More on the NY Salt Ban Bill

Last week, New York state assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) introduced a bill to ban the use of all salt in restaurant cooking and impose a fine of up to $1,000 on violators. Like all legislators who introduce absolutely insane legislation, he says he is trying to "make sure that we bring awareness."

Oddly, Ortiz seems to be raising awareness about someone else's bill. In an interview on Fox News today, he described the bill as offering consumers the choice "to ask the waitress and chef to don't put any additive sodium in their items." He further explained that "the bill clearly state that the consumer will have the right to ask whether that item is being prepared with sodium and also to either minimize or maximize [and] will allow the chef and the consumer to have a conversation about what we can add or no add."

That is not what his bill says. It says:

That's no salt, anywhere in the preparation of the food. Period.

Consumers already have the right to ask about salt content and make requests of the chef (and chefs have the right to tell them to get lost). This bill doesn't open up conversations, it closes them down.

Ortiz is right when he says that the bill doesn't prevent customers from adding salt after the fact. But any serious cook will tell you that sprinkling on salt at the end of the process isn't the same as using it in cooking. Pasta water must be salted, for instance, to flavor the noodles themselves. Salting onions at the right moment is key to successfully caramelizing them. Salting eggplant before cooking reduces bitterness in the final dish. And then there's brining and pickling, not to mention the vital importance of salt in the science of baking.

In the interview, Ortiz also says his father had a heart attack five or six weeks ago, so we'll assume he doesn't remember what's in the bill because he introduced it in the grip of strong emotion and he is rattled by family tragedy. All the more reason not to take the bill seriously.

Here's the video:

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  • LibertyBill||

    Albany is sooo fucked up right now.

  • jester||

    In other news...Salt Lake City is banning New York steaks.

  • jester||

    ...the shape of the steaks tend to mold otherwise conservative Mormon voter minds into those of lefty Gentile Blue-State Democrats.

    Redstate Conservative teetotalling, tabacco-free Utahns have one of the highest longevity stats in the country and therfore it is seen as a health issue.

  • Spoonman.||

    Does this count for drinks, too, so margaritas would be illegal?

  • Brett L||

    Stark, raving, mad. These people obviously don't understand electrolytes. Are they going ban gatorade and sports drinks for containing salt also?

  • ||

    No. I'm sure they will get sports and energy drinks under a soda tax, since they have large amounts of sugar as well.

    Oddly, this bill only covers freshly prepared food and I see nothing that precludes the amount of salt in prepared and processed foods.

    Yet.

  • Brett L||

    Just so's I've got this straight, b/c I can't be arsed to read the thing: If the restaurant buys a hot dog packaged in brine, that'd be cool, but putting any amount of salt on a garden salad would be banned... No wonder they work so hard to keep guns out of New Yorkers' hands.

  • ||

    Ding Ding! Your conclusion is correct.

    In deference to JB, the term "retarded fetuses" applies here.

  • ||

    Your insulting retarded fetuses.

  • Attorney General Funbags||

    These people obviously don't understand electrolytes.

    Electrolytes are what plants crave.

  • Mikey||

    Go away, I'm 'batin!

  • Smarter than an assemblyman||

    Electrolytes are what keep our nervous system functioning... Without sodium and potassium in and around every living cell, they would not be able to function properly... Muscles wouldn't move... Nerves wouldn't transmit signals to and from the brain... Knowing a little physiology might help to understand that electrolytes are more than what plants crave. Actually, I wasn't aware that plants had cravings either.... I guess I should have studied botany instead of medicine.

  • Byron||

    Watch Idiocracy and you'll understand. =)

  • ||

    If this guy is prone to doing stupid, crazy shit like this when he's having trouble at home, that's cool.

    It just makes him totally unfit to be a public official, is all.

  • ||

    we'll assume he doesn't remember what's in the bill because he introduced it in the grip of strong emotion and he is rattled by family tragedy

    No, you can assume that. I'm going to assume he's irredeemably stupid, and guess what? If we made a bet, I'd probably win.

  • Xeones||

    So when everybody in New York dies of not enough electrolytes, can i have their stuff?

  • anonymous||

    Better idea: declare the entire city blighted, bulldoze it, and build a giant statue of yourself (for the good of the local economy).

  • ||

    HIs father had a heart attack? Well, I guess it's up to the community to kick his ass for being a stupid nanny-state prick, then.

    -jcr

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    I have abnormally low blood pressure, so all I want to know is why New York is trying to kill me?

  • Almanian||

    You know, love the handle. Banjos do kick ass.

  • ||

    Very off topic, but does this mean I can legally open-carry in my home stae of Minneapolis or more specifically, Minneapolis?

    http://opencarry.org/register.html

  • ||

    Just leave your bail money at home, else it be confused with drug money.

  • ||

    I'd look into the city code. I'd be very surprised if open carry was allowed in Minneapolis.

  • ||

    What a retard. How could he not know what's in his own bill? Obviously there was something lost in translation when he was telling some lackey to write up a salt ban in coherent english.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Speaking of English, in the science article linked by KMW I love the extreneous articles injected into teh abstract for "cooking". Then I noticed that the author was not likely an "English as a first language" person.

    Yay for the Reason

  • ||

    They don't read the bills before they vote on them, why should they read them when they write 'em up?

  • TXLimey||

    I think assemblyman Ortiz should set an example and refrain from eating or drinking any salt whatsoever until this bill is passed.

    This crap is so unscientific I'm surprised it doesn't actually contain language saying that salt is the invention of the devil.

  • Almanian||

    I think that's stipulated.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I was hoping it was a bill banning the use of salty language between congressmen and their staff.

  • Byron||

    What's that? You think government-controlled health care inevitably leads to incremental elimination of individual liberty and free choice? No, not at all...

    Hey Ortiz - I wouldn't drip ball sweat in your mouth if you were dying of hyponatremia! Try the quiche.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    imagery worthy of SugarFree. Well done.

    EEEWWWWWW!

  • ||

    Here we have dumbass supreme and all I can do it think about how often Liberal Democrats spout off how much more intelligent they are compared to everyone else. I would think just having this worthless fucker as one of your elected officials shows you are indeed moron's that think of yourselves much to highly!

  • ||

    It is shocking, positively shocking, how much legislation of general application and scope is based on anecdotes and single events. Expose a nominee's video records to the public, pass a law. A famous guy's autopsy photos go public, pass a law. Etc., etc. I sometimes think all our laws are because of some legislator's Uncle Larry and that thing that happened to him.

  • ||

    I think if we had fly-on-the-wall insight on just 5% of what actually goes on in decision-making in politicians' offices and conference rooms, and we publicized it, politicians would be being dragged from their cars and beaten to death the next day. I can't even imagine what it must be like to have worked for one of these subhuman parasites and have seen it first hand.

    I mean, I've seen what goes on in corporate offices and was blown away by the stupidity, waste, favoritism, and unbelievably retarded decision-making. What must the government be like?

  • ||

    I totally agree with you on the corporate BS and also wonder how fubared government must really be. I could never work for the state or feds I would be to nauseated to work.

  • T||

    As we often say around at my office, we make a profit in spite of all our hard work. Government doesn't even have the tiny bit of discipline exerted by the market.

  • ed||

    Isn't that how the Amber Alert® got started?

  • m||

    That one is really for the children.

  • ||

    This seems silly, but it is for our own good. They need guidelines and limits for some foods that need salts, this is to drackonian.

    Apart from the salts, some dangerous drugs, perhaps as bad as the illegal drugs and incorrect use of prescriptions may be under your kitchen counter Inhalant Abuse a Deadly Middle-School Concern. It goes to show you why we need to redouble our war on drug efforts to protect the children.

  • Byron||

    This is so beyond the pale it isn't even good bait. Next.

  • ||

    Actually, this post by itself is first-rate evidence of why you should avoid treating things you find under your kitchen sink as inhalants.

  • josey||

    Mr. Yuk!

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Young lady, this is so far below your potential that I'm going to have to send this home with you and have your parents sign it. Bring it back to class tomorrow.

    D

    Tsk, tsk, you know that you can do so much better.

    ... Hobbit

  • ||

    You think this guy saw the salt monster episode of Star Trek or something before submitting this bill?

  • Spoonman.||

    My fiance and I frequently rank the people we'd ask the salt monster to pretend to be were they either of our partner. This isn't really relevant, just got my mind thinking about it again.

  • ||

    Does the salt monster provide fantasy sex before sucking out your salt? I was under the impression that it did not.

  • Spoonman.||

    It had lots of sex, presumably, with that scientist dude that talked about buffalo while pretending to be his wife - as long as scientist dude provided it with salt.

  • ||

    I wonder if that was real sex or false implanted memories? Note that memories of sex are different than virtual sex.

  • Confused||

    Notice that the bill bans salt in any form. The term "salt" covers a lot more than just table salt. Baking soda, for instance, is considered an alkaline salt. I wonder what other types of salt are commonly used in cooking?

  • Byron||

    I'm equally curious what constitutes "in any form". Does salt as an ingredient in a purchased mixture/sauce/ingredient/seasoning all count? If so, just cut to the chase and say, "Restaurants are banned."

  • IceTrey||

    Potassium chloride. That's the most common substitute for sodium chloride.

  • ||

    Potassium chloride's mixed with regular table salt, in order to make a salt substitute.

    Heh, what's really funny is that the evul iodized salt has been proven to reduce iodine deficiencies in pregnant women, and cretinism in children. So banning it actually would be incredibly short-sighted, and harmful.

    Although I doubt they'd notice it that much in NYC...

  • ||

    This is all fine and dandy, but what's he doing about people who eat salt at home?

  • Byron||

    That's what no-knock SWAT raids are for, silly!

  • ||

    Easy fix for this one- just add food to the salt.

  • ||

    Hi. My name is SugarFree and I have 12 types of salt in my pantry.

    Please tell my which reclamation camp to report to.

  • ||

    You need to go to the "I'm a sucker for stupid cooking fads" camp. Also, please list the gay salts you have for our amusement.

  • ||

    Oh, go stuff a sock in it. You have kitchen gadgets galore too.

    Kosher, pickling, popcorn, Swedish alderwood smoked, Bourbon barrel smoked, Himalayan pink, Japanese sea, gray, French black, French large grain, Hawaiian Red Sea, and Hawaiian Black Lava.

  • @||

    This is what happens when you watch too many Alton Brown shows.

  • ||

    Educating the American people about the dangers of Steve Smith doesn't take up my whole day. I have other hobbies too.

  • ||

    I refuse to accept criticism of Alton Brown, who is a net good for this universe.

  • robc||


    I refuse to accept criticism of Alton Brown, who is a net good for this universe.

    True, but his obsession with funky salts is annoying.

  • ||

    The kosher salt thing is not uncommon among chefs. I believe it's about consistency and control versus table salt, not about magical taste differences.

  • ||

    I finds "table salt" to have a little bit of a metallic flavor (although I don't notice it when its cooked in, only when its sprinkled on).

    For application at the table, I go with a French sea salt - its got kind of a sweet flavor.

  • ||

    The iodine in iodized table salt can kill yeasts and acetic acid bacteria; which are necessary for the pickling and the fermentation processes.

    Otherwise it's a matter of taste.

  • @||

    Don't get me wrong. I love Alton Brown. I spent 30 minutes one day learning precisely how to make perfect popcorn, right down to the extra-fine popcorn salt. Then I bought packing-popcorn-tasting microwave popcorn anyway. Fight the good fight, Alton!

  • The Gobbler||

    Agreed.

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    I believe Epi was asking for a list of your gay salts, not your gay sex toys.

  • T||

    Wait, why do you have separate pickling salt? I use kosher for my pickling and brining needs.

  • ||

    Pickling salt is ground fine enough to dissolve in cold liquids.

  • ||

    The first two make sense; the rest are just retarded. And I may have kitchen gadgets galore too, but my gadgets all have a purpose. Hawaiian Red Sea salt does not.

    Unless you're one of those salt monsters from that Star Trek episode. Wait, that sort of makes sense, seeing as you look like one.

  • ||

    You can't prove anything, human.

  • Spoonman.||

    The salt monster could make you think it looked like anyone.

  • ||

    I've seen what NutraSweet really looks like, just like they finally saw what the salt monster looked like. And they both looked like Mr. Belvedere naked.

  • T||

    How do you know what Mr. Belvedere looks like naked, Epi? Is there anything you need to tell the class?

  • ||

    Bob Yuker told me. He had pictures.

  • ||

    Bob Yuker told me. He had pictures.

  • ||

    Ewwwwwwww!!!!!! I don't think I ever want to have sex again.

  • ||

    Peter Cook or the other guy?

  • jester||

    If Sugar's braised tongue swims in Red Sea saltiness, he can't be that gay.

  • jester||

    Good God! I almost thought for a second that I was gayer than SF. Just checked and other than a coupla brands of sea salt that I bought while on business in Paris and some plain old salt, I did manage to pick up Bali salt when I was Bali last year and something called Tibetan Black salt when I was in Kathmandu a coupla years ago. I have a bag of salt that I collected myself from the Great Rann of Kutch two years ago just before the Mumbai terrorist strike right on the Indo-Pakastani border.

    Must have still not shaken all the religion out of me. Jesus did exhort us to be the salt of the earth. So maybe SF is a Jesus freak and not necessarily gay.

  • ||

    God and I have no use for each other.

  • Bart Simpson||

    ¡Ay, caramba!

  • Melissa||

    Aye, whats next! So now they want everyone to eat bland food, yea that's the solution, WTF!!!!!! If a person doesn't want salt on their food, I'm sure they will tell the waiter upon service. So why take salt out of everything when its only a selected few that cannot have salt? I didn't know that ill people are in control over the healthy people : ( I bet Salt consumption is more over indulged at home than in restaurants. THE PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE A CHOICE MR. ORTIZ, THEY CAN ORDER THEIR FOOD SPECIAL WITHOUT SALT! Did you know that?!? IDIOT!!

  • The Expatriate||

    I sincerely hope Felix Ortiz soon dies of painful, virulent bone cancer.

  • ||

    Do you have any idea how many people are killed by ingesting salt mixed with dihydrogen monoxide each year?

  • HeatherRadish||

    I'm still traumatized from the first time I got oceanwater up my nose.

    BAN THE OCEAN!

  • ed||

    And then there's brining and pickling

    (ed's ears prick up)
    Brining chicken for a few hours before baking or grilling does wonders. So juicy and flavorful you almost can't fuck it up. Highly recommended. And don't even get me started on pickled jalapenos.

  • T||

    I brine everything before I smoke it. Well, except sausages. It makes all the difference between tasty grub and a dried-out inedible mess.

  • ed||

    Yup. I can never go back.

  • ||

    Brining is one of those things that sounds like it would ruin food, but once you've brined a turkey, or some thick pork chops, you'll never go back.

  • ed||

    I add a little vinegar to my chicken brine. The pieces come out a little pink and unbelievably juicy. Finish them with a marinade of olive oil and herbs and you have an indestructible plate of protein.

  • zoltan||

    The hydrochloric acid in my stomach will destruct that shit.

  • ||

    People with salt "issues" can prepare their own food/meals at home. There is no particular right to a restaurant meal. And there is no obligation of a restauranteur to satisfy every person's health concern--that's what choices are for.

  • Barack Obama||

    Let me be clear, All Americans have a right to restaurant meals. If I recall, that was the reason freedom riders sat at lunch counters in the pre-civil rights act deep south.

  • ||

    No salt, no fats. Let's all eat a 357 mag.

  • anonymous||

    Wouldn't it be more productive to make the health fascists eat a 357 mag?

  • 2yellowdogs||

    This is exactly the reason they created tar and feathers. So sane people can respond to pompous self-important nannies like this living POS. And we promise not to salt the tar before applying it. Umkay?

  • Anomalous||

    Somebody needs to taser Felix Ortiz right in the taint.

  • 2yellowdogs||

    I'm so bummed! Salt was the only thing that made the soylent green taste any good.

  • Charleton Heston||

    Soylent Green is people! Needs more salt!

  • jester||

    Babbo's will have to add a $1000 per dish tax to the bill. Only politicians will be able to afford it.

  • ||

    Now, you pack dogs, just wait a minute. Perhaps the esteemed legislator is on to something. After all, he's just trying to protect our health.

    As another poster wrote, the proposed law is simply too draconian. Perhaps the better approach would be to establish a new agency, the Salt Health Institute of Technology, which would oversee a cadre of culinary salt experts, along with appropriate support staff and legal advisers. This agency, which may or may not be referred to by its acronym, will establish regulations as to the amounts of salt that may legally be used with certain types of prepared food.

    "It shall be the mission of this agency to promulgate and enforce regulations in order to assure appropriate salt minimalization in prepared food so as to protect public health and safety without compromising gastronomic enjoyment."

    I can see the regulatory framework now. Each recipe used by a restaurant or other prepared food establishment will be assigned an Added Salt Standard number which will designate the legally acceptable level of salt in a particular dish. These recipes and their corresponding numbers will be published semi-annually in the Federal Register. Each new recipe, of course, will have to be submitted to the agency and then subject to the regulatory review process before it is approved and assigned its unique Added Salt Standard number. The initial budget for the agency will be $10 million, funded by an excise tax on food condiments.

  • Mad Max||

    Ortiz's claims should be taken with a grain of . . . banned material.

  • yo crazy ||

    How did he even get in office he is clearly a mexican who cant even speak without a accent that is soo stuiped way too get a lot of negitive votes stuiped ass

  • jester||

    Ortiz isn't boricua? or cubano? or dominicano?

    Oh my god! Mexicans in Nueva York? No me jodes.

  • Brett L||

    Wow. This is epic irony. I'm just not sure how intentional.

  • yo crazy||

    He's just is pissed and wants to take it out on fellow New Yorks there is no way he is going to get this bill passed!!!

  • jester||

    Who cares about passage? He's a dick forever, letting the thought pass though ink or type to paper. It is a monument to the inaneness of democracy that his ilk was promoted over someone else that most likely represented the intelligent persecuted minority within his district.

  • jester||

    through

  • anonymous||

    But it's kind of inspiring to see what the severely mentally retarded can achieve in our society now, isn't it?

  • Atlas Folder||

    As a form of civil protest I recommending reading Mark Kurlansky's wonderful book Salt: A World History which is a amazingly entertaining read on the troublesome rock and human's relationships with it.

    On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Salt-Wor.....0142001619

  • ||

    please, write to this man
    http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=051

  • ||

    "Dis bill will save 32 billion dollar" from the horseasses mouth.
    If NEW York Bans Salt it will save 34 Billion dollars in "our" health care cost.
    Hmm lets see now there are 50 states. Thiry Four billion Dollars times 50 States = 1,700,000,000,000 1.7 Trillion
    then lets see now,what do the politicans say these days. Oh Yeah. Over the next ten years. So that means we will save 17,000,000,000,000 Seventeen Trillion over the next 10 years.
    Holy crap. Lets do it. This will solve the defecit.
    Hmmm, Dis guy may be on to something.
    He arleady started the cell phone ban, so thats out, oh yeah he tried to outlaw eating or drinking anything while driving. The jury is still out on that one.
    What if he outlaws french fries. That could save 54 billion dollars in health cost for NY. Thats
    $2,700,000,000 country wide. Wow that is 27Trillion over the next 10 Years. If we keep going we won't ever have to pay taxes again.

    Roller skating injuries cost 2,000,000 per year.Nation wide 100,000,000 with 1,000,000,000 over the next ten years. Roller skating should be banned
    Bath tub falls cost 90,000,000 per year.Nation wide 4,500,000,000 with 45,000,000,000 over the next ten years. we need a ban on bathing
    people hit by foul balls cost 1,000,000 per year. Nation wide 50,000,000 with 500,000,000 over the next ten years we need a fine on foul balls.

    Hopefully you get the point. Do they really think we are this freaking stupid.
    Well yeah.

    Wasn't this the guy that said "Badges? We no nee no stinking badges!"

  • ||

    i know that this forum is probably dead but I thought someone may get a kick out of THIS press release of Assemblyman Ortiz's:

    http://assembly.state.ny.us/me.....tory=35886

  • ||

    It's all about banning baking soda which cures cancers.

  • ||

    Welcome to Miami Vice 2010 starring Don Barack Obama Johnson. What's that white powder in your bag, sir? Step away from the stove and nobody gets hurt.

    But what about the ingredients that cause obesity and cancer?

    What about glutens? There to simply stimulate the appetite.

    What about hydolyzed corn syrup?

    How about rbGH?

    How about estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, zeranol, trenbolone acetate, and melengestrol acetate. Estradiol and progesterone are natural female sex hormones; testosterone is the natural male sex hormone; zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengesterol acetate. - Mr. FDA, you don't think that has anything to do with 6 year old girls built like Anna Nicole Smith, 3 year old toddlers menstruating and 10 year old boys with breasts bigger than Valerie Bertinelli's?

    But salt and sugar??? Ah, sorry, I forgot - Monsanto and ConAgra and the pharmaceutical companies don't have a hand in those two, but they did in Obama's campaign.

    I've got two containers of Morton's Salt in my kitchen and *I'm* not afraid to use it. Bring it on.

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