Salt of the earth

Many people believe that salt is bad for your health, but John Tierney’s column today in the New York Times points out the body of research that shows it ain’t necessarily so. Yet New York City politicians are embarking on a “nationwide” campaign to force food companies and restaurants to reduce consumers’ salt intake by one-half.

On a somewhat related theme Megan McArdle asks why so many “green” products don’t perform as well as the standard ones. She says:

In fact, when I look back at almost every “environmentally friendly” alternative product I’ve seen being widely touted as a cost-free way to lower our footprint, held back only by the indecent vermin at “industry” who don’t care about the environment, I notice a common theme: the replacement good has really really sucked compared to the old, inefficient version.  In some cases, the problem could be overcome by buying a top-of-the-line model that costs, at the very least, several times what the basic models do.  In other cases, as with my asthma inhalers, we were just stuck.

McArdle points out that there are usually trade-offs involved, which policymakers may not recognize or consider. That’s what Tierney also showed.