New government rules! More federal regulations! Policies! More policies! Sweet, glorious policies! Thank God! Man, it had been, what, about 13 hours since the last batch? For a moment there I was afraid I might have to make it through a whole day with only the millions of OLD regulations to light my path and guide me through every step. But Uncle Sam swept in at the last minute to cover us all in a fresh warm blanket of unconstitutional government overreach.
This time it’s the FDA releasing a new round of proposed menu labeling laws for restaurants. Not to be confused with the federal labeling laws already in place, along with similar state and local laws long since passed and imposed. None of that was enough. A bureaucrat over at the Food and Drug Administration recently walked into a Pizza Hut and said to himself, “Hm, there’s far too much individual decision making going on here! Why, I need to head back to the office at once and figure out a way to render the pizza selling process less efficient and more expensive!” Mission accomplished, FDA.
The new regulations would require all chain restaurants to include calorie and nutritional information on the menus, the menu boards inside and outside, and at the drive-through. All food on display or in a buffet must have the calorie count posted next to the dish. A statement concerning “suggested calorie intake” would be required in all of these establishments as well. The new policies further stipulate that states may not make laws that conflict with these regulations. Regulations, by the way, that cover not only restaurants but grocery chains and vending machines.
If you’d like to learn more about these changes head to Regulations.gov. According to the website there have been OVER FIVE THOUSAND new regulations in the last 3 months. So you’ll have a lot to sift through. Good luck. Here’s a challenge to all of the NannyState lovin’ big government enthusiasts out there: I dare you to spend half an hour on that site. Just 30 minutes. I bet you won’t be a Statist by the end of it. See, I’m doing to you what you do to me when you pass out flyers with pictures of abused cows and say, “Do you really want that hamburger NOW?” Well, yes. Because it’s still delicious and ground beef is still only 3 dollars a pound at Safeway. But this bloated bureaucratic monster of a government is not delicious and it most definitely is not cheap.
Here’s the problem with these “nutrition laws” imposed on pizza places and fast food joints. Well, there’s many problems but I won’t even bother pointing out how the FDA has no actual Constitutional authority to exist in the first place. I won’t waste my time commenting on the fact that our elected officials were never supposed to be able to side step the law of the land by inventing new agencies out of whole cloth and simply declaring them to be outside the purview of the Constitution. I won’t take up space wondering why We the People fail to understand that the Constitution was conceived to PROTECT US AND MAYBE IT’D BE A GOOD IDEA IF WE STARTED TAKING THE THING SERIOUSLY. I won’t say all of that.
What I will say is that nobody standing in line at a Domino’s or sitting in the drive-through lane of a McDonald’s really cares about health and nutrition. I’m not saying they necessarily WANT to die of a massive coronary at the age of 40 but, certainly, preventing such an eventuality clearly isn’t their top priority. If a guy jumps in a frozen pond naked he might not desire hypothermia but I think we can all assume that NOT getting hypothermia didn’t make this dude’s list of primary concerns. Sure, if Burger King posts the calorie count next to the Whopper, we’ll look at it. And then we’ll order the Whopper regardless. The only thing the nutrition label gave us was a healthy dose of self hatred to go with the 600 calories and the greasy hands. Even if it WOULD deter unhealthy eating habits to require places that sell crap food to scream “OUR FOOD WILL KILL YOU” at every customer who walks in the door, I’d still oppose the rule because of a little-referenced concept known as “freedom”. But it wouldn’t deter anyone, anyway. And we all know it. Seriously, is there anyone in existence who doesn’t realize that pizza and fries don’t exactly make for a breakfast of champions? Fast food is unhealthy. Is this breaking news to anyone? Anywhere? If so, that individual doesn’t need the government. He needs a swift kick in his oblivious behind. Rule of thumb: If you’re shouting your food order out of your car window into an intercom 6 feet from a dumpster, THE FOOD IS UNHEALTHY. Do you need to know exactly HOW unhealthy? Do you care? Not enough to actually do anything with the information, clearly.
We know more about health than we ever have. We have more information available than we ever have. And we’re fatter than we’ve ever been. Apparently knowledge ain’t power in this case. Eating a salad and going for a jog is power. But we’ve obviously ruled out that option. So on to Plan B: More government. Now there’s a New Year’s resolution we can all get behind, amiright?
God bless America