Filed Under: Food Police

From Founding Feasts To Food Cops

Hold on to your hotdogs and hamburgers, fireworks watchers. The food police are coming! As regular readers know, a growing cabal of activists, trial lawyers, and bureaucrats has decided to save America from itself by manipulating and restricting our food choices. But the Founding Fathers, authors of modern liberty, greatly enjoyed their food and drink, from drafting the Declaration of Independence over pints to serving French fries in the White House. Don’t let the tyrants rule your food choices — be sure to sign our Declaration of Food Independence.

Boston, hotbed of Revolutionary activity, has become home to calorie killjoys. In 1773, Samuel Adams (namesake of the beer) led a small band of patriots who dumped British tea to protest an extra tax on the popular beverage. But now Boston is the home of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, which hosted a conference last year “designed to encourage and support litigation against the food industry.” A Beantown school has even banned cupcakes for birthday parties. Sooner or later we’re going to need another Boston Tea Party — but this time, we’ll dump the food cops into the harbor.

Last month the militia of menu-meddlers took their fight to Colonial Williamsburg, where the TIME/ABC News “Summit on Obesity” paid tribute to nutrition scolds it described as “heroes.” One such “hero” is Susan Combs, head of the Texas Department of Agriculture. Last year, she imposed a policy on schools that treats brownies and sno-cones as controlled substances. Combs issued “a long list of prohibited foods” that can no longer be “used during school parties, fund-raisers and give-a-ways.” At the conference, Combs told the audience she views herself “as the food — not Nazi — Czarina.” The president of TIME voiced her approval: “[Anti-obesity policies] will happen by little increments of inches led by food cops in Texas. I so admire Susan Combs.”

Food cops may no longer use muskets, but their aim is squarely on our Three Musketeers bars. This year,
the World Health Organization adopted an anti-obesity strategy that includes “sin” taxes on certain foods
. At least
a dozen states are considering such measures
. And trial lawyers are hoping to sidestep our elected officials, imposing “fat taxes” through the courts. Other favorite remedies include minimum purchase ages, limiting the number of restaurants in certain areas, and even putting candy behind store counters next to the cigarettes.

Of course, it wasn’t always this way. Stick these Founding factoids in your cap:

Thomas Jefferson served French fries at the White House and is credited with introducing vanilla ice cream to the United States.
It’s no accident that a brand of ice cream was named after James Madison’s wife Dolly, who was known for serving the treat to her guests.
People often ate more than 5,000 calories a day, washing their beef and pork-heavy diets down with plenty of wine, beer, and spirits.

In the world of food cops, the Founders would have been shackled in the stockade.

Meanwhile, groups such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest continue the long tradition of Prohibitionist attempts to control the consumption of adult beverages. But consider the responsible use of alcohol during the Revolutionary period:

During the Revolutionary War, George Washington made sure his troops received a quart of beer each day.
Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence while downing pints at the Indian Queen Tavern
New York’s first City Hall was located at a tavern.
Washington, Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin all enjoyed brewing or distilling their own adult beverages.

So beware of dietary Puritans and their war on personal responsibility. Though they have yet to make it official, their independence from common sense was declared long ago. How can you help prevent food cops from putting you through a culinary crucible? Add your John Hancock to our Declaration of Food Independence now!

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