Regulation of the Day 99: Salty New Yorkers

New York City is seeking to regulate how much salt is in peoples’ food.

Enforcement will prove difficult; most food that New Yorkers eat comes from outside the city’s jurisdiction. But the goal is to cut average salt intake by 25 percent.

Mayor Bloomberg can probably put a sizable dent in the city’s per capita salt intake all by himself. According to The New York Times, “He dumps salt on almost everything, even saltine crackers. He devours burnt bacon and peanut butter sandwiches. He has a weakness for hot dogs, cheeseburgers, and fried chicken, washing them down with a glass of merlot.”

The mayor also “likes his popcorn so salty that it burns others’ lips.”

There is a lesson to be learned here. People like salt. That’s why they eat so much of it. Suppose some of that salt is cut out of pre-packaged or processed foods. Anyone who wants to can just dump some on from a salt shaker to make up for it. This regulation is completely unenforceable.

There is also something to be said for practicing what one preaches.