Dispatches from the front. July 3, 2012.
Food, Fascists, and our Fight for Freedom.
A well known celebrity chef has as his personal motto "Eat free or die!". I liked it so much, I bought the t-shirt. Sadly, the saying has taken on a more earnest meaning of late. The food nazis ( yes I said it! ) are once again on the march, and buoyed by a string of recent victories they are ever convinced that they know what's best for us and are more than prepared to shove their authority down our throats. We can all laugh at NYC's rediculous ban on large sodas, but such gaiety is quickly extinguished when it's known that Cambridge, MA has proposed a total ban on "sugary drinks". Not to be outdone, NYC has fired back with a threat to ban milk based drinks and popcorn. Yes, you read that correctly - ban milk and popcorn. The insanity is far from over. A University of California San Francisco professor has just completed a study and come to the asstard conclusion that sugar is highly addictive and therefore needs to be heavily regulated and taxed. Whoring for government grants much?
Out here on the West Coast, the forces of darkness set their sites on foie gras, and secured a ban on all sales of the secculent morsel on the grounds that the practice of force feeding is inhumane. It might sound brutal, but when done correctly is not torturous at all. Indeed, any respectable rancher understands that a stressed animal will produce an inferior product and ultimately fetch an usustainably low price. We already have laws regarding humane treatment of animals. How about enforcing those laws instead of crushing an entire industry? Leading the good fight against the food fascisti are a group of local chefs who have come with a novel counter punch: they will give it away. Here's how that works: the dish will not be billed as having foie gras, but will incorporate it as a "garnish". Not bad, but not exactly the cure I'm looking for.
It's easy just to shake our heads, but we need to be clear there are real casualties in this war. A local rancher, a family business that has been in operation for over 20 years is threatened with closure if they cannot find suitable markets out of state. And even more grating is the knowledge that the idiots who put this law in place are in no way bound by it. They can easily hop a plane (at tax payers expense no less) and travel anywhere that still sells the dish should that be their fetish. Foie gras for me, but not for thee.
The stakes couldn't be higher, and the danger cannot be underestimated. The ability to decide for ourselves what we will put on our table is the very essence of our liberty. I declare July 5, 2012 "Gastro-Independence Day", and as a free people we serve notice that our dinner table shall remain free from the tyranny of corrupt government and all those who would impose their will upon our palates. Eat free - live free!