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Take With a Grain of Salt

 

1 chicken soupLast December I had a cold/flu. I craved some chicken soup. I was too sick/bed ridden, so my dear neighbors brought me 2 cans of chicken rice soup.

It tasted terrible. At the time I chalked it up to a stuffed nose.

Several weeks later when I was healthy again I ate the second can of soup. The soup still tasted terrible. It was flat. It had no flavor. It tasted like cardboard. I vowed to never get any canned chicken soup ever again in my life!

A few weeks later there was a prediction of a big snow storm so I went to the grocery store to stock up on some basic food so that I would not have to go out in the low temperatures and snow and ice.

I could not find Tomato-Rice or Mushroom soup in the huge soup display at the grocery store. It was only when I looked at the bottom shelf that I saw the soups I wanted. And that is when I began to see and figure out what was going on.

Upon further investigation, I noticed the top 5 or 6 shelves were all soups that were low in sodium, or salt. The one bottom shelf was the only one that had the regular soup.

In other words, there was 90% more low sodium soup in the store than regular soup. However, low sodium is not what they are calling it now. The new term for low salt is, “Heart Healthy.”

The Secret

It was several weeks after my grocery store discovery that I read THE article.

1 salt 2Here is the secret ‘they’ don’t want you to know: Low sodium foods are secretly being pushed onto Americans. This has been going on since 2010.

It seems that many brand name food companies are voluntarily complying with NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s desire for food companies to cut the amount of salt in their products before salt limits become mandatory.

Seems the NYC public scold can not get people to cut their salt intake on their own so now he is threatening food companies with an Edict From On High.

Some times I have to wonder how in the world the human species managed to survive, thrive and evolve into the highest form of life on this earth without the benefit of the Food Police and their constant barrage of Do Not Eat This rules and edicts.

 

There Are Two Serious Issues Here:

1. Can the U.S. government coerce American businesses and the American people to lower the amount of salt in their food products and the amount of salt an Americans citizen ingests? 

2. Is salt bad for you and is it actually the cause of high blood pressure and heart disease?

 

 

The answer to Question Number One is an unequivocal, NO.  

It would violate the Constitution. Too many people either forget or never learned that the Constitution of the United States of America was created to limit government actions, not the other way around.

How would the government enforce a salt ban? Would they run assault style raids like they do for illegal drugs now?1 ban liquor Or worse, like they did during Prohibition?  Would we see salt smugglers from Canada?

The government cannot protect us from each and every problem or issue, or potential harm simply by passing a law or what passes for law these days, the Executive Order.

Neither can nor should the government protect people from their own actions. I believe in personal responsibility. People are either free or they are not. Freedom is not divisible.

John Tate says it best, “Government action “for our own good” has sent us barreling down the slippery slope toward authoritarianism.”

Prohibition and bans never work. They did not work with alcohol and they will not work with salt either.

The answer to Question Number Two is more complex.

While there is strong disagreement, more and more research is coming out that says salt is healthy and that too little salt is actually harmful and can result in death.

Facts and Research

# Salt is an essential and vital mineral for life in all living animals. 

# Salt was one of the earliest nutrients humans ever ingested, even before man’s first written word. Salt has ensured the survival of mankind. Without salt there is no life, so says Robert O. Young D.Sc., Ph.D and research scientist at  Articles of Health.

# Salt deficiency can result in many diseases. Salt is the fuel for the nerves, it regulates water in cells, it cleans toxic substances at the cellular level, it stabilizes irregular heartbeats, is vital for absorption of food particles in intestinal tract, is vital to our bones, is a natural antihistamine, and much more.

# No one is suggesting you should eat salt by the barrel full, or even spoonful. Moderation is the key to a healthy diet.

# The government is suggesting a One Size Fits All prescription for a problem that affects a minority of citizens. Research has shown some people can tolerate high salt consumption with no adverse effect. Others, about 5-10 percent of the population may benefit from lower salt consumption.

# Studies have shown that across 33 cultures and food preferences that on average people tend to consume about 3700 mg of salt a day. That seems to be a set point for the human body. Americans consume about 3500 mg a day.

# Lowering your salt intake does not lower blood pressure in most people and has been shown to increase blood pressure and death from stroke.

# In many studies researchers fed mice up to 60 times more salt than the average person consumes in a day. If you consume 60 times more of anything it would adversely affect your health. However, the researchers, media stories, and the food police conveniently leave this information out of the results and summaries of these studies.

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# Mayor Bloomberg loads his food with salt according to the New York Times. Well color me surprised! How many different ways can I say hypocrite?

# Like with sugar, when you limit salt in your diet your body will look for it in other places and that may increase daily caloric intake causing you to gain weight, another thing that is a No-No with the food police.

# There are low salt packaged foods already on store shelves. There is a segment of the population that wants or needs such product. The food manufactures have listened and provided salt free food items. This is as it should be. This was done voluntarily and with out government edict. As it should be.  Choice in a free democratic society is a need that is already being met by the free market.

What Bothers Me Most About All of This………..

……..is how the government is surreptitiously doing this. This flies in the face of what our Founding Fathers created which is an open government where issues are debated in the open not behind closed doors and in secret by a small number of people. Mayor Bloomberg, has been working behind the scenes to get companies to lower the amount of salt in their products without free and open debate.

Right now it is voluntary. But how long will it be till it becomes compulsory?

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The Research on which I based the comments above: 

Low-Salt Diet Ineffective  [Blurb in second topic on the page.]

Time To Stop Salt Wars

Web MD has a pretty good comprehensive look at some recent studies: New Research Calls Salt Guidelines Into Question.

CNN ran this study: Low-salt diet ups risk of fatal heart attack?

Salt is GOOD for you: Eating more could even lower the chances of heart disease is another one.

From the Huffington Post: Salt, Not So Bad for You After All?

From Reason.com: The Shaky Science

There are lots more out there. I could run ten pages of links and not even begin to scratch the surface. It seems for every study that says salt is bad and unhealthy there are two that say the opposite.

1 styrSo What Is Next? Styrofoam?

YEP.

I kid you not.

Not content with salt, soft drinks, and fat, now Nanny-in-Chief Bloomberg now wants to ban Styrofoam cups.

Gee……and that was what was going to start eating since food is so expensive these days. I hear with a dab of catsup, a little mustard and loads of salt it is barely edible.

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Featured Recipe        Peachy Pork Chops

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This is a quick and easy recipe to make. So it is perfect for week nights. It is as pretty as it is delicious. There is enough sauce for you to make this recipe with four chops.

This is what you will need for 3 people:

2/3 cup peach preserves

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 can sliced peaches 3 boneless pork chops

 1 tablesoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon ground ginger or to taste

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

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Here is what you do:

Mix together the peach preserves and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.

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Drain the peaches and reserve the juices.

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Sprinkle both sides of the chops with the ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.

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Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat.

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Just brown the chops on both sides. Do not mistake the seasonings for browning. Use the edges of the chops to see when there is browning.

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Remove chops from pan. Measure 1/2 cup of the peach juice.

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Pour ½ cup of the reserved peach syrup into the pan and stir to scrape up any browned bits.

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Lower the heat to medium. Stir in peach preserves mixture and mix well.

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Return the chops to the pan along with any juices that may have accumulated on the plate and flip the chops to coat both sides with the sauce.

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Reduce heat to medium low, and cook the pork chops until done: about 3 minutes for thin chops, about 5 minutes for medium chops, and about 8 minutes for thick chops. Do not over cook as the pork will be come tough.

Turn the chops over, add the peaches and cook for the same amount of time as you cooked side one.

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Serve with some rice or vegetable and a salad.

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Bon appétit!!!

Cost

2/3 cup peach preserves                $1.12

1 can sliced peaches drained          $1.38

1 tbspn Worcestershire sauce         $0.12

3 boneless pork chops                    $4.73

 1 tbspn egetable oil                       $0.06

1 tsp ground ginger                        $0.36

1 tsp ground cinnamon                   $0.08

Salt and pepper

Total cost = $7.85
Cost per person = $2.61

Quote of the Day

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent.
Epictetus

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5 comments to Take With a Grain of Salt

  • Wow that is great! I have to watch my salt intake, if I eat too much it give me a migraine. Your peachy pork chops sound so delicious! I love pork, I love peaches so yum! Hugs, Kate

    • Roberta

      Sorry about your headaches, Kate. Drinking something too cold can give me a headache. I think we all have some trigger that causes headaches.

  • I read this post after reading an article in the Australian newspaper today about the government wanting to make grocery stores stock items with lower sugar content.

    I loved your comment on paternalism – it definitely is that.

    I’ve never made pork with peaches but it sounds so good!

  • Good post Roberta, we are singing from the same hymn book again. You covered the big brother problem with government interference well, all I will add is that there is now strong evidence that the compulsory addition of fluoride to the water supply in urban areas to protect teeth may not have been a good idea. Another example of interference.

    As for controlling what we eat, yes there does need to be food safety standards for the production, distribution and sale of food, but that should be limited to prevention of disease not controlling our choices of what to eat. Deprive people who are not committed to a healthy lifestyle of one source of carbohydrate, sugar, fat or salt and they will soon find another.

    We have become too fussy, I have seen starving people in Africa scavenging from garbage dumps then eating food that we would not feed to our dogs here. They seemed to survive quite well. Perhaps we all need a few more germs in our systems so that we build up a resistance to disease, allergies and “syndromes”.