March 10, 2010

"An act to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting the use of salt in the preparation of food by restaurants."

"This legislation will give customers the option to add salt after the meal has been prepared for them. In this way, consumers have more control over the amount of sodium they intake, and are given the option to exercise healthier diets and healthier lifestyles."

A law proposed in New York state. (Via Metafilter.)


Palladian said...

Oh dear God.

And they wonder why New York is losing citizens in droves. It's not because they're dying of salt intake, it's because they're moving to other states that don't try to act like their fucking governess.

But hey, keep trying to destroy the restaurant industry in New York. It's not like we're in an economic crisis or anything.

Maguro said...

Wow, that is something. Have any of these genius legislators ever cooked a meal?

Lance said...

How do you add salt to pizza, and still have it taste good?

Or dill pickles? Or pastrami?

Seven Machos said...

I know this other way to control your salt intake: prepare your own fucking food.

Furthermore, I suppose that fast food restaurants that ship all their stuff in will mostly pre-prepared will have to shut down, right?

Scott M said...

I'm certainly no chef, but aren't there things that chemically require salt during the food prep process? Marinades, for instance?

This is government's heavy hand masquerading as giving people liberty. If something is too salty, the person has the choice not to order it again. It seems the bills proponents believe New Yorkers are mindless sow at a trough.

Palladian said...

"Wow, that is something. Have any of these genius legislators ever cooked a meal?"

What do you think? Cooking is something that the staff does.

And besides, eating is about pleasure as well as sustenance and from the actions of the miserable Puritans in State government, pleasure is not something they've ever experienced (the current and former Governor and Mr Massa excepted).

If we're going to emulated the enlightened of Europe, why can't we at least emulate France or Italy instead of Belgium? You know, somewhere that, in spite of being under the yoke of government repression and corruption haven't yet forgotten how to fucking enjoy themselves.

Irene said...

Imagine herring without salt.

Red herring.

EDH said...

A pinch of salt will get you pinched!

I wonder what Pinch Saltzberger, er, Sulzberger thinks?

ALP said...

How will Japanese restaurants comply with this - or is soy sauce exempt?

peter hoh said...

Ever forget to add salt when cooking oatmeal?


Freeman Hunt said...

I don't go to a restaurant to participate in the food preparation.

Or, in line with the thinking of these law-pushers:

Perhaps restaurants should be required to bring out only a crate of ingredients, a recipe card, and a cook stove. Be involved with your food! Make healthy choices!

Freeman Hunt said...

How are you going to salt baked goods? We're just supposed to eat them with the salt on top?

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, we don't even know that salt is bad for people. So what is this? Legislative wanking?

Palladian said...

"Furthermore, I suppose that fast food restaurants that ship all their stuff in will mostly pre-prepared will have to shut down, right?"

Of course. That's probably the goal of this dumb-assed bill, just like the one from a couple of years ago that required some restaurants to display the calorie count on the menu but not others. You can bet your bottom dollar (or your top dollar in this case) that Le Bernardin and per se aren't printing calorie counts on their menus. This is for the good of the "lower sorts", you know, the kind that can't be trusted to make decisions about their lives without guidance from the Benevolent Hand of the State.

"I'm certainly no chef, but aren't there things that chemically require salt during the food prep process? Marinades, for instance?"

Yes. Absolutely. In fact, salt is a requirement for at least 50% of cooking operations and certainly for food preservation. Adding salt upon serving is not a substitute. You can basically close down every delicatessen and charcuterie, every bakery (most bread can't be made without salt), every cheese shop and certainly every restaurant that uses any form of preserved or prepared ingredient in the preparation of their food, which is all of them.

Palladian said...

"Perhaps restaurants should be required to bring out only a crate of ingredients, a recipe card, and a cook stove. Be involved with your food! Make healthy choices!"

No No No! People could burn themselves! Or cut themselves with those dangerous knife weapons!! We must protect the People from themselves!!!!1

edutcher said...

Granted, our food is way over-salted, but Nanny Bloomberg needs to let people make their own choices.

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, we don't even know that salt is bad for people. So what is this? Legislative wanking?

If you have high BP, the first thing you're told is cut down on salt.

Fred4Pres said...

I did not think nannyism could get worse than when New Jersey forbid sunny side eggs in restaurants (unless the yokes were cooked through) but New York has managed to do it.

The New Jersey rule lasted a few months until diner patrons marched on Trenton (like Washington did).

Fred4Pres said...

So are they serving corned beef on St Paddy's day, because I hear it has an elevated sodium level.

Peter V. Bella said...

Salt is the most important seasoning in all recipes. To give control to the unwashed masses is insane.

Oh, oops, sorry, we are now living in a food dictatorship under the tyranny of the food Nazis. Please do not pout me in the camps.

Palladian said...

I think that any legislator proposing or sponsoring a bill this stupid should be summarily executed upon its failure or repeal.

Maybe that would curb their impulses a little bit.

Beth said...

You can't just add salt for flavor. Most things need it as part of the cooking process. No salt in the water for pasta, or potatoes, or grits, means no flavor.

They try that here in Louisiana and there will be trouble. We already beat the FDA on sterilizing oysters.

Palladian said...

And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering unto the LORD.

New York State Priest: Um... God? Uh... we're, uh, not allowed to put salt on that offering... uh...

Freeman Hunt said...

Salt and blood pressure.

Palladian said...

And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.

Leviticus 2:13

Man, YHWH is gonna be angry. And you know what happens when YHWH is angry...

PatCA said...

You think this is a isolated crazy act?

"You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention—it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting."

Yes, indeedy, exciting! Not to mention the millions Sebelius is authorized to hand out to certain ad agencies to campaign against fast food and soda and, I assume, salt.

reader_iam said...

Does this give you a headache, as it does me? Then, get a load of this.

As I wrote, in part, in an e-mail (NOT to Althouse) a few hours ago:

My "favorite" paragraph from the linked piece:

"Ortiz admits that prior to introducing the bill he did not research salt’s role in food chemistry, its effect on flavor or his bill’s ramifications for the restaurant industry. He tells me he was prompted to introduce the bill because his father used salt excessively for many years, developed high blood pressure and had a heart attack."

My second "favorite" is the one that follows the previous:

"'I think salt should be banned in restaurants. I ask if a dish has salt in it, and if I does, I get something else that doesn’t have salt,' Ortiz tells me, before going on to say that he has eaten, and expects he will continue to eat, among other things, ham, cheese and bread in restaurants, all of which contain salt."

D'oh! [That'll have to suffice, ecause I won't share online what I had to say offline, in spoken word, in real life, to reponse to all that. Discretion, valor and all of that.]

Palladian said...

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Matthew 5:13

The second sentence of that passage should be applied to politicians who propose, sponsor and support these kind of bills.

Because I Said So said...

Possible outcome #1: Proposal fails. Liberals blame SCOTUS for allowing Morton Salt Company to spend million$ to erode the public's support.

Possible outcome #2: Proposal passes. Apocalypse arrives. Heaven serves fries and cheeseburgers. Hell is NYC without salt.

Erich said...

Fry: My vision's fading! I think I'm gonna die!

Bender: There was nothing wrong with that food. The salt level was 10% less than a lethal dose.

Dr. Zoidberg: Uh oh. I shouldn't have had seconds.

El Pollo Real said...

Assume for a moment that sodium intake has on average increased over the last generation (probably true). The correlation between sodium intake and hypertension is a pretty good one I believe.

These sorts of intrusions would seem to be logical corollary of subsidized healthcare. If people can't control themselves, the government will. Look for many more "good-intentions", ultimately meant to dissuade any sort of higher-risk habits and behaviors.

Palladian said...

Wow, reader_iam, he sounds like a smart cookie! Oops! Not cookie, cookies require salt!

Palladian said...

It would be hilarious if, as Ortiz is fleeing the destruction of New York by an angry YHWH, he looks back and is turned into a pillar of... SALT!

reader_iam said...

Also from the piece I linked:

"The bill doesn’t address significant matters, such as: Would salt be banned in processed foods or cured meats? Could a restaurant chef get around the ban on using added salt in a soup by, say, throwing in a sodium-laden ham hock? Ortiz didn’t have an answer for those question, saying repeatedly, 'This all needs to be debated.' "

Ladies and gentleman, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn: A Man Who Confuses Proposing Legislation With Putting Up A Blog Post.

If only he were alone.

Chef Mojo said...

Well, I am a professional chef of 23 years fine dining experience, and I find this absolutely outrageous.

Besides being an incursion on individual liberty, it is an insult to cooks and patrons alike. A restaurant is there to provide a service. However, the service is based on the terms of the restauranteur. This is why you don't go to an Italian restaurant and order kung pao chicken. The food is a reflection of the the tastes of the chef. If your tastes do not agree with those of the chef, then don't eat there. It's pretty simple.

As far as patrons are concerned? Of course the government needs to make your health choices for you! You're too ignorant otherwise. They treat you like a child by forcing regulations upon restaurants that radically change the concepts and traditions of cooking.

Edbutcher says, "Granted, our food is way over-salted(...)" Bullshit. By whose criteria? Everyone's palate is different, as are their taste memories. Some are sensitive to salt. Some are not. This is why most pizza joints - especially in NYC - have shakers of parmesan cheese on the tables or window sills. That cheese is nothing more than milk whose rot has been arrested by various cultures, and especially salt. Yeah, people do add salt to their pizza slices.

Which brings me to cheeses and charcuterie, by whose very nature requires salt. Everything from that boutique cheddar from 'Sconsin to that Batali salumi from Seattle are going to end up in NYC. What then? Every Italian and Jewish deli in NYC? How the hell do they deal with this. It's unthinkable.

One of the things that's so amazing about the food in NYC is the cultural hybridity. What? You're gonna tell a soul food joint in Harlem that they can't put a ham hock in the collards? Yeah. I double dare you to pull a stunt like that.

Bloomberg has been evolving to this point, but I think he's taken one step beyond the pale. Americans are more educated about their food and how it's prepared now than at any point in our history. Let the individual make their choices.

From Inwood said...

The State of NY has degenerated into a political pep rally.

From Inwood said...

Hey, is this "settled science"?

MadisonMan said...

French Fries prepared without salt. I don't want them.

pst314 said...

"I think that any legislator proposing or sponsoring a bill this stupid should be summarily executed"

I sympathize with that sentiment, but how about tar and feathers? I've read that it's not only extremely painful but leaves permanent scars. Clearly there's no downside. :-D

Joe said...

I don't like over salty food. What's truly amazing is that I'm quite successful at avoiding them.

Why doesn't the state of New York just give anthrax to all it's residents and then they won't have to worry about the fuckers hurting themselves.

pst314 said...

But while we're inveighing against this pair of legislative scumbags, let's not forget who's ultimately to blame--the New York voters keep voting for them. The problem will only be solved when New Yorkers stop looking for nannies to take care of them and to boss their neighbors.

Corky Boyd said...

Ms. Ortiz should be sentenced to living 30 days exclusively on tofu (without salt of course) for proposing this legislation.

It goes without saying Ms. Ortiz is a Democrat.

From Inwood said...

Actually, I blame Tricky Dick.

El Pollo Real said...

I'd enjoy having Pogo weigh in to square your Berkeley study with even this sort of cursory thing put out by Mayo Clinics: Link

And remember, Peter Duesberg still publishes out of Berkeley too. :)

Joe said...

El Pollo, did you notice the part where no science was actually mentioned? Most dietary "science" is made up bullshit. People find weak correlations and make pronouncements that are mostly wrong. Ironically, the things they get right by solid double-blind studies seem to be universally ignored--like getting enough Vitamin D (and, for women, Iron and Calcium.)

grrizzli said...

If I wanted to become a member of the New York Assembly I'd run against the sponsors of the bill: Ortiz, Markey, or Perry. I'd just have to show this bill and tell voters that they don't deserve to be represented by the retards. There would be no need to present my own program, since anybody is better than the sponsors of the salt ban bill. Unfortunately, I suspect that Ortiz, Markey, and Perry will be re-elected. It explains why I'm afraid of the people and want to be left alone.

redc1c4 said...

interesting articles to peruse: (if you read nothing else, read the last few paragraphs)

John Burgess said...

Freeman Hunt: Exactly. It's election time so we're going to be seeing a whole bunch of proposed laws that give warm and fuzzy feelings to some part of the electorate. "It's for the Children!" "It's for our Health!" In fact, "It's for Votes!"

I do cook and when I'm cooking for guests, I cut down on the salt. I do believe that it's appropriate for those about to dine to have some say in the salt and spice equation. Same with hot sauce.

I'm not offended if a restaurant has a salt shaker/cellar on the table, but I don't want wanking congress-panderers to mandate it.

In fact, some restaurants do over salt things--even for my salt-friendly palate. I'd vastly prefer they left that part up to me.

WV: Don't be flumon by Congressional pimping

Chip Ahoy said...

Man oh man, today I made the saltiest pasta ever. It was an experiment. The thing is, I do like those dried squid things you get at Asian markets that are sort of like jerky, so when I saw the packages of dehydrated shrimp and dehydrated anchovies I bought them without really knowing what to do with them. Today I soaked some of both for awhile and included them with garlic / olive oil in angel hair pasta, but not before I diced some up and fed it to the tropical fish. They went nuts for it. Anyhoo, the anchovies didn't fully hydrate so they were still kind of tough, just like the dried squid. Very weird, these tiny desiccated fish in my pasta. The whole thing was positively addictive, but salty as all hell, if hell were the Hutchinson salt mine.

I learned: discard the water used to rehydrate the anchovies.

But that's all the salt I ever get -- what I put in my food myself, as I do make 90% of it myself. And yes, a lot of foods do need salt for their preparation. How are you gonna get a kosher chicken without salt, huh? You can't. That's how.

9 out of 10 bakers agree, bread dough needs salt to retard properly. A FACT that I just now made up.

On the other hand, a lot of restaurant food could be improved by leaving the salt up to the customer. I'd bring my own. That way I'd know I'm not getting that iodized crap.

NY makes me laugh.

Methadras said...

How do you cook certain foods without adding salt to them. Well, then I guess many pastries just went out the window. These people are the fucking dumbest people on earth. I told you all this wouldn't stop and it won't unless you essentially find these people and remove them from office, physically if necessary. Enough is enough.

Jason said...

If New York passes this law, I think we should let Al Qaeda finish the job.

kimsch said...

I have heard it said that salt consumption has not risen as compared to the past. People, when having had more salt one day, or one meal, will adjust for the next resulting in an average intake that's about the same from day to day or week to week. It's something your body tells you, not something that you do consciously.

UC Davis nutrition scientists say people don't have to worry about their salt intake. The human body makes sure sodium levels remain within a certain range at all times, according to recently published research that the Sacramento Bee called "controversial."

"Our sodium intake is regulated by the brain, and your brain won't let you go very far outside of that boundary," the Bee quoted study co-author David McCarron. "You may eat that whole bag of chips, but it just means that as you sit down you'll unconsciously go toward foods that are lower in sodium."

wv: gracib

EnglishKanighit said...

Lenina Huxley:"Salt is not good for you, hence, it is illegal"

Yay, I can't wait till we get single payer and this crap goes nationwide.

Lenina Huxley: [A]nything not good for you is bad, hence, illegal. Alcohol, caffeine, contact sports, meat . . .

John Spartan: Are you sh**ing me?

A computer: John Spartan, you are fined one credit for a violation of the verbal morality statute.

John Spartan: What the Hell is that?

A computer: John Spartan, you are fined one credit . . .

Lenina Huxley: Bad language, child play, gasoline, uneducational toys, and anything spicy. Abortion is also illegal. But, then again so is pregnancy, if you don't have a license.

Revenant said...

Wow, that is something. Have any of these genius legislators ever cooked a meal?

That would be a "no".

Duscany said...

Banning salt is not enough. We should stop restaurants from serving any food with calories. Anyone who still wants calories can add them at the table.

One proviso. Calories in alcohol are exempt, as long as you sip your drinks and don't slam them down like some nanny-Nazi NY legislator.

Duscany said...

It's far from clear that a low-salt diet is better for your health than a standard American salty diet. According to staff writer John Tierney in the February 22, 210 NY Times:

"If you track how many strokes and heart attacks are suffered by people on low-salt diets, the results aren’t nearly as neat or encouraging, as noted recently in JAMA by Michael H. Alderman, a hypertension expert at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. A low-salt diet was associated with better clinical outcomes in only 5 of the 11 studies he considered; in the rest, the people on the low-salt diet fared either the same or worse.

“When you reduce salt,” Dr. Alderman said, “you reduce blood pressure, but there can also be other adverse and unintended consequences. As more data have accumulated, it’s less and less supportive of the case for salt reduction, but the advocates seem more determined than ever to change policy.”

Of course they do. These are the same people who banned DDT to save pelican eggs and ended up causing tens of millions of people in tropical countries to die from malaria.

Donna B. said...

'Tis time this assemblyman learned the relationship between salt and salary.

traditionalguy said...

An insufficiency of salt caused by drinking too much water in a hot climate is a deadly poison to the human body. In fact when governments controlled salt production like the FDA does Rx, the costs were highly inflated and the productions were done by state granted monopolies owing their wealth to governments who also skimmed off the gold and silver from marketing the scarce salt. Salt is a life giver. Salt restriction is an old scam.

Class factotum said...

Adding salt at the end of cooking something is not the same as adding it during the cooking process. The salt gets in the food as it cooks and I suspect you need less salt than if you salt the surface when it is done cooking.

mrs whatsit said...

Here in New York, we are also being inundated with advertisements for a new sugar tax they want to pass on sweetened soda -- theoretically to battle childhood obesity, but in reality, as everyone knows, just to further fatten state revenues at the expense of people's grocery bills.

If you don't live here, I promise you that you have never seen a government body as thoroughly dysfunctional and asinine as the New York State Legislature. (Well, possibly if you live in California . . . ) Meanwhile, New York regulators make it as difficult as they can for New Yorkers to start or run businesses by passing impossible rules like this one, residents and businesses are abandoning the state, and before long there will be no workers left here except State employees -- with no private sector left to finance their salaries.

rhhardin said...

It's another salary tax.

edutcher said...

Freeman Hunt said...

Salt and blood pressure.

Be that as it may, conventional wisdom is still cut down on sodium. The study may turn out to be right, but right now it swims against the tide.

kcom said...

FOAD! Alla youse guys.

kcom said...

"conventional wisdom is still cut down on sodium"

Yeah, and conventional wisdom is to not go swimming for half an hour after eating. Does that mean we should make it a law?

How about stepping on a crack?

(Or should we just give more crack to NY legislators?)

Pogo said...

Re: Salt and Health.

It's true, some people should avoid added salt and high-salt foods.

So what?

This is not the purpose of government, but Democrats have decided they will control healthcare, and every aspect of life can be argued to affect your health, including what you read and what movies you watch.

This isn't a health issue, it's a power grab.

The Democrats are acting like fascists because they are goddamned fascists.

What more evidence do you need? A night where they break the windows of delicatessens that use salt?

Helpww said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rdkraus said...

Now Now. Settle down here children.

What's all this fuss about?

We know what is best for you.

We're only doing this for your own good.

So STFU and do as you're told.

Leland said...

Another reason not to visit NY. And no, paying $10 for the priviledge of travelling there wouldn't make up for having to endure a fascist state.

A.W. said...

Sheesh. I really don't understand how two wings of democratic thought can co-exist.

On one hand, you have those who say, "my body my choice." They take that to include sexual preferences, etc.

But if you dare smoke or eat good that is bad for you, that becomes their business. And for that matter they want the government all over their bodies when it comes to health care. and that is not an unrelated point. Especially in NY State alot of the justification for this is the fact that health care is something the state pays for, therefore the state has a right to control what you eat or inhale.

The craziest example is the large number of potheads who are democrats and the movement largely by democrats to make it legal, either outright, or as "treatment" with a wink and a nod. How they can, on one hand, demonize tobacco cigarettes, while working to allow the smoking of pot is beyond me.

Shanna said...

Ridiculous! Salt is supposed to be used in preparation of food.

Joan said...

Many things popped into my mind upon reading this headline. (Confession: I did not click through, I couldn't bear to.)

1. Obviously these people have never read King Lear. Damned cultural illiterates.

2. On Top Chef, one of the most consistent criticisms from year to year is that the chefs "under season" their food. What that means is, they don't put enough salt in it so that it tastes good. As nearly everyone else has noted, salt is required during the preparation of food and cannot just be added at the end.

3. So much for making bread or pizza in NY. I once forgot to add the salt to my pizza sauce (I used the no-salt added crushed tomatoes) and it was flat and tasteless. I'm all for using no-salt-added ingredients like butter and tomatoes so that you can control the overall amount of salt in your recipe, but banning salt altogether is insane.

4. Several years ago, I was actually prescribed salt when I had low blood pressure due to adrenal dysfunction. If I felt woozy I had to stir some salt into a beverage and drink it (salty lemonade is pretty good -- think Gatorade). There's a reason "salt of the earth" is an expression, and that animals love salt licks: we need salt to live.

Henry said...

Addendum: All female customers will be forced to drink a moderate glass of wine.

TMink said...

Salt is the culprit on only one type of high blood pressure.


hawkeyedjb said...

While it's true that this bill does result in a large reduction in sodium intake, according to accepted CBO scoring methodology, there is another bill (completely separate and therefore totally unrelated) that restores allowable sodium to levels that may keep some chefs in business (the 'salt fix'). According to Ezra Klein, this is OK because we would have to do it anyway, and because Rep. Paul Ryan voted for the Iraq war.

DADvocate said...

The march towards increasing totalitarianism continues.

Of course the point made by many others, some dishes you have to add salt before/during the preparation. Take your nanny and go home.

Joseph said...

Ridiculous, unscientific, and no chance of passing. This is a pet peeve of mine. The dietary sodium that causes health problems is overwhelmingly from preservatives in processed foods that don't even taste salty (like soda or canned goods). Salt that you add to food while cooking is only a very small relative contributor.

kimsch said...

Pasta should be cooked in heavily salted water. Salted water boils a little more quickly and it adds flavor to the pasta itself.

I even add a little salt to my buttercream frosting when I'm baking cakes! It enhances the sweetness of many sweet dishes.

wv: promite

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Note to self:

Stock up on more kosher, rock salt and iodized salt in to put into the Armageddon Pantry when the Food Nazis decide to regulate the amount of salt you can buy in the stores.......just like they regulate the amount of over the counter cough syrup you can buy without being arrested.

Theyv'e already banned transfat Crisco so that my fried chicken isn't nearly as crispy. The bastards. Now they want to ban the salt in my mashed potatoes.

Remember in Ghost Buster's when Mr. Stay Puff decimated New York?

Wouldn't it be cool if Mr. Salty came to life and stomped the living shit out of these morons?

Lincolntf said...

What a fella. Completely ignorant of and indifferent to the reality, yet willing to impose his will on millions and millions of people in order to push his extremist agenda. While typical of what we've come to expect from today's Dems, it's still horrifying to realize how much potential control these retrograde totalitarians have over our lives. In a rational world, this man would be peddling cell phone cases at the mall, not making law in the State Assembly.

kimsch said...

DBQ: have you tried Armour Lard? It's lard and hydrogenated lard in a shelf stable package. It's usually on the top shelf where the Crisco and cooking sprays are at the grocery store.

wv: trackma

Penny said...

This could become great fun when legislators connect stress to ill health. ha ha

"Working and paying taxes has been proven to cause stress related illnesses, therefore..."

Or better yet! "Babies will now be delivered with the required warning that they may be injurious to the health of their parents."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ: have you tried Armour Lard? It's lard and hydrogenated lard in a shelf stable package. It's usually on the top shelf where the Crisco and cooking sprays are at the grocery store.

Oooh!! Not for frying, but I'll give it a try. Thanks. I used to use 2/3 peanut or corn oil and 1/3 crisco for frying.

I use lard in my pie pastry, some cookies and when I make tamale's from scratch. Nothing beats lard with the masa harina.

former law student said...

The necessity of salt in cooking is why I like nutrition disclosure requirements rather than regulating the amount of salt used. If you knew, for example, that an Italian Combo on Ciabatta sandwich from Panera Bread contained 3020 mg of sodium, you might choose their Asiago Roast Beef on Asiago Cheese instead, at 1270 mg. Sodium tends to cumulate in sandwiches especially, if the meat was preserved with salt, the sauces contain salt, and the bread also is salty. Salt also cumulates in Chinese cooking, if multiple flavoring ingredients: soy, black beans, preserved vegetables, etc. are used in the same dish.

Salt does more than affect the taste of food. Salt in pasta water maintains the temperature, by the way. (Putting salt in potato water is unnecessary.) Salt acts as an emulsifier when making homemade dressings -- try shaking up vinegar and oil in a jar with and without adding salt to see how it works. And you can use less salt when salting during cooking than you need for the equivalent saltiness of food salted at the table.

El Pollo Real said...

Way to go New York. I thought this sort of health nuttiness always started in California.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Moroccan preserved lemons. This should make their politically correct heads explode.

Salt....OMG bad.

Ethnic food ...woah...wait.. we can't discriminate against teh Middle Eastern ethnics. That would be raaaaccissst.

But is salty!!

POP. Heads explode

Preserved lemons
5 lemons
1/4 cup salt, more if desired

Optional Safi mixture:
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
5 to 6 coriander seeds
3 to 4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, if necessary

AND what about the Sicilians? Hmmm..... anchovy pizza.

"No Pasta Canciova E Muddica for you!!!" Says the food Nazi

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Missing link for lemons.. Yummy

Omaha1 said...

you can't even make chocolate chip cookies without salt. Remind me to never visit New York.

Can't carry a gun, can't smoke anywhere, now no salt either? I'm sure they're working on a way to eliminate alcohol, sugar, sex, and chocolate too.

Well maybe not sex, after all consequence-free sex is the goal of liberals everywhere. Perhaps they will replace the salt shakers with condom dispensers.

Doesn't sound like much fun...

From Inwood said...

as some commenter wrote on another thread:

It's so much more fair if nobody can have nice stuff and everybody gets crappy stuff. Don't you remember how happy East Germans were?

Radish said...

(Putting salt in potato water is unnecessary.)

But delicious. The only regional cuisine unique to Syracuse NY (formerly was founded around a salt mine) is salt potatoes.

Cedarford said...

They love salt potatos in New England, Ontario and the Canadian Maritimes as well - but they Did originate in Upstate NY. Big in Pennsylvania too, with German and Austrian cousine.

They are very good. The trick is the the potatos have to be new and small and the water salted up to about Dead Sea levels. My wife has a recipe (finished with light butter and light fresh dill and a pitnch of sugar) and she uses any old salt, even road salt (less any with calcium hydroxide, carbonate adders). We even mined a vein of Jurassic-era halite we knew about in Colorado for our cooking salt.

Salt deposits are pretty wild - they are where you would never expect them. High in the Alps, under Louisiana freshwater swamps, all over Upstate NY and the Great Lakes region. The largest salt mine is supposedly in Canada - under Lake Huron.

Roux said...

When NY and California fall into the sea due to Global Warm.... oops Climate Change will anyone care?

Suburbanbanshee said...

Re: sodium intake

It's decreased, at least in the form of table salt with iodine in it. Women routinely come down with symptoms of iodine deficiency, these days. It's a public health nightmare, but nobody talks about it.

Something I didn't know: Salt in processed foods doesn't have to have iodine in it, so it often doesn't, these days. Another reason why the iodine shortage.

I've started adding salt to my food for the first time ever. I don't want to suffer from something so easily preventable.

jaed said...

That Metafilter thread is a hoot. I hadn't realized there were so many ways to say, "Well, it's OK if they ban salt in restaurants where POOR people eat, because they don't know any better and they're all fat and take up our health care and besides, we're CONCERNED about their HEALTH... but this won't affect the kind of restaurants where *I* eat, will it?"

That and the number of posters who seem to think poor people eat at Burger King each and every day. Along with the amount of "health advice" being freely dispensed, most of which consists of bad pseudo-science from the 70s. I love MeFi but it just kills me sometimes.

Rudy said...

I have been running my restaurant for almost 15 years, and so far I haven't heard such law. Well, we can't avoid costumers requesting for more or less salt on their food. Anyway, they are our boss, so we always manage to follow. I have just visited a Colorado business law, and got a chance to talk to one of the Colorado business attorney; he was aware of the law proposal and just explained that it is like having that freedom to choose. Well, I'm not against it; it's a free will. I just hope that they would perhaps pass a more reasonable acts than this.