educate me dude

We elect government officials to help us govern ourselves.  Wasn’t it James Madison who said, “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

This past week the mayor of our largest city proposed banning soft drinks sold in containers larger than 16 ounces.  Who is out of control, the government or the governed?  Are we who need to be governed so out of control that our government must limit the size of certain beverage containers?

As in illegal drugs, we are looking and attacking a problem bass ackwards.  If there is strong demand for something, a supply is created to satisfy that demand.  If we crush the supply and the demand still exists, supply will pop up somewhere else.  So if we’ve determined that a particular supply of something is not healthy, is it smarter to attack the supply or the demand?

Larger and larger drinking containers became available because we demanded them.  Cheap ingredients like high fructose corn syrup are in products because we’ve demanded them.  We eat lots of crap because we demand it.

If we’ve determined that soft drinks are harmful, then why not stick a warning label on them like we do cigarettes?

But it’s not size of soft drinks that is the problem.  It’s fat (they say).  If we need society to be less obese to reduce the negative financial impact, then why not educate ourselves?  Why not dump resources into developing educational programs so that we, as a society, understand why eating junk in any amounts is detrimental.  We need to understand that too much blood sugar (sweeteners/processed carbs) artificially raises our insulin levels and creates havoc in our systems.  We have zero programs in place like this.

Now we want to legally limit the size of soft drink containers?  Why don’t we just legislate the size of a hot fudge sunday?  Or the quantity of pancakes we can order at Ihop?  Or the amount of ice cream, or the size of a loaf of bread, or put a quota on candy bars in a child’s halloween bag?  Point is, making laws  limiting the size or portions is like admitting that we are not capable of understanding reason.

At the end of this week, I heard about this law as I was sitting in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber at New York Presbyterian Cornell Hospital, one of the best hospitals in New York.  As I was leaving the hospital, the elevator stopped and a service person entered with a huge cart loaded with soft drinks he was delivering to another floor.  They were all 16 oz bottles.  I wondered why a hospital would ever allow soft drinks on the premise.  It’s a comedy of the absurd.

Most of us, nutritionist included, don’t understand the negative impacts of all the junk we eat.  Education aimed at developing good judgement around changing our demand is what we need, not more rules.  We will produce what we demand.  Would it be that hard to develop education programs that would filter down to where even hospitals would not serve junk?  If we need a law, it’s to make courses in valid nutrition at early ages mandatory.

If I want a 32 ounce soda, coffee, ice-cream, tequila, or big gulp paint thinner, please don’t legislate me into buying two 16 ounce portions.  Just educate me dude.

2 thoughts on “educate me dude

  1. Anonymous

    Fred: Reading about your big gulp paint thinner reference. . . you are perhaps the only person I know who can help me distinguish between “flammable” and “inflammable” liquids and gases. Which one is safe with an “open flame”? And, what is “soft” about “soft drinks”? Thanks in advance. Luv ya mon, swjr

    Reply
    1. Freddie Spaghetti Post author

      swjr, First, thanks for your comments the past few weeks. Your “weigh in” last week was excellent. I’m up for an uber ride, but would rather do the visual (actual) than virtual.

      Regarding your questions, if anyone would have zeroed in, it would be you to have guessed that certain soft drinks (coka-cola), left on certain wood (and other) finishes will eventually eat through–very paint thinner-like. Coke has been soft ever since they stopped using cocaine as an ingredient. But I believe that soft drink(s) simply refers to any type of sweetened beverage that doesn’t have alcohol. A catch-all term. Hence, the ease of distinguishing between a hard drink and a soft. (going hard or soft?)

      And I’d not hold either a flammable or an inflammable liquid or gas to an open flame, unless the goal is to achieve flame. Unfortunately, they both mean the same thing but it does make using noninflammable sound a little more posh. Then again, everyone should have at least one open flame.

      Luv u2 mon.

      Reply

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