Mark Bittman: Government Is 'on Our Side' When It Stops Us From Eating What We Want to Eat

New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, who last year expressed enthusiasm for the "fun" and "exciting" project of micro-managing other people's diets via carefully calculated taxes and subsidies, today asks: Why not start with poor people? Bittman likes the idea of preventing food stamp recipients from using their taxpayer-funded scrip to buy products that do not meet with his approval. But he would not stop there:

Added sugar is not the only dangerous food. But unlike animal products, for example, which we also overconsume, it has no benefits. Yet we down it at the rate of 150 pounds per person per year, and while scientists argue whether it is addictive in humans (it meets the criteria for addiction in animals), it is most certainly habit-forming. [Robert H.] Lustig and his co-authors suggest [in a recent Nature article] that actions like imposing taxes on added sugar or establishing a minimum age for purchase of sodas (they mention 17 in their paper) would reduce consumption.

The question "Is this necessary?" is unavoidable. But as obesity and its consequences ravage our health care system, we struggle not only with our own diets but also with preventing our children from falling into the same traps...

We need the government on our side. It must acknowledge the dangers caused by the most unhealthy aspects of our diet and figure out how to help us cope with them, because this is the biggest public health challenge facing the developed world.

I'm not sure what difference Bittman perceives between "addictive" and "habit-forming." Although cigarettes, for instance, were once said to be the latter but not the former, scientists have long since abandoned that distinction. In any case, these labels do nothing to illuminate the public policy issue, which is whether the government has any business trying to stop us from eating sugar (or other politically incorrect food ingredients). Bittman believes it does, so deeply that he does not even think it necessary to offer a reason or anticipate possible objections. Notice that he asks whether such meddling is "necessary," not whether it is legitimate, and even then does not answer the question. Instead Bittman suggests that people are addicted to sugar, which he thinks means they have no choice but to consume it and therefore must be rescued from this self-destructive habit by benign overseers like him. That is how he imagines the government is "on our side" when it uses force to stop us from eating what we want to eat. Bittman knows that we do not really want to eat sugar, or at least that we should not want to eat sugar, which in his mind is more or less the same thing.

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  • That face||

    is extremely punchable.

    First

  • Matrix||

    +1

  • ||

    Is there an Academy Award for "Annoying Asshole"?

  • ||

    We shall call it "the Bittman".

  • Sparky||

    A little gold man bent over with a trumpet coming out of his ass?

  • nicole||

    Best Backpfeifengesicht in a Major US Publication

  • bittman o3||

    yall can eat shit n die for all I care.

    that is all

  • Scott||

    Would we be allowed to pay for it with food stamps?

  • Father Jack||

    Feck Bitman. Drink! Arse! Girls!

  • Bee Tagger||

    You should want to punch it. Using a logic similar to Bittman's, the government should therefore provide you the opportunity to punch him.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    backpfeifengesicht. learn it, live it, love it.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Its the dumb looking and sounding guy from Juno and Farmers' commercials.

  • Sparky||

    Don't you dare mix up this douche with Cave Johnson.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    But what if Simmons played this guy for some reason? Hopefully it would only be a one line cameo followed by the character's swift demise.

  • Sparky||

    Maybe he could die a horrible death from getting moon dust in his food.

  • Cave Johnson||

    Turns out, moon rocks are pure poison.

  • Ska||

    Anybody else see a resemblance to Tobias Funke?

  • ||

    Tobias + 20years. Sure.

  • us||

    I am bi, i want to seek a bilover. I am 23 years old,slender,sexy,and beautiful. I am a member of __D a t e b i.c/0/M. there are hundreds of thousands of open-minded singles & couples looking to explore their bisexuality. I am also a member here, I think u will be the most attractive one there, lol~ just check it out, nothing lose if you don't like. Best wishes.

  • ||

    But unlike animal products, for example, which we also overconsume

    [citation needed]

    I like how not only is this asshole a paternalistic shithead, he trots out decades old "knowledge" that's been cast in doubt for years now. But that's OK, he's utterly sure of it, so that's all that matters.

    People like this need to be ridiculed and insulted every time they open their petty authoritarian mouths.

  • ||

    Like any of the "over-" or "under-" words, it's a value judgement. If you have reason to dislike factory farming you would definitely have to agree that we overconsume meat and dairy, since there is no way we could meet the contemporary demand for meat using anything approaching a humane or sanitary system.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Why did dairy get thrown in there?

  • ||

    Dairy is an animal product, and milk is just as much a factory farm product as the others. Ditto for eggs.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Have you ever been on a diary farm?

  • ||

    Come on, dude. Does Tulpa ever know anything about what he talks about?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'm just saying, I lived on a dairy farm for 18 years. Saying it's factory farming is idiotic.

  • ||

    Maybe you weren't living on a factory dairy farm.

  • Trespassers W||

    Maybe you weren't living on a factory dairy farm.

    Zing! You've been True-Scotsman'd, Auric!

  • ||

    So you're claiming that dairy factory farms don't exist?

  • ||

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Dude, if they're against animal products or "factory farming", they would sure as shit bitch about your dairy farm. Unless you only had like two cows, but they might still call you a slaver.

  • ||

    ""Unless you only had like two cows, but they might still call you a slaver.""

    It's funny because it's true.

  • ||

    What the fuck does factory farming have to do with over or underconsumption in the way he's talking about?

    Spare me your reflexive contrarian bullshit.

  • ||

    Exeternalities!!!

  • ||

    He's probably talking about health concerns, which are more murky, but I'm just pointing out there's a perspective from which it's clear we overconsume animal products.

    It's also wonderful as always to see you labeling people you disagree with rather than addressing their points.

  • Zeb||

    I think it's a good thing to keep a few reflexive contrarians around. Keeps you thinking.

  • ||

    Fuck you, Zeb.

  • ||

    No, SugarFraud. I mean NutraFraud. Fuck you.

  • Zeb||

    Fuck all of you. And the whores you rode in on.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Fuck all of you. And the whores you rode in on.

    Let's leave your mother out of this.

  • Father Jack||

    Feck off, Epicure!

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Food corporashun factory farms enable overcunsompshun of all foodz!

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Where does Bittman state he dislikes factory farming.

    Yes, IF he was disdainful of it, THEN he would have an explainable point. Given that I don't see that "IF", however...

  • ||

    Tulpa couldn't resist being a contrarian douchebag. He has no real point.

  • ||

    What's ironic about this claim is that Epi is the one who's littering the thread with content-free "nuh-uh" posts. If anyone here is a vapid contrarian, it ain't me.

  • ||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    I don't think you can even convince yourself of this, but at least you trying gives us all a laugh.

  • ||

    And another one! I must have reached the fixed point of contrarianism, where every response is a "nuh-uh".

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I bet I can predict what Bittman would say about red-light cameras.

  • H. Reardon||

    Bittman is big on the 'eat local' idea, which is merely a repackaged form of the anti-'factory farm'

  • ||

    http://markbittman.com/horrifi.....-smithfiel

    Bittman has a long history of being against big business in our food.

  • Killazontherun||

    IOW, pro-Big Starvation.

  • ||

    it's rough being in the (worn, empty) pocket of Big Starvation.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Why is factory farming any less humane or sanitary than older methods of producing meat?

  • ||

    How long do you have?

    Animals cramped in tiny enclosures, having their bones broken repeatedly when removed and replaced in their cages, and pumped full of antibiotics to mask the rampant germs floating around the "farm", and a hundred other things. Watch Food Inc. for an intro (yes, it's made by folks with a decidedly leftist "eeeeeeevil corporations" mentality, but good info nonetheless).

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    How long do you have?

    Setting "humane-ness" aside, I think BP captured all that matters here. But I have all day, so knock yourself out.

  • ||

    it's made by folks with a decidedly leftist "eeeeeeevil corporations" mentality

    Which should be enough to make you doubt every single thing presented.

  • ||

    Echo chamber forever, man!

    I didn't say "shut off your brain and uncritically accept everything they say", I said "watch".

  • ||

    I mean, by this standard any liberal should refuse to believe anything written about police procedures by that libertarian eliminationist Radley Balko.

  • ||

    Contemporary leftists, particularly documentary makers, have repeatedly demonstrated to be egregious liars and shouldn't be taken seriously. They exist for TEAM points and confirmation bias, and nothing else.

    Add in axe grinder and their credibility levels have confidence approaching zero.

    Had Balko been caught in so many bald-faced lies as modern leftist documentarians have been, then I would say to not give any of his stuff the time of day either.

  • ||

    Have you seen how modern factory farms for pigs work? How they've almost completely wiped out trichinosis?

    Once again, you prove your idiocy for all to see because you just can't resist trying to act smart...and failing. At least you're amusing.

  • ||

    Have you seen how modern factory farms for pigs work? How they've almost completely wiped out trichinosis?

    Nope. Tell me more, as a wise man once said. A google search for "pig farm trichinosis" reveals no hits for anything supporting your claim on the first two pages, so perhaps you could find a link.

  • ||

    Free-Range Trichinosis
    By JAMES E. McWILLIAMS

    IS free-range pork better and safer to eat than conventional pork? Many consumers think so. The well-publicized horrors of intensive pig farming have fostered the widespread assumption that, as one purveyor of free-range meats put it, “the health benefits are indisputable.” However, as yet another reminder that culinary wisdom is never conventional, scientists have found that free-range pork can be more likely than caged pork to carry dangerous bacteria and parasites. It’s not only pistachios and 50-pound tubs of peanut paste that have been infected with salmonella but also 500-pound pigs allowed to root and to roam pastures happily before butting heads with a bolt gun.

    -

    2nd hit for ["factory farming" trichinosis]

  • ||

    That's one study (financed by the National Pork Board, ie pig farm interests, so cum grano porcorum) but it is interesting.

  • o3||

    wild boar is goood eating

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Chickens are kept in small cages because they will fight and kill each other. Is getting pecked to death any more humane than broken bones? As far as sanitation, show me a peer reviewed study that says factory farms are less sanitary. I've never seen one, and I'm not going to trust an admittedly biased documentary as conclusive evidence.

  • ||

    That explains the cages, but it doesn't explain the size of the cages.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    If they would all get along, they could have one big cage.

  • ryan||

    It's all pretty much beside the point anyway. They're kept alive and bred to eventually be murdered and eaten. Whether they're given a comfortable or natural life is irrelevant. They're livestock, and they don't have any claim to rights. It's silly to even give someone attention who claims otherwise unless they are at least vegan.

  • ||

    You can tolerate killing without accepting wanton cruelty.

    Funny how the Reason attitude changes when we're talking about livestock rather than dogs.

    Plus of course, some of the broken bones and such result in pus sacs in the meat produced from the dead animal.

  • ||

    Bigger cages cost more money, given that it would increase the square footage necessary to house them.

    I feel like this is obvious.

  • ryan||

    I don't have the 'Reason attitude' and I've never talked about dogs.

    Healthy practices and the cruelty of farming itself are different subjects. Whimsically changing from one to the other and pretending that they have equal relevance to the discussion may seem meaningful, but it's not.

  • ryan||

    Furthermore, although at this point I hardly care, you have yet to prove this cruelty is "wanton".

    If you can prove that farmers' actions are "wanton", then you clearly know something that they don't and you might try expressing it.

    However, you have not given any proof of "wanton cruelty", so it's merely another irrelevant assertion cluttering the discussion. Great.

  • EDG reppin LBC||

    Plus of course, some of the broken bones and such result in pus sacs in the meat produced from the dead animal.

    You need to find a new butcher. If you live in the LA area, I would recommend Marconda's/Puritan Poultry at the Farmers Market, 3rd & Fairfax. There are also some smaller shops opening , including one just north of the Farmers Market on Fairfax, and two over in Silverlake.

    Delicious meat, guaranteed pus free.

  • ||

    Why is factory farming any less humane or sanitary than older methods of producing meat?

    I mean, no matter how you slice it, the animals are gonna die.

  • B.P.||

    Based on the lack of widespread food-related illness/death, the current system seems to approach sanitary.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    No, but see, there's the dreaded antibiotics and small cages involved...

  • ||

    O RLY?

    Nearly half of the meat and poultry samples -- 47 percent -- were contaminated with S. aureus, and more than half of those bacteria -- 52 percent -- were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics, according to the study published April 15 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

    This is the first national assessment of antibiotic resistant S. aureus in the U.S. food supply. And, DNA testing suggests that the food animals themselves were the major source of contamination.
  • Colonel_Angus||

    This provides no information to refute that illness and death has gone down or whether farming is more sanitary. Every animal is contaminated with something. That is why they get cooked.

  • ryan||

    And every human is equipped with a brain to decide whether or not they want to eat the dead animal. So, without compelling evidence of its being true, saying that the current methods of farming is inferior to another kind is just whining.

    I've yet to see any compelling evidence...

  • Katherine Mangles Wards||

    Bullshit. Permaculture would more than help meet the demand, as well as help bring back the family farm. Family farms across the US are discovering they can actually turn a profit using these techniques, while big Ag. remains uninterested.

    Ingenuity and the market will succeed where paternalism and big government solutions fail.

  • Maxxx||

    Added sugar is not the only dangerous food. But unlike animal products, for example, which we also overconsume, it has no benefits. Yet we down it at the rate of 150 pounds per person per year,

    Who the fuck eats half a pound of sugar a day?

  • Sparky||

    Maybe if we count carbs as sugar...

  • ||

    Let's see here.

    41g in my can of Pepsi x 4= 164...I'm moe than half way there already.

  • ryan||

    Since when is 164g more than half of 454g?

  • ryan||

    Oh, nevermind.

  • ||

    You just got Metric'd.

    (Metric'd, the new prank reality show, airing this fall.)

  • Jerryskids||

    People like this need to be ridiculed and insulted every time they open their petty authoritarian mouths.

    Amen to that. Arguing seriously with these people is the wrong way to go - you are admitting that their ideas are worth taking seriously. That's a no-win proposition. The only proper response to them is to laugh at them, mock them, ridicule them. That is the very worst thing you can do to these pious pseudo-intellectuals - laugh in their faces and tell them they aren't even worth a serious thought.

  • ||

    I am Mark Bittman, I have no formal training in cooking much less food science, medicine, dietetics or physiology. I have no PHD in liberal arts much less a hard science. But I went to the right schools. I write for the New York Times. And I am a right thinking person. That means I know better than the poor. And have a right and a duty to dictate what they can and cannot eat.

  • ||

    From Bittman's own biography on his website.

    I'm not a chef, and I never have been. And though I've cooked with some of the best-known chefs in the world, I've never had formal training, and I've never worked in a restaurant. None of which has gotten in the way of my mission to get people cooking simply, comfortably, and well.

    I would not trust this asshole to tell me how to cook a chicken properly. But we should listen to his counsel when it comes to public health. Got it.

  • T||

    My mother-in-law was never a chef, and never worked in a restaurant. But if she told me what to do in a recipe, I damned well listened. Credentialism comes in many forms.

    This is par for Bittman, though. Regurgitate 'conventional' wisdom and act like it's some great insight. That's what he did in his cookbook*, so why should this be any different?

    * Don't buy for more than a couple bucks at a used book place. Not worth more.

  • ||

    You would only trust your mother in law because you know her to be a great cook. I don't know anything about this clown. So all I can go on are his credentials. But, yeah, he can probably cook a chicken.

  • T||

    I've got his cookbook. It'll be bland.

  • ||

    I have that book too. The techniques described are good.

    Most of the recipes need twice the flavor he puts in them.

  • ||

    Most of the recipes need twice the flavor he puts in them.

    Overconsumption of Flavor is a public health risk.

  • H. Reardon||

    I thought it was a good cookbook. Simple recipes and ingredients. A good primer for a cook w/ little experience. Makes a great wedding gift.

    It was written before his exposure to all the bright minds of NYT. No tendencies of becoming a food cop was evident in it. What a pompous ass he has become.

  • Father Jack||

    I know he can choke one. Feck bittman.

  • emmajane||

    Bittman's cookbook is really not all that. It got great hype when it came out, I bought it, and....meh. Cooks Illustrated is soooo much better all around. And they're not usually food scolds.

  • ||

    love Cook's Illustrated - real sugar, eggs, cream, butter, etc - whatever makes the meal better.

  • Gojira||

    I'll alter that easily to become the biography of (almost) every US politician.

    I'm not a god, and I never have been. And though I've usurpsed god-like power over the populace of the richest nation on earth, I've never had formal training, and I've never worked in a productive capacity in the private sector. None of which has gotten in the way of my mission to force people into doing what I know to be correct behavior across diverse cultures, races, ages, and genders.

  • ||

    I don't know shit from shinola about much of anything. But that will not stop me from attempting to forcibly re-order society for its own good.

  • ||

    Hence, anarchy beats monopoly.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    You are no longer "libertymike". Your name from here forward is One-Note Ned.

  • ||

    Yet, the other day, Friday, you complained when I wrote of Ryan Braun.

  • ||

    Rev, did you see The Iron Lady?

    I await your review.

  • Cass Sunstein||

    You are dead wrong about Braun by the way. No, no one has ever broken into my house and started slipping testosterone into things. He is guilty as hell.

  • SFC B||

    The rumor I've heard here in Dairyland is that Braun was taking some course of drugs to clear up an STD, and it caused a false positive for a steroid masking agent.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Because you tried to make that an anti-government issue, too. It's the shoehorning of your perspective into subjects that don't lend themselves to your views that leads you to the moniker One-Note Ned.

  • ||

    Just how did I make Ryan Braun into an anti-government issue?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Er:

    Besides, I love Braun's game, I like him and I am rooting for him. No different than his friends Aaron Rodgers and Reggie Miller.

    Besides II, I HATE ALL DRUG WARRIORS, BE THEY DEA, DARE, WCTU, JUST SAY NO, THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A DRUG FREE AMERICA
  • ||

    C'mon, Rev.

    There are lots of people, here alone, who are not anarchos who hate the drug warriors.

    Note that I included the WCTU. The PFDFA is not a public sector agency - isn't it a collaborative, "private / public partnership" type of entity?

    Thus, my hatred of drug warriors is not limited to the public sector variety.

  • Loki||

    LOL, I might have to steal that line.

  • nicole||

    Actually, John, you should trust him to tell you how to cook a chicken, because he's actually pretty decent at that. I use his roast chicken recipe and it's yum-yum delicious at making a nice crispy skin.

    His cookbooks are really super for basic stuff and make great gifts for young people moving out and cooking for themselves for the first time. Or at least, they did until his douchebaggery reached such high levels that I can't bring myself to buy them anymore.

  • ||

    There are a million cook books that can teach you the basics. Go buy a fanny farmer from a used book store. No reason ever to support this douche bag.

  • Brendan||

    But they bristle when anyone hints that they might be elitist.

  • ||

    Seriously. This guy has never done a single productive thing in his life. He is a fucking food writer. Why should we care about anything he says?

  • sarcasmic||

    Who are *sneer* you to call him an elitist?!?

    I mean, really?

    What schools did *sneer* you go to?

    What famous people do *sneer* you rub shoulders with?

    Seriously?

  • ||

    Yeah! I mean, he's actually KISSED Michelle Obama's ass! Aren't you jealous, libertard???

  • sarcasmic||

    I almost didn't recognize Chewbacca without the hair.

  • o3||

    she'll kick ur ass & take what she wants, then laugh

  • ||

    Despotic, putrid pieces of shit of his sort disgust me particularly.

    "Human beings are retarded and/or stupid, they're ants, they're just cogs in a grand machine that must be operated by people like me. They don't know what they want. Too much cake is bad, so let's ban cake. GOVERNMENT FUCK YEAH COMIN' AGAIN TO SAVE THE MOTHER-FUCKING DAY YEAH."

    Nobody who actually considers this bullshit, even to the slightest degree, should not be taken seriously.

    And for your explicit advocacy of determining diets by force of law, eat shit and fuck off, Mr. Bittman, you slaver.

  • Zeb||

    I think that Bittman is actually a pretty good food writer and does seem to know about food. Cooking simple, good food is a good thing. But now I want to kick him in the face and I will never be able to take him seriously again. Why can't people stick to what they are good at?

  • ||

    I'm not sure what difference Bittman perceives between "addictive" and "habit-forming."

    He's actually making a distinction most public health nannies have forgotten. A defining characteristic of "addiction" in the old days was physiological withdrawal symptoms when the activity in question was interrupted, a far more strict criterion than the existence of a mere habit. You might have a habit of looking both ways before crossing the street, which causes you to do it even when it's one-way and unnecessary to do so...however, failing to look both ways before crossing the street is unlikely to make you have a seizure or have trouble breathing, etc.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    I was going to say that I would like to see this distinction dusted off and employed once more. Alcohol = addicting; fatty foods = habit forming.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's easier to justify coercion with a lower burden of proof.

  • ||

    Just like the artificial civil / crimianl divide hatched up by the nanny state jurists and solons.

    Where in the constitution is the power given to the feds to create differing levels of proof neeeded to carry the day in court? Ditto for state constitutions.

    There is no logical basis, much less a basis in liberty, to support the proposition that a civil claimant should only have to surmount the preponderance of the evidence standard and not the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard.

    Sure, the plaintiff's bar might not like it, but its not as if they could argue that folks are being denied access to the courts as they are effectively denied access to courts in claims against cops, judges, prosecutors and the like.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Oh, One-Note Ned, you're just the worst.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Just to put this in perspective, common law has had the "liability on the balance of the probabilities" for hundreds of years before the Constitution was written. This is ahistorical nonsense.

  • ||

    So, tell me, did you go with Ned after One-Note for alliterative purposes?

    If so, +1.

    I love me sum alliteration.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Alliteration ftw. You're like little brother: sometimes I want to punch you and sometimes I want to ruffle your hair.

  • ||

    In my senior year of HS, our AP English teacher gave me an A- on our first writing assignment.

    He told me that he would have given me an A except that I overused alliteration and the word quintessence.

    In a 4 page paper, I did use quintessence 3 times. Guilty as charged.

  • ||

    I overused alliteration and the word quintessence.

    In a 4 page paper, I did use quintessence 3 times.

    We need a public agency to prevent this sort of egregious overuse of habit forming literary devices and vocabulary.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Sherman felt the same way about Atlanta. True story.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    In response to Rev. BM

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    So like, Sherman is Elijah Wood and Atlanta was Joseph Mazzello...except the wagon doesn't actually fly?

  • Zeb||

    I think that there is a distinction to be made, there, but I don't think that the old addictive/habit forming distinction is a very good one. This is because addiction is a lot more than the physical habituation or dependence. Opiate addicts (an example that I think no one will object to calling addiction) don't keep doing opiates just because of the physical need for it. If that were the case, all you would need to do to cure addiction would be to lock someone in a room for a week. Anyone who has dealt with an opiate addict knows that that is just no how it works. Addicts will often deliberately go through the withdrawals for various reasons with no intention of stopping permanently.
    I think that there is a lot of validity to the more psychological view of addiction, of which physical dependence is just one aspect.

  • Zeb||

    Of course, this is mostly about how we define words, so if you want to use "addiction" where I use "physical dependence", then I can't really argue with you.

  • ||

    But in that case, the "addict" is choosing the activity at some level, so it doesn't fit the pattern that we usually think of with addiction.

  • Zeb||

    You are choosing it even if you are chemically dependent. People do voluntarily withdraw from addictive drugs. And chemicals that your own body creates can be just as compelling as ones you choose to ingest.
    I think that the model of the helpless addict is a bunch of crap anyway. Everyone has to make their own choices. That doesn't mean it isn't hard.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think that the model of the helpless addict is a bunch of crap anyway.

    You mean people are actually responsible for their own actions?

    That can't be so!

    Otherwise how do you justify initiating force against people for their own good?

  • ||

    however, failing to look both ways before crossing the street is unlikely to make you have a seizure or have trouble breathing, etc.

    I guess it depends how fast the car that hits you is moving.

  • ||

    We need the government on our side. It must acknowledge the dangers caused by the most unhealthy aspects of our diet and figure out how to help us cope with them, because this is the biggest public health challenge facing the developed world.

    Translation: "We (espcially you rather than me) are helpless children and need Mommy Government to mind us."

  • T||

    I'm gonna love the day when I can bootleg pecan pies for fun & profit.

  • ||

    Dateline 2035: "There was another Sugar-Gang related killing today as Frostback smugglers were ambushed while bringing a truckload of Timbits into the US from Canada."

    " 'These cavity-producing monsters are out to stuff Americans with their sugary poison; we will see that they are baked.' Said Sugar Enforcement Agency Chairperson Sacha Obama."

  • Loki||

    ^This. All they're going to do is create a black market. I'm going to open up a soft drink speak-easy in my basement. I'll even sell the stuff to children, because fuck them, that's why.

  • Matt||

    NOT THE CHILDREN!

  • ||

    Think planes spraying paraquat (remember that?) on Dominican and Brazilian cane fields. These fuckers don't just want to discourage you from the "bad things" - they want to nuke them from orbit.

  • T||

    But not the ones in Florida. Because Domino contributes to reelection campaigns.

    Of course, given how our ag policy works, paraquat may be less effective than our current tariff/subsidy program.

  • ||

    You thought that Bunny had been kidnapped and you were fuckin' glad, man. You could use it as an excuse to make some money disappear. All you needed was a sap to pin it on! You'd just met me! You human... paraquat! You figured 'Oh, here's a loser', you know? A deadbeat, someone the square community won't give a shit about.

  • sarcasmic||

    All they're going to do is create a black market.

    But, but, but that's not the intention!

  • ||

    You know the Law.

  • sarcasmic||

    Funny how these people will claim there is no intention to create a black market as they set up the law enforcement authority to go after the black market.

    These statist fucks won't be happy until you face criminal charges for getting out of bed without permission.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I'm gonna love the day when I can bootleg pecan pies for fun & profit.

    My wife has perfected a homemade marshmellow recipe that has attracted every ant colony in a three mile radius to our condo. In the future, making these marshmellows will be the equivalent to synthesizing mescaline.

  • ||

    ants like mescaline? get some pretty trippy ant-trails goin I suppose.

  • ||

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/.....1NC8OV.DTL

    Threadjack. But a good one. This is great.

    There's a shocking twist in the saga of Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer and the incident at a Newark hotel that landed her in the hospital and a male acquaintance under police scrutiny.

    We're told that a sex tape of Nadia Lockyer and the man was given to her husband, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, about six weeks before the Newark incident. The treasurer believed that the man, who has a history of arrests for alleged methamphetamine use, might make the tape public if forced to break off a romantic relationship with the supervisor.

    And unsurprisingly, the wife is hot and the political creature she is married to is a total toad.

  • Father Jack||

    Feck off.

  • Father Jack||

    I LOVE MY BRICK.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Interesting. Do you, perchance, know where I could view this videotape in question? I'd like to get all the facts, from every possible angle, before I make a decision as to whether any blackmail took place.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    OK, so why hasn't Bill Lockyer filed for divorce yet? Is he into cuckolding or something?

    And yes, I judge men who are into being cuckolded, because...seriously, grow some testicles.

  • ||

    There is a difference I think between men who are "into" that sort of thing and men who take it because they are too pathetic to do anything about it. The former are just deviated perverts but don't necessarily lack balls. The latter are just pathetic and totally lack balls.

    My guess is from the looks of this guy, he is the latter. And he hasn't filed for divorce because he is a 70 something toad and this is the best piece of ass he will ever get.

  • ||

    Bingo, John.

  • Fluffy||

    Added sugar is not the only dangerous food. But unlike animal products, for example, which we also overconsume, it has no benefits.

    Nice how the fact that it makes food taste better isn't considered a benefit worth mentioning.

    This is like saying that since it's no better for the species if you fuck ugly women for reproduction than pretty women, we should make fucking pretty women illegal. They're habit-forming, after all. You don't really need to fuck them. There's no benefit. Reproduction can take place quite nicely if you just go to town on Barbara Mikulski's poontang.

  • ||

    Prettiness has some correlation with fertility and ease of childbirth, though some of it is also probably to make sure that we don't waste our time trying to fuck other men and nonhuman apes.

  • Tony||

    Speak for yourself.

  • ||

    Evolutionary dead ends don't count, sorry.

  • Katherine Mangles Wards||

    Gays provide additional caretakers to a society without adding the additional burden of producing offspring and securing resources for said offpring. See penguins, dolphins, and apes for details. The presence of "teh gay" increases survival odds for breeders.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Reproduction can take place quite nicely if you just go to town on Barbara Mikulski's poontang.

    I don't think Mikulski is fertile anymore.

  • Terc||

    I have this argument with my liberal friends all the time. They think it's good to force people to make "healthy" choices. When they say, "Most people are too stupid to know what's good for them," I feel triumphant; I've just made them confess that they think the rest of us are stupid. I'm Socrates! But I quickly realize that they think this is a winning argument. And all the other liberals in the room are nodding in agreement and I realize I've just somehow lost.

  • sarcasmic||

    If experts say it, and we all know that experts are really really smart, then it must be true!

  • Gojira||

    Just like race-baiting "anthropologists" from 100 years ago knew, from scientific testing, that whites were superior, and helped to enact laws accordingly.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wonder how many of those laws would have remained on the books had some German dude not taken those theories to their logical conclusion.

  • Gojira||

    But they were scientists, and they went to the best schools. According to Tony and his ilk, that means they must be right.

  • ||

    And if its the CDC or WHO, whoa, whoa............whatever they say or publish must be taken as some kind of authoritative and trusted source.

  • sarcasmic||

    Don't forget consensus!

    There must be a consensus!

    Isn't that like step three in the New Scientific Method?

  • ||

    That one CDC scientist in Walking Dead was a cool guy, so I agree.

  • Zeb||

    Everybody likes to think that everyone else is stupid. Libertarians are certainly not immune.

  • sarcasmic||

    The difference being that libertarians do not presume that a central group of intelligent experts can make better decisions for others people, however stupid they might be, for only the individual knows the details of their own unique situation.

  • Zeb||

    I mostly made the comment to remind myself to try to avoid going down the "everyone is stupid" road. It's too easy and just seems so true sometimes.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Everybody likes to think that everyone else is stupid. Libertarians are certainly not immune.

    Difference in that is most libertarians will vigorously defend your natural right to be as stupid as you want to so long as you don't harm anyone else with your stupidity. Personally, a libertarian might think you are worth less than a dog's shit and never invite you over to enjoy their monocle collection.

  • ||

    never invite you over to enjoy their monocle collection.

    *sad face*

  • oncogenesis||

    Shame them. Force them to acknowledge their elitist paternalism and its authoritarian underpinnings. Most liberals will buckle at the thought of being anything less than rigidly egalitarian. You will get a lot of blank stares. That is how they express their surrender.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    I'd love to see this guy's grocery receipts/restaurant bills. I guarantee he loves him some sugary confections and drinks. Like Republican anti-gay crusaders, it's pretty much a given that paternalistic shit stains like this guy can't get enough of the very thing they want to stop other people from doing/having.

  • ||

    http://content.markbittman.com/recipes

    Here is the recipe list on his website. It isn't exactly Paula Dean. But not all of it is exactly healthy either.

  • sarcasmic||

    How dare you apply the same standards to him that he would have applied to everyone else?!?

    Don't you know that these things only go one way?

  • Loki||

    Paternalistic assclowns have to stop others from getting whatever it is they're trying to ban, be it nubile boy toy sex slaves or sugary foods/ drinks so that there will be more left for them.

  • sticks||

    Sugar has no benefits? Like keeping me alive is not a benefit.

  • ||

    You don't need to consume sugar to live. It's extremely rare in nature.

  • sticks||

    Sugar is not the only substance my body can get energy from, but it does. It is a benefit of sugar and many other things as well.

  • ||

    You need blood to live, but that doesn't mean you have to eat it.

  • sticks||

    Huh? Sugar has a benefit in keeping me alive. It is not a property unique to sugar but it is a property of sugar.

  • ||

    It doesn't keep you alive unless you would die without it.

  • sticks||

    Perhaps a poor choice of words in 'keep me alive' How about provide energy? Is that a benefit?

  • MJ||

    Which means that no foodstuff in particular keeps you alive, because there is no specific type of food that you have to eat to live.

  • ||

    You forgot salt too. EXTREMELY RARE

  • Zeb||

    The ocean?

  • ||

    sarcasm

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's true. Sucrose, fructose, glucose, dextrose, etc. are the rubies of organic compounds. Found in such minute quantities as to be almost mythical.

  • kinnath||

    In the middle ages, people would crush and press grapes to get juice. Then they would boil the juice down to about one-third the original volume to achieve a thick syrup with roughly the same percent sugar by weight as honey. This was used to sweeten all sorts of things.

    If there is a will, there is a way.

  • ||

    You know they're all dead now from their sugary addiction?

  • ||

    And it was massively expensive. Very few people were in a position to consume anywhere near the levels that the average "poor" person today does.

    I'm not arguing for coercive sugar restrictions or anything like that, but I'm not going to pretend it's good for you.

  • kinnath||

    I don't think expensive is the right term. The process was labor intensive yes, but so was all of medieval life. And a big chunk of the population of Europe starved to death during the little ice age.

    No doubt, the vast majority of the population of Europe struggled to survive because the land needed to grow vineyards was in the hands of the church or the nobility.

    So if you want to argue that the poorest American is now so vastly wealthy that he or she can pig out on refined cane sugar, I would agree with you.

  • ||

    time is money...and it was even more so back then when there wasn't much free time.

  • kinnath||

    I don't think expensive is the right term. The process was labor intensive yes, but so was all of medieval life. And a big chunk of the population of Europe starved to death during the little ice age.

    No doubt, the vast majority of the population of Europe struggled to survive because the land needed to grow vineyards was in the hands of the church or the nobility. And a big chunk of the population of Europe starved to death during the little ice age.

    So if you want to argue that the poorest American is now so vastly wealthy that he or she can pig out on refined cane sugar, I would agree with you.

  • ||

    Are you saying the little ice age DIDN'T happen?

  • kinnath||

    I moved the sentence that I added just before hitting the submit button (but prior to hitting preview) to the place I really intended it to be. Which you would have noticed if you read the whole post.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    You don't need to consume sugar to live. It's extremely rare in nature.

    That's a new one. Tell me more.

  • ||

    *Refers Bark Mittman*

  • ||

    Remember, folks, it's Tulpa who's the contrarian here. Despite all the vapid "nuh-uh!" posts his opponents are leaving.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    I asked you to "tell me more". I have legitimately never heard that sugar is "rare" in nature (that, of course, assumes that what is "natural" is somehow good or better or desirable, but we'll set that aside). So, seeing as how I never said "nu-uh" and instead said "That's a new one. Tell me more." your "rejoinder" is wholly moot.

    Now, if you want to convince me tell me more.

  • ||

    It's a commonly accepted fact. Questioning established facts (with no argument of your own as to why that fact is bupkus) over and over and over is equivalent to a "nuh-uh".

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    It's a commonly accepted fact.

    Apparently it isn't. I hate to cite Wikipedia but...Wikipedia, yo.

  • Zeb||

    I think that it is true that sugar, in a somewhat pure form that can be used fo rsweets, is pretty rare in nature. Of course, sugar occurs in all forms of life. But until fairly recently, sugar was a very expensive and special thing. For a long time, the only sweeteners available were honey or things like the wine syrup described above. Not until the Caribbean plantations got going was sugar a widely available commodity.

    So while sugars exist everywhere, sugar as a food product has been pretty rare for most of human history.

  • kinnath||

    Cane sugar was being produced in the Middle East during medieval times.

  • ||

    In what quantities? At what cost?

    It's rare IN NATURE. With focused human activities it can be produced in some quantity, but it's a very recent phenomenon for sugar to be produced in mass quantities affordable for the poor.

    And of course, the Middle Ages are like a second ago on the timescale of human evolution.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    OK, Tulpa, you're right. Sugar is rare in "nature" (whatever that term means, as if humans aren't animals or something) and you don't "need" it to live.

    So...so what? The OP said that sugar helped "keep him alive". I don't need vitamins or this sweater I am wearing to "live" but it helps "keep me alive". Your point seems vacuous.

  • Zeb||

    I think that the point is that Bittman is right about sugar being something that is not necessary in one's diet and is not very good for you, but he is wrong in thinking that it is anyone else's business how much sugar one chooses to eat.

  • robc||

    Im trying to figure out how its rare in nature.

    Fruits. check.
    Some veggies. check.
    Starches are just strings of sugars. check.

    And that last one gives us the one insurmountable argument that sugar provides benefit. yeast need it. And without yeast, we dont get beer.

    Hurray sugar, you are Gods gift to humanity! Only a satanist would be anti-sugar!

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    I realized he was saying "refined, white sugar", which is a far cry from the broader category, but I knew what he meant.

  • robc||

    I realized he was saying "refined, white sugar", which is a far cry from the broader category, but I knew what he meant.

    I didnt realize that and still dont. He never said that, Im not going to assume he is not that dumb. He meant all sugars in all forms. Until he says otherwise.

  • kinnath||

    Brewing was only one of the reasons that people made great efforts to get concentrated sugars from which ever natural materials were handy.

  • robc||

    Brewing was only one of the reasons

    True, but an important one. Maybe THE important one.

    Some anthropologists/archeologists now think beer and not bread was the primary reason that agriculture started.

  • kinnath||

    More important is whether beer, wine, or mead came first. Proponents of all three claim that title.

  • kinnath||

    by the way, I have read similar things.

  • SFC B||

    Don't mention agriculture... it will make... it appear.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Some anthropologists/archeologists now think beer and not bread was the primary reason that agriculture started.

    Which makes sense, because beer is that much easier to make without modern processing than bread. Not that either was very good. Ancient beer was poorly filtered, sour, and weak. Wasn't small beer the norm up until recently?

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Throughout most of human history, feeding a culture primarily on sugars or even starches was an economic impossibility. Grains were hard to process, fruits were seasonal and prone to fermentation, and aside from the potato in Peru, tubers couldn't produce enough to be a primary source of calories.

    The only thing to commend grain agriculture up until the industrial revolution was the fact that grain could be stored very efficiently, making it a perfect buffer food. But until modern agriculture was invented, it was a pain in the ass to grow and impractical to mill into a palatable form. Cheap white flour hasn't been around for very long, and before that, most bread was dense, gummy filler.

    It's only been in the past 200 years that we've figured out how to make starch- and sugar-based foods so cheap and delicious that it's cheaper to eat them than a fat-based diet.

  • Zeb||

    And it was really expensive. Only very rich people could afford it.

  • ||

    It's extremely rare in nature.

    Huh?

  • ||

    oh, ok, this was covered in the intervening thread-space. nevermind.

    so instead, let me say, WHAT PART OF CONTRARIANISM DONT YOU CONTRARIAN FUCKING PEASANTS FUCKING UNDERSTAND.

    Also, fried chicken.

  • Loki||

    Like keeping me alive is not a benefit.

    Not to assholes like Mark Bittman.

    I had a similar reaction when I read that line. Hypoglycemia, ever hear of it?

  • sticks||

    didn't notice the article said 'added' sugar'. shrug

  • Liberty||

    ... yeah, I'm a liberal, but I can't help but disagree with this guy. Where are most of the obese states? In the south. Who votes right wing the most? In the south. Hell, I say we give them a tax break, speed up the process. :)

  • Father Jack||

    Feck off.

  • o3||

    dont forget their fatty fat wives

  • Hugh Akston||

    Bittman knows that we do not really want to eat sugar, or at least that we should not want to eat sugar, which in his mind is more or less the same thing.

    So the State is our ideal self?

  • Paul||

    I couldn't read past "metaethics".

  • B.P.||

    It's customary to link to the source article.

  • ||

    Let's have the poor eat elitist liberal New York Times reporters

  • Charleton Heston||

    Soylent Green is people!!!!!!

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Uh, Charlie, he said "reporters", not "people". Sheesh.

  • Nundner||

    Could the picture convey any more smugness?

  • Loki||

    Maybe if he was driving a hybrid (although I'd be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts he's the proud owner of a Prius).

  • sarcasmic||

    Why is it that those who claim to champion the poor want to do so with regressive taxes?

    How the fuck do you help people by making things more expensive for them?

    Full fucking retard.

  • Paul||

    establishing a minimum age for purchase of sodas (they mention 17 in their paper) would reduce consumption.

    You know who else reduced consumption?

  • Nundner||

    Florence Nightingale?

  • ||

    Bobby Sands?

  • Maggie Thatcher||

    Winning!

  • ||

    But, you did not reduce your iron, did you Lady T.?

  • Sparky||

    Albert Calmette and Camille Guerin?

  • Karen Carpenter||

    Me?

  • ||

    I thought the you were on top of the world looking down on creation?

  • Bobby B||

    Whitney Houston?

    Too soon?

  • ||

    Karen was "saving all [her] [calories] for you..."

  • B.P.||

    My mother-in-law?

  • o3||

    linda lovelace?

  • Loki||

    He said reduced> consumption. I'm pretty sure Linda Lovelace consumed more than her fair share of protein...

  • Mama Cass||

    Me? Oh, wait. You said reduced. Nevermind....

  • DK||

    Mr. Bittman, what should we do about your addiction to government coercion?

  • ||

    /thread

  • Matrix||

    My suggestion is a dose of lead aspirin applied directly to the forehead.

  • ||

    Via .44 Magnum Desert Eagle

  • ||

    Via hollow-point round,.50 BMG, Barrett M82. Much better.

  • Paul||

    The question "Is this necessary?" is unavoidable. But as obesity and its consequences ravage our health care system

    Hey lefties, do you see what he did there? Now explain to me why a single-payer system isn't the direct pathway to totalitarianism?

  • sarcasmic||

    Now explain to me why a single-payer system isn't the direct pathway to totalitarianism?

    RC's Law.

  • Paul||

    You know, with those little wire-rim glasses, he looks a bit like this guy.

  • ||

    RC'z Law refers to the tendency of typos to make the post funnier, more insightful, etc.

    Now, the Iron Laws . . . .

  • ||

    Because HURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, fuck you, that's why.

    /NYT

  • Thom||

    Lefties view this as a feature of a single-payer system.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    As long as the policy is flexible enough to allow for the variances in food acceptability that exists from one scientific study to the next. Food stamps should be allowed to buy chocolate and wine in those odd-numbered years that they're heart-healthy.

  • ||

    Things like "government involvement in health care and food stamps shouldn't exist" don't even enter into these peoples' consideration, so this totalitarian horseshit is all they're ever going to come up with.

  • Mark Bittman||

    Sieg Health!

  • romulus augustus||

    It may be instructive to find out what he had to write about the public health menace of AIDS and some of the more coercive measures that were recommended to stop its spread.

  • ||

    Oh, that's alright. We all know it was the Rethuglicant racist homphobe crypto-fascists and their libertard allies that were trying to get that accomplished. The progressives were there trying to save the Earth.

  • GILMORE||

    this [sugar] is the biggest public health challenge facing the developed world

    fucking twat.

    "the biggest public health challenge facing the developed world" is the fact that governments have made long-term committments to pay for old-people's healthcare that they simply can't afford, and will increasingly impose those costs on the next generation, who will never see any benefit from their rising tax burden.

  • GILMORE||

    ...And if the guy had a shred of intellectual honesty, he'd bother acknowledging what all scientists repeatedly point out = our 'obesity' epidemic has far less to do with what we eat, and far more to do with the fact that motherfuckers just don't exercise. Tinkering with people's diets doesn't do fuck-all when they spend all day sitting at a desk then all night sitting on a couch. but when all you know about anything is "food", then I suppose the answer to all social issues, regardless of what they are, will be "food"-related.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's a lot easier to tax politically incorrect food than to tax inactivity.

  • ||

    Obama trolled us on that one. PPACA ain't gone YET.

  • Loki||

    Tinkering with people's diets doesn't do fuck-all when they spend all day sitting at a desk then all night sitting on a couch.

    Perhaps someone should point out to this asshole (Bittman) that many professional and olympic athletes consume far more calories a day than the "FDA recommended" 2000. Michael Phelps for example eats closer to 8000 calories a day when he's in full training mode.

  • ||

    Numerous bong rips probably played a part as well.

  • Weed||

    hehe.. heehe..

  • ||

    One might add that 'helicopter parenting', which teaches children to be passive lumps without initiative is a major contributor to inactivity and, therefore, obesity.

  • Paul||

    I thought helicopter parents produced children with eating disorders, the reduced consumption kind.

  • GILMORE||

    Aresen|2.27.12 @ 2:33PM|#
    One might add that 'helicopter parenting', which teaches children to be passive lumps without initiative is a major contributor to inactivity

    Perhaps also the notion that if someone's 'obese', its not so much *their own (@*#$ fault*, but rather something imposed on them from an imperfect society, which provides *way too many choices*... and allows them (though a combination of ignorance as well as manipulation by *invisible corporate interests*) to be suckered into a position of exploitation by Big Food... which is why Government must step bravely into the breach and defend the interests of the poor, by TAXING AND MANIPULATING THEM!! which everyone knows is the most effective way to achieve a perfect society!

  • Cass Sunstein||

    When I am not helping my wife start wars so she can feel better about Rhwanda, this is what I do.

  • ||

    You have no personal knowledge that Ryan Braun is guilty as hell. In fact, all you have is your own speculation unsupported by any empirical evidence.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Seeing how you don't have any evidence that he is innocent, I wonder what your cheerleading is all about.

  • sarcasmic||

    Seeing how you don't have any evidence that he is innocent

    Guilty until proven innocent! Fuck yeah!

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    sarcasmic, there is so much wrong logically with that post that I don't think I can get into it. But, for staters, (1) why cheerlead when one has no idea whether he did it? (2) I can adjudge someone as "guilty" without having to adhere to the burdens of proof that a court does. FOR EXAMPLE OJ was "guilty as hell" and he was not convicted. Do you say "DURR GUILTY until proven INNOCENT" when people say that about OJ?

    No you very well fucking don't.

  • ||

    No, he says that OJ (through his agents) is still searching for the real killer.................

    Why didn't the MSM chronicle OJ's efforts to find the real killer?

  • ||

    I like him and I feel a need to protect him from the anti-steroid hysteria.

    Seriously, Rev., from a practical standpoint, did not baseball fans flock to the ballparks in ever larger numbers during the second half of the 90s into the 2000s and purchase pins, pennants and pilsners during the steroid era?

  • ||

    "Helicopter parenting" does not mean that, in its strictest sense. It's more about making sure that all obstacles in the child's life are removed by the parent. It's more about created entitled shitbags than fat lumps.

    That really comes more out of the Paranoid Parenting movement, where your child will be molestered to death if they dare to even step out of the house. Paranoid Parenting isn't going away, either, because it is a natural out-growth of the movement towards having fewer and fewer kids per family.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, the helicopter parent will make sure that the kid gets the approved and official right amount of exercise. In highly structured and organized activities.

  • ||

    Helicopter parents, by reducing obstacles, make kids passive.

    "I can't do it because of X" is the natural response when the child has learned that he/she does not have to figure out how to overcome X.

  • ||

    I don't disagree with that, Aresen. But they aren't the ones keeping their kids inside all day, and fighting against PE class because wittle Dakota might get a boo-boo.

    Helicopter parents are making the kids play sports for the extracurriculars and then yelling at the coach because Tyler only got to play five minutes last game.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, Tyler can't move because he's got 10 inches of padding at all points on his body. Plus Tyler is so embarrassed by his mom shouting at the coach that he never, ever, ever does one bit of exercise outside of what mommy makes him do.

    However, if the helicopter parent actually made Tyler walk all seven blocks to and from school each day instead of driving him, Tyler might actually burn another 100 calories/day.

  • ||

    Tyler is Episiarch, isn't he?

  • ||

    Tinkering with people's diets doesn't do fuck-all when they spend all day sitting at a desk then all night sitting on a couch.

    Not to worry. Our masters will be limiting access to the couch in the near future.

  • ||

    we down it at the rate of 150 pounds per person per year

    I'm pretty sure my intake is substantially less than that. I'm not pulling my weight.

  • T||

    It surprises me not at all that you aren't pulling your weight for the collective. You need to be a better citizen and keep the needs of the collective foremost. Or else we'll send Mark Bittman over to cook your dinner.

  • ||

    That's what, 6.5 ounces a day?

    I know I'm not eating nearly that much. Even including a little chocolate in the evening, I'm maybe 2 oz a day, max.

    What kind of sugar intake do you get from Scotch, anyway? Wine? Beer?

  • ||

    Depends on how you want to define sugar. There is very little refined sugar in any of those, but they are still full of carbs that break down into sugar. The higher the alcohol content, the lower the carbs (generally.)

    Hard liquor will even lower your blood sugar.

  • ||

    And things like white bread that are easily digestible convert to sugar almost immediately and have the same affect on your blood sugar as eating refined sugar.

  • A Serious Man||

    I modestly propose that we give champion of the poor and social justice Michael Moore complete freedom to occupy the food supply. I gurantee that our obesity problem will go away shortly thereafter.

  • Paul||

    Michael Moore needs to occupy the stairmaster.

  • ||

    You cruel SOB. If that happens, our calorie intake per capita is going to drop below Zambia's.

  • I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E.||

    We were suicide bombed by a fat socialist weasel.

  • ||

    You have to like the simultaneous claims that sugar is addictive and people will eat less of it if it costs a little bit more.

  • Paul||

    Just like cigarettes.

    oh wait.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    I don't want to outcontrary the contrarian, but even addicts respond to price incentives.

  • ||

    Yes, but it's usually by means other than lowering consumption. AKA patronizing black markets or stealing.

  • Bee Tagger||

    At least the sharp increase in road rage during morning commutes as less people have their sugar with a dash of coffee and milk from Starbucks will be entertaining.

  • ryan||

    That will be offset by the lethargy caused by widespread depression when people realize all their government approved food tastes like cardboard.

  • ||

    This is like saying that since it's no better for the species if you fuck ugly women for reproduction than pretty women

    That depends; do you need her to pull the plow?

  • Bee Tagger||

    Diabetics with a low blood glucose level will have to go the pharmacist's counter, provide ID and sign paperwork to buy glucose tablets. How else can we be sure they aren't producing syrup on the side?

  • ||

    And of course carbs kill you quicker than sugar if you are a diabetic.

  • A Serious Man||

    The same way we knew that medicinal alcohol and alcohol for religious purposes wasn't distilled for speakeasies during Prohibition.

    I'm actually looking forward to Food Prohibition, we can all make a killing like Steve Buscemi in that show.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Like Steve Buscemi in that show about that guy? The one with the chick from that other movie? You know that movie, she was driving that car, and then she was running alot. That one!

  • A Serious Man||

    Boardwalk Empire. Which is actually a pretty entertaining show. It even has the poor man's Leo DiCaprio, Michael Pitt as a co-star.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    My goodness you are a serious man, today. ;)

  • ||

    Run Lola Run?

  • wef||

    The government once knew best with regard to saving your soul. That idea is now icky. Now, the government knows best with regard to what you should and should not swallow. Civilization advances on.

  • Matrix||

    I shit you not. When I was in college, I had a history professor who was teaching a class on the Reformation, I believe. He classified himself as either atheist, agnostic, or not religious. I can't remember which. But the guy says that the government should decide religion for the masses. He thought a market place of religion was a bad notion, and people should be forced into accepting the state's approved religious doctrine.

  • ||

    What is it with these people in their round glasses? Do they take your smug douche card if you get contacts or lasik surgery?

  • ||

    He probably liked the shitloads of bureaucracies and regulatory agencies piled on top one-another in the Harry Potter novels, being a fucking statist and all, so round glasses seemed the obvious choice for Barack Appreciation Day.

  • ||

    If I'm paying for their food and/or healthcare, then hells YES it's reasonable to manage what they are eating. You don't like it then get off the public tit.

    If you do need the government's helping hand, then you should be doing everything possible to minimize those costs.

  • ||

    That sounds great. But in the real world those programs are not going anywhere. And worse still, once these assholes know they can use your argument as an excuse to control people, they will just force more and more people on the dole so they can control people.

    Look, if you want to help people, you help them. You don't use your help as an excuse to micro manage their lives. If you are afraid they might use your help in ways you don't like, then don't fucking help them. It is that simple.

    Sorry but the whole "you are on the government tit, I get to be a totalitarian asshole now" argument is horseshit.

  • ||

    So if someone is on Medicare, you think it's totally ok for them to then turn around and get diabetes because of their shitty eating habbits? Sorry that just doesn't fly for me.

    Sure some people are down on their luck, that doesn't mean they should be able to make it worse.

  • ||

    Yes. I am down with that because I am down with it being a free country.

    And further, everyone has to be on medicare when they get old. You have to be on there. So the whole "they are on the government tit" argument doesn't work. They have been forced on the program. Once they totally socialize medicine we will all be on the dole. And that is why your argument is shit and really pretty damned dangerous.

  • ||

    Yes. I am down with that because I am down with it being a free country.

    I just thought it was worth repeating.

  • ||

    Maybe they are down on their "luck" because they make shitty choices, like eating 150 pounds of sugar a year.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    So if someone is on Medicare, you think it's totally ok for them to then turn around and get diabetes because of their shitty eating habbits?

    YUP. The other way is the Express Train to Miserytown.

  • ||

    So if someone is on Medicare, you think it's totally ok

    Stop right there. This is a libertarian site. You don't get to leverage your latest expansion of illegitimate State power onto your last one.

  • ||

    Maybe if we started putting these restrictions on government handouts, they wouldn't prove to be so freaken popular.

    Also, I meant to say Medicaid, not Medicare, agreed that Medicare isn't volutary. Then again, I bet if you had to cut out sugar to join Medicaid that program would disapear as well.

  • ||

    ""I bet if you had to cut out sugar to join Medicaid that program would disapear as well.""

    Maybe, but then good luck if you need to go to the emergency room.

  • ||

    And worse still, once these assholes know they can use your argument as an excuse to control people, they will just force more and more people on the dole so they can control people.

    That's a pretty convoluted process. It's not clear how to force more people on the dole or how health nannies would be in a position to effect that change.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's not clear how to force more people on the dole

    Set up a regulatory environment where it is nearly impossible to do business, and people are sure to be forced onto the dole.

  • ||

    It is not convoluted at all TUlpa.

    It is called

    NATIONAL HEALTH CARE

    It is been in all of the papers. Maybe you missed it.

  • ||

    It's not clear how to force more people on the dole or how health nannies would be in a position to effect that change.

    What is this, 2007?

  • ||

    ""If I'm paying for their food and/or healthcare, then hells YES it's reasonable to manage what they are eating. You don't like it then get off the public tit.""

    Your also paying for a military. I guess nannying those who defend the country isn't off limits.

    You're also paying, via taxes, roads. I guess the idea the government should mandate what kind of vehicle you own isn't beyond you. Chevy Volts for everyone!!

  • ||

    If I'm paying for their food and/or healthcare
    -----------------

    Which you shouldn't be in the first place -- that's the foundational problem.

  • Nundner||

    But Healthcare is a HUMAN FUCKING RIGHT

  • ||

    You forgot "THINK OF THE CHILDREN" and "SOMALIA".

  • ||

    "HUMAN FUCKING RIGHT"

    So thats why Obamacare wants to provide condoms.

  • ||

    "Which you shouldn't be in the first place -- that's the foundational problem"

    Agreed, so either we stop doing the one, or there should be strings attached.

  • ||

  • Hugh Akston||

    Judging from the quality, I imagine you found that image on some high school kids DeviantArt account?

  • ||

    Some stupid kid's shitty tumblr blog, I think.

    Wait, are you unaware of the great libertarian hero Archer?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Isn't that one of those stoner cartoons like the Venture Brothers or the Daily Show?

  • ||

    You're one of those douchebags who brag about not having a TV, aren't you?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Actually I'm one of those douchebags who brags about not bragging that I don't have a TV.

  • Tim||

    I fucking hate those guys.

  • ||

    "Hey, did you watch..."

    "I DON'T HAVE A TV!"

    "OK, that's cool.

    "I DON'T HAVE A TV!"

    "Can you pass the ketchup?"

    "I DON'T HAVE A TV!"

    "Then how do you watch that VHS you made of you raping your mother to death?"

    "I HAD IT DIGITIZED!"

  • ||

    I don't have a TV.

    But I do have a monitor with an HDMI input and a cable box....

    *smug implosion*

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I'm not against a safety net, but I would rather have it just be a no strings untaxed (why tax taxpayer money?) money transfer. Buy blow with your check, or a premade sandwich if you want to. I am not fond of diluting the original basic purpose of a government policy with auxiliary shit like social engineering, because of the moral problems and the overhead.

  • ||

    Me either. You shouldn't use helping people as a tool to control their lives.

  • ||

    The problem is, that eliminates the primary benefit of the safety net, ie that you don't have hungry people roaming the streets committing crime to survive.

  • Zeb||

    But if people could spend their welfare money on drugs, then you wouldn't have as many drug addicts roaming the streets committing crime to buy drugs. (I'm not being very serious here)

  • ||

    Good point. An excellent reason to liberalize (old school) the gun laws.

  • ||

    That's not a cure all and has problems of its own, assuming you're talking about going back to allowing deadly force to defend property. Too easy to murder someone and claim defense of property as a defense.

  • ||

    I don't know of a better way to handle people roaming the streets to commit crimes. Do you?

  • Thom||

    I feel this way too. I'm not even against redistribution of income so much as I'm against using that redistribution as a tool to control people, which is one of the reasons why the left loves it so much.

  • ||

    I'm not even against redistribution of income so much as I'm against using that redistribution as a tool to control people

    I'll just be taking your wallet then. Don't worry bro, I won't control anyone's choices while I spend your money.

  • Thom||

    Yeah, whatevs, I'm aware that my libertarian orthodoxy is not 100%. Nevertheless, the appeal of the safety net to government is the control it brings.

  • Tim||

    Imagine cops chasing kids with coke bottles through the back alleys of LA.

  • Tim||

    At least when candy is illegal the fat little bastards will be easier to catch.

  • Sparky||

    So since sugar is such a powerful weapon, the cops will start carrying Coke bottles?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Hopefully. In their anuses.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    So we have an argument about how modern-day societies have made it easy to consume refined sugar, and that has led to an epidemic of obesity...

    and I don't wanna jinx it. Never mind.

  • ||

    Circumcision.

  • ||

    Requiring the Catholic Church to fund circumcision for aborted gay-married fetuses.

  • ||

    MAKING THE CIRCUMCISED PUPPETS DANCE

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    *ahem*...uh, one could say that agriculture in modern, uh, civilization is causing us problems that say, indigenous peoples may not have had?

  • ||

    Why, its almost like living in a modern agricultural society means that all of our problems are because of modern agricultural society!

    Sounds like it has po-mo tenure bait tattooed on its ass.

  • ||

    Don't! Don't you fucking dare summon White Indian with that dog whistle!

  • Joe M||

    ...this is the biggest public health challenge facing the developed world...

    Danger, Will Robinson, danger, danger!

    That phrase is an incantation used to acquire power, much like "climate change" is for environmentalists.

  • ||

    Is trichinosis caused by poor factory farming methods? (feeding rats to pigs etc). How did paleo man avoid it?

    Answer:

    I think our paleo ancestors' stomach pH would have been much higher than most of ours, naturally protecting them from bacterial infections, parasites, etc.

    -

    My sides hurt from laughing.

  • ||

    Jesus Christ, why did stupid hippies have to start eating meat all of a sudden? Now I look like one of these fucks.

  • Joe M||

    Not to mention a higher would make us either less acidic or bleach-bellies.

  • Joe M||

    Yeah, my stomach pH is like 6.9. Takes weeks to digest a slice of bread.

  • ||

    "In Joe M's belly, bread will find a new definition of pain and suffering as it is slowly digested over a thousand years."

  • ||

    Come this 4th of July, I hope this asshole chokes on his sugarfree, low salt, hotdog.

  • EDG reppin LBC||

    I too hope he chokes on a wiener.

  • Hugh Akston||

    SugarFree's hot dog is actually about the saltiest thing you will ever encounter. Just being in the same room with it is enough to cause hypertension.

  • ||

    I do what I can.

  • ||

    We're talking about his penis, correct?

  • Hugh Akston||

    As usual, yes. It always seems to come back to that.

  • ||

    It's not my fault. You guys just seem obsessed.

  • ||

    I dunno about these jokers, but I monitor your blog to determine whether I'm about to be buttraped.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I too am very interested in the possibility of Warty being buttraped.

  • ||

    Take care not to lose yourself in the contemplation of my butt like so many before you.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    This is Warty?

  • ||

    My facial hair is much better.

  • ||

    I wonder never tip my hand.

    2/3 thirds of the fun is the look on your face. The other 1/2 is the joyous yodeling of STEVE SMITH.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    How come SF gets a title all of a sudden? BTW, come the revolution, I want to be "Vice-President For Life." It'd be the perfect mix of perks and lack of responsibility.

  • ||

    Form your own Axis and start accumulating your own enemies, dicklord.

  • ||

    It's that sort of hateful, dismissive attitude that makes trolls stalk us. If you would just be polite to everyone who came here screaming about "libertards" and "peak oil" and "City-STATE Polis-tical PRIVATIONate PRO-perty" there wouldn't be any trolls at all.

  • ||

    For crying out loud. It's like you're in high school, you juvenile, cliquish adolescent. Stop treating this blog as your playpen and say something substantive.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Citizen Nothing, Dicklord!
    I like the way that sounds. But it sounds like a lot of work. I'll take vice-president, thanks.

  • ||

    Citizen Nothing: Dicklord!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Here's a great compromise -- Citizen Nothing: Vice-Dicklord!

  • ||

    But, but... You are The Dicklord. You shall have no other Dicklord's before you.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Dang.

  • ||

    Stupid apostrophe. [grumble]

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Stupid apostrophe. [grumble]


    A true Dicklord would have called you on it. A vice-Dicklord can just let it be.

  • ||

    You are a wise as you are lordy, O BeDick'd One.

  • ||

    *as* I fucking give up. I'm going home so I can masturbate in peace.

  • Joe M||

    I really wanted that to say "in piece." Would've been the perfect finish.

  • STEVE SMITH||

    STEVE LOVE TROLLS, BEST TO TAKE THEM FROM THE REAR TO AVOID CLUB LIKE FISTS. SQUEAL LIKE A NORWEGION! OOOOOH-EE!

  • ||

    Some troll (gee, I wonder who?) kept calling me Commissar. All will be assimilated into the hilarity matrix.

  • Mark Bittman||

    We need the government on our side. It must acknowledge the dangers caused by the most unhealthy aspects of our diet and figure out how to help us cope with them, because this is the biggest public health challenge facing the developed world.


    People are simply too stoopid to figure this out, we need the gunvermin! Ok, ok, not ALL people - I am leaving myself our because I am so clever - just the regular mob of inferior types and such!

  • Old Mexican||

    But as obesity and its consequences ravage our health care system, we struggle not only with our own diets but also with preventing our children from falling into the same traps...


    The staple of every authoritarian, leftist asshole is to collectivize everything. it's not the healthcare system, owned by several thousands of individuals, not one being him; no, it's "our" healthcare system. It's not the children of individual parents, him not being one; no, it's "our" children.

  • Mark Bittman||

    Don't you care about our children? Do you want our health care system to break down? Don't you care about anything but yourself you damned Libertarian NIHILIST!!

    tries to catch breath before fainting from the vapors.

  • ||

    Eat what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

  • Zeb||

    I have always thought that poor people having too much food is a pretty good problem to have considering, you know, most of history.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The question "Is this necessary?" is unavoidable. But as obesity and its consequences ravage our health care system, we struggle not only with our own diets but also with preventing our children from falling into the same traps...

    Of course socializing how we pay for our health care, making roughly half of the population responsible for paying for everyone's health care, is EXACTLY the model we need for individuals making responsible decisions concerning their health.

    The only way to address health issues is to make sure that everyone pays for their own health care. Otherwise there are no immediate checks to incentivize living healthy.

  • zaphod||

    So what happens when we find out that the USDA food pyramid/plate thingy is the thing causing obesity? You know, like eating too much carbohydrate (sugars included) and not enough fat? Let's make a bunch of low fat food that has no flavor so we add even more sugar. Yeah, that's helpful.

    Or better yet, how about we do the low calorie intake/more exercise regime? That way our body can conserve energy by reducing muscle and keeping our fat levels about the same. That way we can drive up the BMI and keep the health care industry at work as people do the yoyo diet thing.

    Yeah, that's proving to be really effective. Ever seen the graphs of obesity holding realtively falt until the USDA guidelines came along? And then starting an upward trend?

    I'm sure the nannies can help us here.

  • Aaron||

    If people are to receive my tax dollars for food assistance programs (I make $8.50 an hour, by the way), then they should only be allowed to buy wholesome foods. I do not want my money being thrown into the court to purchase refined sugars, processed cancer cakes, and homogenized super-bug causing milk varieties. It's unfair that I will then have to in some way, shape, or form help pay for their medical costs or what have you due to their improper diet. Once again, if my money is to be used--use it properly. Coke, etc will be just fine without their subsidized customers.

  • moop||

    more of this to come. since the govt will be providing healthcare, they have a right to legislate these kinds of things to protect us from ourselves!!! fucking turds. i hope scotus srikes down the healthcare bill, its only going to make this shit easier

  • cynical||

    I think we should encourage progressives to utilize the welfare system to make the poor suffer. Taxpayers and welfare recipients can be united in our loathing of progs.

  • ||

    I myself am looking forward to the coming sugar black market. Sugar beets are a lot easier to grow than tobacco.

  • ||

    Bittman...do the words "go f*ck yourself" mean anything to you?

  • ||

    Jacob Sullum and Reason are Health Fascist-Approved Fake Opponents, who are guaranteed to never attack the scientific fraud, and meekly restrict themselves to whining about nannyism like 6-year-olds, trotting out the stale slippery slope argument, and blustering stupidly about "personal responsibility."

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