Commentary Magazine


New York: We Tell You What to Eat

New York, like many other large cities on the coast, is run by well-meaning liberals. They pass a lot of great on paper laws that are for our own good – or at least that’s what they say. When most people picture the typical New Yorker, they see a hipster, waiting in line at a Whole Foods or a Trader Joes (two supermarkets known for their organic fare) with a cart full of kale chips and tofu that they will pay $20 for. Our Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, would like every citizen of the city to embody this stereotype. His list of “accomplishments” in the fight to get every New Yorker to be an organic vegan Whole Foods stockholder have been well-documented on this blog and in our magazine, but here are a few examples:

  • Replacing entire lanes of traffic in the middle of midtown Manhattan with bike lanes and tables and chairs – turning what was already a nightmare into more of a disaster
  • A crackdown on salt-rich food in restaurants and manufactured food
  • A ban on food produced in the city made with transfat
  • Requirement mandating that restaurants post nutritional information on every item on their menu
  • A grading system from A to F on health code violations, posted in every restaurant’s window

Yesterday, the Mayor announced that his office has forced the city’s homeless shelters to stop accepting home cooked food for the city’s hungry because its nutritional value cannot be assessed and it — gasp! — might contain too much salt or fat. While I have yet to do any ‘man on the street’ interviews with New York’s homeless, I’m going to venture the guess that given the choice between unhealthy food and no food, their vote would probably be for food.

During an economic crisis that has put considerable strain on the city’s resources, the Mayor has decided to turn away countless donations of food for the city’s most vulnerable citizens, opting instead to allow the city to pick up the tab. What next from the nanny state? Mandatory hand washing before meals? Arrests made on those of us who give their dinner leftovers to the homeless?

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