Pass the baked potatoes

Sept. 19, 2012 | by Ed Zimmerman

Well, the NY City Board of Health did the unthinkable – they made buying a 20 oz. soda in a restaurant illegal. Illegal in a town rife with health department corruption and rats in many restaurants. But these "betters" know that rather than solve the problems they have been appointed to solve, they will "cure" obesity by outlawing large soda.

Don't the dopes realize that most people have two hands and can just get a hall pass to get two 16 oz. sodas, one for themselves and one for their friend? Anyone who wants to flaunt this law, and there will be millions just because they know it's an affront to freedom, will double the trash problem.

Like most government interference, the law is rooted in good intentions but does nothing to improve the health of New Yorkers. What it does improve is the standing of politicians faced with close elections. Other mayors, energized by the appearance of good intentions and hopes for their own careers, plan to follow suit.

And what of the obese themselves - you can almost hear the cries for help, "I'm out of control, please help me Mayor Bloomberg." You can hear the good mayor respond - "The unwashed masses aren't capable to run their own lives. We elite have to force them to make the right decisions." Do the words, 'personal responsibility,' and 'individual freedom' have any meaning? After the tobacco lawyers scored, each time we let the political–attorney complex take a little freedom, it just gives them the green light to look for what is next.

Yeah, I know, it is like forcing people to wear seatbelts, at first the people were irate, but over time, they realized it was good and after all – it reduced highway fatalities. Now that government is responsible for our healthcare, they are responsible for the cost. The truth is, they do not really care about health; they just don't want the bill.

This is the same NYC government, by the way, that slashed PE in school budgets to pay for additional school administrators and teachers that can't get fired, even for sexual misconduct with students.

The NY Health Board picked an arbitrary item – soda - to make a point. All flash, no substance. The restaurant industry must not let this happen. Today soda, tomorrow, restaurants in general. It's true, restaurant meals have more calories than meals made at home. Know why? We are better cooks, clean up after and offer large portions because that is what our customers want.

The NRA, the pizza industry and all other foodservice groups must unite to stop and abolish these unconstitutional forays into our lives. If foodservice operators let NYC get away with this, we risk the end of our industry in another 20 years. All people of good will must unite to remove politicians that feel perfectly justified to insert their idiocy into real people's lives and real people's restaurant businesses. After all, "I may not drink super-sized carbonated beverages but I will defend until death your right to do so."

FACT: 16 oz. soda = 120 calories. Baked Potato with Sour Cream =393 calories. Man the ramparts – and pass the Baked Potatoes.

Wishing you success in pizza – Ed

Topics: Customer Service / Experience , Food & Beverage , Health & Nutrition , Operations Management , Trends / Statistics

Ed Zimmerman / Ed Zimmerman is a pizza industry veteran and President of The Food Connector. His almost four decades of foodservice experience includes food manufacturing and distribution leadership, food industry technology, marketing services and restaurant and grocery operations management.
View Ed Zimmerman's profile on LinkedIn

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