Food Police: How many calories are in that olive?

And, does it matter whether it is a black olive, or a green olive?  Luckily, we’ll soon find out.  Given the obvious, clear cut dangers to our health posed by salad bars, the Affordable Health Choices Act being pushed by Sen. Dodd (D. Ct.) will come to our rescue.  This proposed legislation provides,

Section 403(q) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act is amened by adding (H)(iii)…in the case of food sold at a salad bar,…a restaurant [with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name]…shall place adjacent to each food offered a sign that lists calories per displayed item or per serving…

You can find this laughable section beginning at page 401, line 22 of the above link.  I’ll let you ponder who pays for these signs, and how large the serving area will have to grow to accommodate all these signs.  I just hope I’m not in line at the “salad bar of the future” behind someone who wants to read each and every sign for each and every food item before making a selection.

But, it gets worse.  Subsection (viii) is also added to provide,

…in the case of food sold from a vending machine that…is operated by a person who [owns or operates] 20 or more vending machines, the vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food…that includes a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories in the article.

You can find this section of the proposed legislation beginning at page 404, line 4.  So, I’m wondering, with all these clear and conspicuous signs on the outside glass of vending machines, will we even be able to see what’s inside?

Feeling left out as you don’t own 20 or more restaurants, or 20 or more vending machines?  Well, not to worry.  Subsection (ix) provides that you can choose to be covered by the above rules if you want to!  Any volunteers?

I sincerely wish I was making this stuff up.  It is so silly that it is better suited to a Three Stooges comedy routine than a federal program paid for with your money.  But, on the bright side, thousands will become employed checking each restaurant and vending machine to ensure compliance.

5 replies
  1. LOIS
    LOIS says:

    I WONDER HOW MANY SALAD BAR PATRONS WILL CARE HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN THEIR SELECTION, UNLESS THEY HAVE TO SIGN A "I HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THE CONSEQUENCES OF MY SELECTIONS" CONTRACT. IF YOU HAVE A HEART ATTACK,"THE FOOD POLICE" WILL LOOK UP YOUR SALAD BAR CHOICES AND DECLARE YOUR SELECTIONS IRRESPONSIBILE, THEREFORE, NO NATIONAL HEALTH CARE, SO TAKE A PILL AND SUCK IT UP!!! AS FAR AS VENDING MACHINES ALL THE VENDOR HAS TO DO IS PUT THE CALORIE SIDE TOWARDS THE WINDOW (AND YOU CAN GUESS WHAT YOU'RE SELECTING)BUT YOU CAN READ THE INGREDIENTS AND CALORIES..

  2. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    This will not stop super-sizing. However, reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" may open some eyes to what is going on in the food industry.

  3. skepticalcynic
    skepticalcynic says:

    Whats going on in the food industry? Ooooooooo…… please MR. Pollan, save us from OURSELVES!!!!! Those big bad food companies are making me all fat and sick and its, its…..ALL SOMEONE ELSES FAULT!!!!!!!

    Sound familiar?

    Shoot, they can supersize a 5 lb burger and tell you its a friggin great big hunk of lettuce. You buy that and stuff it in your face…..its YOUR fault, no one elses.

  4. Dragonlady
    Dragonlady says:

    Oh brother – what's next? Toilet paper patrol? Oh, by the way – how will this dovetail with the Cap & Trade? Oh, and the 80% reduction in our "carbon footprint" by 2100??? and rationing water consumption? and and and….pretty soon we won't even have to think – just go to work, sign over our paycheck & everything will be thought of and taken care of for us……yeah, yeah….

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