Food Politics and the Dinner Date

STOP enjoying foodWith Valentine’s Day behind us, so too are millions of dinner dates. And while most will have obeyed the maxim that one shouldn’t discuss religion or politics at the table, food activists, who believe in the cult of control, would make dinner itself a partisan issue riven by rancor. As our Senior Research Analyst explained in the Washington Times:

For others, though, what you eat is their business: They look down their noses at what we put on our plate and criticize our food for not being “local,” “organic” or “humane” enough. If they were the chefs, a three-course meal might go like this: Uber-pricey appetizers because of so-called “fat taxes,” dressings-down for ordering steak or even chicken and a skull-and-crossbones on your “toxic” dessert.

We aren’t the only ones concerned by an increase in vitriolic rhetoric about food. A recent commentary in Scientific American took Robert “No Soda Under 18” Lustig, Kelly “Tasty Food is Basically Crack” Brownell, and The New York Times’ keyboard epidemiologist Mark “I Can Afford Ultra-Organic, So Everybody Must Eat It” Bittman for their aggressive attacks.

But it’s not just those three who are out to make dinner into the debt ceiling. Our Senior Research Analyst can think of a couple more:

The pre-dinner fondue comes under attack from activists who characterize foods as “good” or “bad” and want to tax the latter. Cheese and butter had too much saturated fat for the European food police, who, until recently, taxed both in Denmark. […]

For the main course: Animal-liberation activists serve repulsive name-calling as a side with steak (or chicken, cheese or fish). This is best exemplified by the Humane Society of the United States’ food-policy director, who previously led People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ campaign comparing farming with the Holocaust.

However, these radicals don’t speak for the majority. “Food police” and snobbish commentators fail to reckon with national polls showing that opposition to their signature policies—New York’s portion-size prohibition and soda taxes—widely exceeds support. And European courts have ruled that comparing farming to crimes against humanity is so offensive and potentially harmful to the social order that the nation of Germany is within its rights to forbid these dehumanizing displays. The dinner date can still go on, for now.

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