January 17, 2016

Season to taste

OreIda makes bags of Tater Tots, and I buy them. Half a bag makes a good dinner. You pour them onto a cookie sheet, put them into a preheated oven and bake for 19 minutes and then, according to the bag, "season to taste".

Which means put salt on them, but they can't say that. Potatoes without salt taste like library paste and everyone uses salt on them. Except certain bureaucrats in Washington who create dietary recommendations for the peasants, which recommendations I stopped paying attention to a long time ago. Because it became clear to me that it was food faddism, not science. And now everyone can tell, because in the last few years the official recommended diet has changed quite a lot.

Butter is back on the OK list. So are eggs. Studies have finally shown that cholesterol isn't a synonym for cyanide. And after decades of saying "Reduce dietary fat; eat carbs instead" because they thought all of us were too fat, now it's been revealed that it's carbs that do that, not fat.

But still it goes on. The NYC commission, who have nothing else important to work on since NYC is an ideal city with no problems, no crime, and no other issues, anyway the commission considered a city regulation forbidding anyone in the city from putting salt in their food before sale.

Among other problems, a bunch of bakers went to the commission to inform them that you cannot make bread without salt because the yeast won't rise. Details, details... (I don't think they passed that regulation, in the end. Anyway, all it would have done is force all those companies to move their factories and bakeries to Hoboken.)

My zoology prof in college talked to us about salt one time. This was about 1974, before things got crazy, but he mentioned that when our salt levels get low we really crave salt and our food won't taste right unless we put a lot more salt on than we usually would. (This is most common in hot weather when you've been sweating.) Different people have different desires for salt at different times, which is why restaurants put salt shakers on the tables. They tend to undersalt the food and rely on the customers to adjust "to taste".

But the food freaks think they know everything (despite proof from experience that they're idiots) and the latest fad is food with no salt in it, proudly blazed on the label. John Kovalic did a nice job on that with his comic "CTRL SALT DEL".

That happened to me one time. I wasn't paying attention to the labels and I bought a jar of peanut butter with no salt added. One taste and I knew my mistake. I ended up having to add a LOT of salt to it to get it to taste like anything. It took me three tries, adding more salt each time and then stirring the jar up, to get it to taste right.

It's one more aspect of the encroaching nanny state, and I say this: you will take my salt shaker away from me when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Rants at 07:33 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Sounds more like a Mike Bloomberg initiative - all the more ironic since Bloomberg is known to use so much salt on his popcorn that it would burn the lips, and his chef always included a salt shaker with the popcorn.

Of course, New York State gave us the state senator who introduced a bill banning salt from dishes served in restaurants, despite saying in an interview that he liked salt on his food and wanted it on the dishes he ordered.

Posted by: cxt217 at January 17, 2016 07:48 PM (H7pmS)

2 Many, many moons ago (when I was a young Army officer in the beginning of the 1980's), I got the additional duty of "dining facility officer".

That meant that I ran the battalion mess hall.  Well, I was the Officer In Charge of the mess hall; my sergeant actually ran it.  I still kept an eye on what was going on.

Since I was the OIC, I read up on all the Army Field Manuals on the feeding of troops.  One of the more interesting items in the manuals was a discussion on the amount of fat required in a meal; it appears that a certain level of fat is required for the brain to believe that the body has consumed sufficient calories (i.e. to feel satiated).

Knowing that and looking at a low-fat and high-carbohydrate diet leaves me rather unsurprised at the fat levels of the US population.

Posted by: Mark A. Flacy at January 18, 2016 11:25 PM (ATlQg)

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