Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Your USRDA of nannyism.

Don't get me wrong, I loves me the food at Panera Bread, but standing in front of that menu, with its sanctimonious listing of calories right next to the prices, bathes me in a reeking cloud of smug I could only equal by inhaling directly from the tailpipe of a Prius.

Thanks to the new health care bill, though, everyplace is going to be like that now.
Ask and get more info: If you ask, a restaurant has to tell you the sodium, fat, fiber, protein and carb count of its items. The new law aims to make restaurant food conform with labels used on packaged food sold in grocery stores.
Yeah, I'm going to love standing in line behind somebody who's pestering the minimum wage part-time ESL student of a cashier at Burger Barn to know the precise fat content of their Triple Bypass Bacon 'n' Bleu Cheese Burger...

If I wanted to put up with this kind of crap, I'd have moved to Seattle.

20 comments:

reflectoscope said...

Clever fix: Put it on the back of the tray liner. That way nervous Nellie has to eat the burger first and then read the nutritional doom and gloom.

Jim

Jeff the Baptist said...

What is really hilarious is that all those numbers are only rough approximations anyway.

The food you get at a grocery store is heavily processed and therefore standardized. Quality control insures that just the right amount of this and that are added. The numbers on the label ought to be quite close.

This still sort of works with fast food chains because they use process control to speed preparation and impose standards on their food to insure consistent taste.

But more local or artisan shops? Good luck. One cook goes heavy on the oil, one used more sauce or spices, etc. And a little more oil or sauce can really change fat, sugar, etc numbers.

Anonymous said...

Having owned and operated small businesses for most of my life, my perspectives invariably reflect the view from behind the counter.

Your Burger Barn chain might have an in-house bean counter (who'da thunk that term would ever be so literal?), but me and my 1 or 3 employees have our hands full trying to prepare, present, and provide everything everyday ourselves, not to mention the already onerous load of .gov crap already required. What a fun addition to our struggle to be forced to research and maintain such irrelevant information and stop everything to provide it on demand, under penalty of law.

Yeah, this admin is the friend of small business and the little man everywhere. Seems instead to be a backdoor effort to limit commerce to big bidness that is so much easier to control with policy and pursestrings.

AT

Tam said...

AT,

The regulation only applies to chains with 20 or more stores operating under the same name.

And having spent most of my adult life in retail, I have a different view of things like this than the average reader, too.

Anonymous said...

Get ready for the lawsuits, when the company underpredicts or overpredicts how much mayo the 16-year old put on a sandwich.

Ran out of cheese and switched to something else, without re-printing menus? Lawsuit.

Coke changed their formula secretly and you sold it without reporting the trivial change? Lawsuit.

This has nothing to do with public health, and everything to do with lawyers victimizing productive companies.

Anonymous said...

"The regulation only applies to chains with 20 or more stores operating under the same name."

Didn't required health insurance start out like that too? Give 'em time...s**t always flows downhill.

AT

BobG said...

So I guess now we will have federal Food Police, and of course they will have to be armed.

Tam said...

BobG,

That would fall under the FDA. (Which I will note is part of HHS, which already has armed SWATcops, albeit in their OIG...)

Mark B. said...

The elephant in the corner of the room here is that the intitiative, wherever tried (New York, Seattle, et.al.), seems to fail to produce its (claimed) intended results. At least so far the relationship between nutritional information availability and consumer choice looks weak to nonexistent.

Study

So the entire exercise appears to be a pointless bureaucracy-building goatscrew, with the additional attraction that it's done at taxpayer and consumer expense.

(nota bene: Corporations don't pay taxes; the consumers of the goods and services they offer do.)

'Berg

Joanna said...

I'm going to love standing in line behind somebody who's pestering the minimum wage part-time ESL student of a cashier at Burger Barn to know the precise fat content of their Triple Bypass Bacon 'n' Bleu Cheese Burger...

I have a coworker who sincerely believed that liquefying her food into a smoothie reduced the calories. I doubt that nutritional information is going to make much difference for the average burger eater.

Anonymous said...

You just cann't fix stupid! This has been tried and has failed miserably. I am just glad i don't eat fast food at any national chains.


Walt

George said...

AMEN, SISTER! It's that 'progressive' thinking, again.
WE know better than YOU, and must FORCE you to see how you are destroying your body (which belongs to the collective, anyway).
Like going to a restaurant wherein a burger is one pound, fried in butter, topped with bacon, egg, and cheese, and served with a pound of french fries, and a double-chocolate malt appears 'heart-healthy' to anyone over age 6! PULEEZ!

John A said...

"The regulation only applies to chains with 20 or more stores operating under the same name."

Well... Elsewhere one blogger reported that his club may lose its vending machine because the owner may heve to post the info on the machine. Replace the salt-and-vinegar potato chips with BBQ flavor? Scrape off the old label[s] and paste on new.

monkeyfan said...

There are going to be a whole lot of chains with only 19 stores under the same name.

"Welcome to Fuddruckers of Nu Yawk annex 4675...Will that be a small, smaller, or smallest diet Brawndo? ...'tard."

Lewis said...

In the old days, you had to go to Seattle to get that. These days, Seattle comes to you! (Said in Yakov Smirnoff voice.)

Anonymous said...

"...a restaurant wherein a burger is one pound, fried in butter, topped with bacon, egg, and cheese, and served with a pound of french fries, and a double-chocolate malt..."

Hey, George...uh, where'd you say that restaurant is?

AT

staghounds said...

"pointless bureaucracy-building goatscrew"

Not to the people hired to assemble, collate, design, and print the information.

Or to Lisa J Harnack, Simone A French, all the authors whose studies they cite, and their institutional employers.

Nor to the new employees at the shiny new U. S. Bureau of Chain Restaurant Nutritional Information Disclosure Compliance. My guess is around four hundred to start, up to a thousand within two years.

It's not pointless, it's patronage.

Tam said...

Forget it, Jake, it's Chicagotown!

Anonymous said...

Not like the calorie count listings had even the slightest dent in the Starbucks revenue.

On a related note, some bright bulb was actually talking about instituting a $2 tax PER CUP on coffee in this town.

I'm VERY surprised he didn't end up swinging from a noose tout de suite in the nearest of Seattle's many lovely public parks.

AK, who just moved from the sticks right in to the heart of the stupidity.

markm said...

"Hey, George...uh, where'd you say that restaurant is?"

http://www.heartattackgrill.com/