, followup studies of kids who lived on this extremely high-fat found that they have normal cholesterol and cardiovascular values. You’d think that convince some experts to stop harping about the dangers of giving kids whole milk.

    Reply
  40. js290

    Why are people so ready to default to the coercive hand of government? A “Meatless Monday” idea can be done without government resolutions. The vegan/vegetarian restaurants should band together and put up an ad campaign.

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-market-for-liberty-a-free/id317036453

    Every time I hear someone respond to one of these impositions with “Oh, it’s not such a big deal,” I want to scream. That’s how freedom is taken away: one little bit at a time.

    Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out my Mac.

    Reply
  41. gollum

    Well, I know how to make nice veggie dishes, but in this case, it would be “Monday Gruel”.

    Just to pop in on the potatoes, they are one of the worst carbs (behind fruit/hfcs), apart from night shade issues (solanin et al.), the fungus that makes them mouldy also produces an ultratoxin that makes people go diabetic. Certainly our ancestors lived through it – no panic – but maybe not as long or as good. Science has only recently figured this out (they got the consumption/diabetes correlation and identified the toxin, not much to fuss there). My body always knew the earthy taste of potatoes cooked in their peel (to be peeled at the table) was disgusting.

    If I was to think of the most harmless carb, it would probably be rice. (Bitter) chocolate for its other nice stuff and because you don’t eat it by the pound. Buckwheat is also nice. You can even “pop” it somewhat (I add some butter to “cool” the popped nodules, then salt and quark).

    And to think potato skins became a popular side dish …

    Reply

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