PDA

View Full Version : How do you feel about Big Brother telling you what you can eat?



banquo's_bumble_puppy
2007-Jun-15, 02:02 PM
How do you feel about Big Brother telling you what you can eat? The Center for Science in the Public Interest seems to be doing just that. First they did it with fast food/transfat and now they are doing it with breakfast cereals. Is this too much intrusion? Agree or disagree?

Doodler
2007-Jun-15, 02:13 PM
Agree. If you want to live forever and eat 100% healthy, cook it your bloody self.

Leave the world to live as it chooses and shut up.

Palomar
2007-Jun-15, 02:14 PM
I'm a bit ambivalent about this issue; not sure why. I've struggled with weight all my life, but get tired of all the hysterical Skinny Nazi attitudes our society is plagued with. You know, people who go off their rocker and obsess over gaining 1 ounce or who fret and fret about how many walnut bits are in their Waldorf salad. Our society's attitude towards food is fundamentally unhealthy! It is not the enemy; being 5 pounds overweight is not a crime.

If food on grocery store shelves/fast-food restaurants can be made healthier (lower sodium, cutting out transfat, etc.) by the manufacturer, that's a good thing. But ultimately the message is "you're too stupid to make good food choices yourself, we have to do it for you." Perhaps some people do want that bit of mollycoddling, though. ::shrugs::

I'm not a smoker, but I always figured the anti-smoking hysteria smacked of a witch hunt. :-\ Never had a problem with restaurants separated into "Smoking/No Smoking" areas, but nope...not good enough. "Big Brother" got all those folks to quit smoking, so what did they do? Started eating! My mother quit smoking in the early 1970s, within 2 years' time she ballooned; quit smoking, began eating.

Looks like "Big Brother" ultimately encouraged people to exchange one vice for another. Basically it's just best to leave people alone.

hhEb09'1
2007-Jun-15, 02:18 PM
Agree. If you want to live forever and eat 100% healthy, cook it your bloody self.

Leave the world to live as it chooses and shut up.But you can cook up your own transfat :)

Just out of curiousity, do you guys agree or disagree with restaurant inspections and grades by the local board of health?

I'm not a smoker, but I always figured the anti-smoking hysteria smacked of a witch hunt. I lived through the time when cigarette smoking was very tolerated, and even smoked some. As near as I can tell, it wasn't a witch hunt but more of a reaction against some very obnoxious jerks. Why did they have to smoke in grocery stores and gas stations, when it was already posted? That's how most laws are made--someone pushes the boundaries until the lawmakers constituents can't take it any longer. A lot of "bad laws" are made that way.

triplebird
2007-Jun-15, 02:28 PM
I'm an only child, so I don't have a big brother to tell me what to eat. :)

Since people don't seem to be responsible to make healthy choices for themselves--and then complain when they become overweight, diabetic*, get heart disease, etc--I guess Ma Government will have to tell us what to do.

Personally, I'm not one for all the additives and stuff in convenience food, therefore I cook and look for "unmessed-with" ingredients. (Yes, I know there aren't many proven links between food additives and ill health, but my preference is still to avoid additives when possible)

*I'm referring to Type II lifestyle-influenced diabetes here. No offense meant to those who are diabetic due to conditions outside their control.

Gillianren
2007-Jun-15, 07:28 PM
I'm not a smoker, but I always figured the anti-smoking hysteria smacked of a witch hunt. :-\ Never had a problem with restaurants separated into "Smoking/No Smoking" areas, but nope...not good enough.

No, it isn't good enough. The smoke doesn't care which side of the imaginary line it's on. When I was in college, the designated smoking area for housing employees was right in front of a doorway (illegal for state buildings) that I took my laundry past my entire junior year. My senior year, there were smokers who stood in front of our building's door (illegal) despite the fact that one of the girls on our floor got migraines so severe she had to go to the hospital when exposed to cigarette smoke.

What I eat won't kill you. If things are known to be worse for you than other things that have the same properties (palm oil vs. canola oil, in short), sure, phase out the ones that are worse. Still, it's my right to eat three Zingers for breakfast, and while it does put an additional burden on the health care system, it doesn't put as high a burden on the system, because I'm not making other people sick with it.

Noclevername
2007-Jun-15, 07:32 PM
Never had a problem with restaurants separated into "Smoking/No Smoking" areas, but nope...not good enough. "Big Brother" got all those folks to quit smoking, so what did they do? Started eating!


My mother is allergic to tobacco smoke, and has suffered from some pretty serious breathing problems. I'm mildly allergic. And I can tell you, unless there's two separate rooms with closed doors, separate sections won't do jack. Smoky air moves around the whole room.

And the big bad Gov never told people to stop smoking. Only to quit sharing it with the rest of us.

Tucson_Tim
2007-Jun-15, 07:46 PM
Agree. If you want to live forever and eat 100% healthy, cook it your bloody self.

Leave the world to live as it chooses and shut up.

I agree with this agreement! :)

farmerjumperdon
2007-Jun-15, 07:55 PM
Agree. If you want to live forever and eat 100% healthy, cook it your bloody self.

Leave the world to live as it chooses and shut up.

C'mon, tell us how you really feel.

But basically, yeah - I agree.

Noclevername
2007-Jun-15, 07:59 PM
Is the Center for Science in the Public Interest a government agency, and if so how much power do they have?

Since the subject in the OP is breakfast cereal, I assume that means a lot of children would be eating it. Are the average Joes better at determining the proper nutritional needs of children than a group of (presumably) food scientists?

I'm put in mind of the couple who gave their kid scurvy by feeding him nothing but oatmeal, and all the various families profiled on Honey, We're Killing The Kids. You can do whatever you want to yourself, but sometimes kids need to be protected from the effects of their family's poor actions.

Kristophe
2007-Jun-15, 08:09 PM
Still, it's my right to eat three Zingers for breakfast, and while it does put an additional burden on the health care system, it doesn't put as high a burden on the system, because I'm not making other people sick with it.

Depends on who is footing the bill. If you're eating three Zingers for breakfast puts you in the hospital, and your health care is covered by public health insurance, then the public is free to say "nuh uh, we're not paying for that anymore".

If you're paying out of pocket, or if private insurance is covering it, you could regularly dine on Mr. Clean and I wouldn't consider it an issue for government.

Fazor
2007-Jun-15, 08:17 PM
Well, regarding the origonal question in the OP/Title:

My brother's younger than me, so that makes me the big brother. ;) As far as the government, I am very thankful that the FDA is there to keep unsafe products off the shelf. Might they go too far in thier determination of "unsafe"? Perhaps. I very much miss the old "unhealthy" oils that they use to use for frying my food (particularly noticable in fried chicken and chinese resturants). But I'd rather be able to whine about missing a few of my favorite foods than be poisoned by an unregulated industry.
I do not having the training or resources to personally test all my foods for potential dangerous substances. So unless I somehow gain that ability, I'll gladly let the FDA do their thing.

Paracelsus
2007-Jun-15, 08:25 PM
Is the Center for Science in the Public Interest a government agency, and if so how much power do they have?

No, they are an NGO (non-governmental organization). As for how much power they have, it depends upon whether they get the ear of an influential Congressman or two. If that Congressman then calls up a Fed agency and complains, THEN CSPI has power. Otherwise, they have none.


I personally do not having the training or resources to personally test all my foods for potential dangerous substances. So unless I somehow gain that ability, I'll gladly let the FDA do their thing.

Thanks, but it still pays to be an educated consumer, particularly about dietary supplements. Under DSHEA, the FDA has very little oversight of dietary supplements. Other than vitamins, buy supplements with caution. Caveat emptor!

Fazor
2007-Jun-15, 08:31 PM
Thanks, but it still pays to be an educated consumer, particularly about dietary supplements. Under DSHEA, the FDA has very little oversight of dietary supplements. Other than vitamins, buy supplements with caution. Caveat emptor!
Heh, I think the whole supplements market is a...well, I'll leave the adjectives up to you.

It pays to be as educated as possible about any subject. My point was that snakeoil salesmen still exist, and having groups around to protect the consumer is a necessary evil.

Noclevername
2007-Jun-15, 08:31 PM
No, they are an NGO (non-governmental organization). As for how much power they have, it depends upon whether they get the ear of an influential Congressman or two. If that Congressman then calls up a Fed agency and complains, THEN CSPI has power. Otherwise, they have none.


Okay, so the OP calling them "Big Brother" was in error. They can't make anyone do anything, they're a bunch of guys making suggestions. Ooh, scary! :lol:

Fazor
2007-Jun-15, 08:36 PM
I took the OP as asking about anybody with power telling you what you can and can't eat.

But technically, no one can do that. They can tell you what you can or can't sell, but if you want to make something on your own and eat it, that's not an issue. :-P

Moose
2007-Jun-15, 11:41 PM
For every "thou shalt not sell foods made with trans fat", there's a "thou shalt not sell thy consumers food laced with melamine to boost thy gluten count".

I have the choice to eat out or make it myself. (Somewhat, anyway. When my depression takes the wheel, I'd argue that my capacity to make competent choices can be limited to some degree. But that's another argument.)

But, when I do choose to eat out, it would be nice if the businesses "catering" to me could be made to refrain from sneaking dangerous ingredients into their products, especially considering how reluctant (or misinformed) they are about their recipes. I for one won't miss trans fats. Some of the worst offenders seem to be doing fine without it.

On the subject of hidden food dangers...

Did you know Subway adds onion powder to all of their meats? That mattered to me when I was suffering actively from colitis. Nobody at the franchises knew this. I had to inquire at corporate when I kept getting sick after eating there. On "paper", Subway should have been the safest place for me because of the emphasis on choice. Too bad (for me) it wasn't informed choice.

If I could make one law, it would be that "spices" cannot be a valid notation on ingredient lists, no matter how secret KFC wants to keep their spice blend.

Do you know who turned out to be the only restaurant I'd ever found where I could be confident that the food was either safe or could be altered to be safe for me? McDonalds. McDonalds was the only restaurant I'd ever found that could guarantee me food without onion, onion powder, black pepper, or seed matter. Plenty of choices, too. Shame it wasn't remotely healthy for me.

Now? Well, I still struggle to make the right choices sometimes, but I've got a better handle on the depression issues.

Ronald Brak
2007-Jun-16, 12:45 AM
Infomation is vital for the efficient functioning of the market system. If someone is providing infomation about food that act can help people make decisions about their lives.

Gillianren
2007-Jun-16, 02:34 AM
Somewhat, anyway. When my depression takes the wheel, I'd argue that my capacity to make competent choices can be limited to some degree. But that's another argument.

Ditto. There's a reason I'd eat three Zingers for breakfast. Since I eat convenience food more often than I'm really happy with, I'd really prefer it if the convenience food were better for me.

novaderrik
2007-Jun-16, 02:38 AM
they are killing Toucan Sam and Tony the Tiger because they force kids to eat unhealthy foods for breakfast.
first, Joe Camel and the Marlboro man, and now a cartoon bird and tiger..
is Chester Cheetah next? where will it end?

Tucson_Tim
2007-Jun-16, 03:11 AM
I'm a believer in the five major food groups: Fat, sugar, caffein, alcohol, and tobacco.

Doodler
2007-Jun-16, 09:47 AM
they are killing Toucan Sam and Tony the Tiger because they force kids to eat unhealthy foods for breakfast.
first, Joe Camel and the Marlboro man, and now a cartoon bird and tiger..
is Chester Cheetah next? where will it end?

Right where the nanny statists want it. An existance sterile of anything but their droning mantras where people live boring lives into their 90s.

Then they'll pull muscles in their shoulders patting themselves on the back for increasing human lifespans.

Too much is made of quantity of life, not quality.

Argos
2007-Jun-16, 01:25 PM
People eat such ridiculous things that it is really exasperating [I get exasperated seeing people eating a big mac]. There´s nothing wrong with the powers-that-be giving you information about healthier habits. We pay them for that. You still can choose not to take heed of their advice.

Paracelsus
2007-Jun-16, 02:19 PM
I'm a believer in the five major food groups: Fat, sugar, caffein, alcohol, and tobacco.

Amen!...except nix the tobacco for me! ;)

Tucson_Tim
2007-Jun-16, 02:26 PM
Amen!...except nix the tobacco for me! ;)

I know from your other posts that you're a runner so you might remember Bill Rogers the distance runner, if you're old enough. Well, anyhow, he was interviewed in Runner magazine and claimed that he ate nothing but junk food - twinkies and Coca Cola were his favorites and I believe he even drank de-fizzed, diluted Coca Cola during his marathons. His reasoning: My body can burn anything.

Paracelsus
2007-Jun-16, 02:32 PM
Speaking of food that is bad for you, that food we ate last night, while very tasty, was loaded with fat, salt, and calories. The worst was the baked marrow bone we had for an appetizer--those things are pure fat!

YUMMY!! ;)

Gillianren
2007-Jun-16, 08:08 PM
Oh, num--I haven't had marrow in so long . . . .

As to Tony the Tiger, since Thrul Ravenscroft is dead, I'm all for retiring the character. I also think they should retire all those cereal sociopaths, the ones intent on stealing cereal or keeping someone else from getting it. (The poor Trix rabbit!)

Noclevername
2007-Jun-16, 08:16 PM
I also think they should retire all those cereal sociopaths, the ones intent on stealing cereal or keeping someone else from getting it. (The poor Trix rabbit!)


To the Trix Rabbit, Wiley Coyote, Tom the cat, and any other character who uses goofy schemes to obsessively chase a prey animal or food item;

BUY SOME FOOD!

It can't be more expensive than all those flimsy disguises, booby traps and ACME rocket skates you keep blowing money on.

Thank you.

Paracelsus
2007-Jun-16, 08:37 PM
I'm partial to Count Chocula, myself.

Tucson_Tim
2007-Jun-16, 08:41 PM
I'm partial to Count Chocula, myself.

Poop in a bowl. Jeez, everyone knows that Cap'n Crunch is the best. :)

Paracelsus
2007-Jun-16, 08:44 PM
Poop in a bowl.

Darn tootin'! Frankenberry and BooBerry are good too, but BooBerry turns your mouth blue.

Cap'n Crunch is only good if it has CrunchBerries in it. ;)

Noclevername
2007-Jun-16, 08:58 PM
I'm partial to Count Chocula, myself.


Count Chocula? Wasn't that the sequel to Blacula? :)

I used to be able to chow down on Boo Berry like there was no tomorrow when I was a kid. Now if I eat too much sweet stuff in the morning I get sick to my stomach. In fact I'm not nearly as fond of sweets in general. I guess as we get o... ol... that word as time passes, our tastes change.

Moose
2007-Jun-16, 09:59 PM
I also think they should retire all those cereal sociopaths, the ones intent on stealing cereal or keeping someone else from getting it. (The poor Trix rabbit!)

I hear you. Those commercials always bothered me as a kid. They bother me as an adult as well, but now I know better why.

Actually, as an adult, I'm unhappy about advertising aimed at children in general. It's even relevant to this thread. Some would call my objections "nanny statism" or similar, but really, it's my responsibility to make decisions on behalf of minors in my care. (Currently none, but someday.) Children cannot legally consent. They are not competent to make decisions in their own best interest. This is why their parents and guardians hold that responsibility on their behalf.

When advertisers influence children to lobby for actions/purchases not in their best interests, they are literally setting my charges against me in an attempt to circumvent my personal responsibility and duty.

Advertising is far more relevant to the topic's premise ("Big Brother") than the banning of trans fat is.

If government seeks to protect my family from unfair or undue external influence, especially deceptive influence or outright fraud, it's not nanny-statism, it's doing their jobs, the one I pay taxes for. Providing common defense and redress against threats to my family. Just like fire departments, common health care, police services, etc.

Noclevername
2007-Jun-16, 10:03 PM
Ugh, children's brainwashadvertising. Don't even get me started.

Lately whenever I'm babysitting my nephew, if I let him watch TV I always hit "mute" during the commercials. And I make sure to tell him, "it's not real, it's just TV!" as often as possible.

Ronald Brak
2007-Jun-17, 02:33 AM
Official figures say that 2 million Britians are malnorished and many of these malnourished people are fat. I find this very easy to believe when I look at the diet of some people in the U.K.. One British chap I met said he didn't eat vegetables or fruit. He didn't appear at all healthy and I wouldn't be terribly surprised if he were dead now.

(Note that the above story is personal anedote only and lends no statistical support to the contention that there are 2 million malnourished people in Britian.)

I think a lot of people could certainly benefit from education in what a healthy diet is and could benefit from support in making changes to their diet. I am not in favour of hitting people with truncheons for eating unhealthily or jail sentences for not eating vegetables.

I am in favour of visible warning lables on food of low nutritional value such as chips, biscuits, soft drinks, cakes, candy and so on. I don't think anyone should be punished for ignoring those lables.

Chuck
2007-Jun-17, 04:06 AM
Government agencies must spend their whole budget or it will be cut. The FDA will continue to find things wrong with our food until we die of malnutrition because nothing is safe to eat.

Noclevername
2007-Jun-17, 04:14 AM
Government agencies must spend their whole budget or it will be cut. The FDA will continue to find things wrong with our food until we die of malnutrition because nothing is safe to eat.

:lol: The FDA has never been able to make people stop eating junk food. The FDA, FBI, CIA and IRS combined couldn't do it.

hhEb09'1
2007-Jun-17, 04:39 AM
The FDA, FBI, CIA and IRS combined couldn't do it.That would be the Fifi Carabids, right? very scary people

Noclevername
2007-Jun-17, 04:58 AM
That would be the Fifi Carabids, right? very scary people


Fifi Carabids? I went to the prom with her! :lol:

Van Rijn
2007-Jun-17, 05:00 AM
How do you feel about Big Brother telling you what you can eat? The Center for Science in the Public Interest seems to be doing just that. First they did it with fast food/transfat and now they are doing it with breakfast cereals. Is this too much intrusion? Agree or disagree?

How does the CSPI (a non-profit organization, not a government entity) tell me what I can eat?

hhEb09'1
2007-Jun-17, 05:03 AM
Fifi Carabids? I went to the prom with her! :lol:So, you know?

Van Rijn
2007-Jun-17, 05:18 AM
I'm not a smoker, but I always figured the anti-smoking hysteria smacked of a witch hunt. :-\ Never had a problem with restaurants separated into "Smoking/No Smoking" areas, but nope...not good enough. "Big Brother" got all those folks to quit smoking, so what did they do? Started eating! My mother quit smoking in the early 1970s, within 2 years' time she ballooned; quit smoking, began eating.

Looks like "Big Brother" ultimately encouraged people to exchange one vice for another. Basically it's just best to leave people alone.

Uh . . . what about us non-smokers? I'm perfectly happy to leave smokers alone as long as they leave me alone. I have no interest in making smoking illegal. However, I see no reason why I should be forced to smoke too. Not that long ago, it was impossible to avoid breathing cigarette smoke (and lots of it) unless you lived like a hermit. That was utterly unreasonable. Unfortunately, the nature of cigarette smoke is such that it is hard to contain.

Tucson_Tim
2007-Jun-17, 03:03 PM
I'm a believer in the five major food groups: Fat, sugar, caffein, alcohol, and tobacco.

Damn, forgot salt.

I'm a believer in the six major food groups: Fat, sugar, salt, caffein, alcohol, and tobacco. :)

Gillianren
2007-Jun-17, 04:44 PM
Our four weapons . . . .

Paracelsus
2007-Jun-17, 06:50 PM
CSPI doesn't have the authority to tell anyone what to eat. They are valuable, however, in the sense that they are counter the influence of industry to an extent.

SeanF
2007-Jun-18, 02:29 PM
My mother is allergic to tobacco smoke, and has suffered from some pretty serious breathing problems. I'm mildly allergic. And I can tell you, unless there's two separate rooms with closed doors, separate sections won't do jack. Smoky air moves around the whole room.
Except, of course, that restaurant owners who would like to have the whole place be a smoking area and let the non-smokers eat at the other place up the street were told they can't do that, either.

Trust me, the government passing laws controlling what you can and cannot eat is coming, and the acceptance of smoking bans has paved the way.

Noclevername
2007-Jun-18, 02:31 PM
Trust me, the government passing laws controlling what you can and cannot eat is coming, and the acceptance of smoking bans has paved the way.

Except that there are no laws telling people not to smoke, only regulating a few places where they can't.

Doodler
2007-Jun-18, 05:10 PM
Except that there are no laws telling people not to smoke, only regulating a few places where they can't.

It would be easier to list the places outside of your car or home you are allowed to smoke these days.

Noclevername
2007-Jun-18, 05:12 PM
It would be easier to list the places outside of your car or home you are allowed to smoke these days.

"Outdoors"; okay, that's one...

Moose
2007-Jun-18, 05:13 PM
Still far, far more than the smoke-free places a non-smoker could enjoy. If he/she could find one at all.

Doodler
2007-Jun-18, 06:35 PM
"Outdoors"; okay, that's one...

Not within 50 feet of most buildings.

Gillianren
2007-Jun-18, 06:50 PM
Not within 50 feet of most buildings.

The state law here (except for state buildings, where it is indeed fifty) is twenty-five feet. And, in fact, even that isn't in place for "most buildings." You can smoke right in front of my apartment, if you've a mind. (I really, really wish you wouldn't, but my neighbor does. Still, better that than inside with her kid.) Anywhere where food is served has the twenty-five foot ban; actually, our mall does, too, and they've kindly marked out in front of all the doors where the limit is. They've started dividing some of the dorm buildings at my alma mater into smoking floors and nonsmoking floors; for obvious reasons, the smoking floors are higher in the building.

Smoke does not respect boundaries; I know some of the smoke will inevitably drift into that twenty-five foot circle. Ideally, however, it will not end up inside the door, which it did before.