pizza tax

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kiryan
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pizza tax

Postby kiryan » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:32 pm

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6275T720100308

Pizza tax too. Tax high caloric food to make people consume less and become thinner. Come on liberals, start getting enraged at the suggestions that government get involved in what you eat. but since none of you will, lets just cut to the chase and tax people based on their BMI (or equivalent).

Seriously WTF is wrong with our government with Americans?

Turxx posted this anti government, anti tax video, which is not really a great source, but one segment I think is prophetic and exactly inline with where they want to take us. It has to do with a guy calling in a pizza order. He calls up, the pizza guy verifies his national ID# which he gets from some computer system that matched his name+telephone # to his ID. Then the guy tries to order a pizza double meat and the pizza guy is like there will be a $20 medical surcharge because you have high cholesterol and you'll need to sign a health coverage waiver provided by his insurance company. Then he goes on to tell him to pay in cash since the system says all his credit cards are maxed out.

As stupid as the segment is, that is exactly where they want us to go. You'll be "fined" for doing the unhealthy thing regardless of whether its ordering a pizza or drinking a soda. We are losing the very thing that makes us american, our independence. Our lives are increasingly being regulated in the interests of the public good rather than in your interests as a private and free citizen. It was bad before with emminent domain, but it is fricking ridiculous when they want to tax you for what you eat. This is individualism vs collectivism and a sad commentary on the state of the union.

And lets talk about how this will work. Higher cost of food is definitely a regressive tax (taxes poor at a higher percentage than the rich). Also realize that obesity is symptomatic of being poor (at least in America). On one hand you might think that it sounds good to me, poor fat people paying for their own health programs.... until you realize that poor people don't have any money to pay taxes. They'll obviously have to spend more of their income on food which means they'll have to receive larger subsidies and tax breaks everywhere else. That money will have to come somewhere else. Now consider how raising the cost of food effectively makes more people poor the same way that raising minimum wage just increases the number of people making minimum wage.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Sarvis » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:38 pm

You know what I don't see in that article? A (D) after anyone's name...

A research paper doesn't equate to "evul libruls" trying to pass a law.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby kiryan » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:42 pm

It will eventually be pushed by a social liberal (Democrat). Its just the next step after tobacco, alcohol, soda.

The scientific intellectual argument will be sound, have no doubt of that. Eating pizza and soda is definitely "bad" for your health when compared to water, vegetables and a portion of meat no larger than 5oz.

But lets get back to the point, are you ready to tell them get the f*k out of your business when they propose it?
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Ragorn » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:09 pm

Like everything else you post that's full of conjecture, slippery slope, and doomsaying, I will care about this when it actually happens. Which it won't.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Todrael » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:26 pm

Ragorn wrote:Like everything else you post that's full of conjecture, slippery slope, and doomsaying, I will care about this when it actually happens. Which it won't.

I think it'd be awesome to see guys in jackboots marching down the street and tearing down the Domino's.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Ragorn » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:09 pm

Todrael wrote:
Ragorn wrote:Like everything else you post that's full of conjecture, slippery slope, and doomsaying, I will care about this when it actually happens. Which it won't.

I think it'd be awesome to see guys in jackboots marching down the street and tearing down the Domino's.

Yeah, cause fuck Domino's.

Quick, someone post a link to that fake pizza delivery call where they look up his health insurance information!
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Re: pizza tax

Postby teflor the ranger » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:01 am

Ragorn wrote:Like everything else you post that's full of conjecture, slippery slope, and doomsaying, I will care about this when it actually happens. Which it won't.

A lot of people said that about the soda tax.

Which is a hella ironic tax too, seeing as how we massively subsidize the corn that goes into it.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Corth » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:15 pm

http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_n ... 100310-akd

I'm sure Kiryan is going to love this one. Salt ban at restaurants. Not a tax so much as a prohibition. I guess you'll have to know the secret password to get into a hidden back room for the real cuisine.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Todrael » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:18 pm

I'd rather they just ask for disclosure, so customers can make informed choices. I really liked the extra menu at Ruby Tuesdays. My dining partner that night had chided me for my "unhealthy" choice, and I was able to pull out the disclosure menu and show that I was ordering half the calories and 1/4 the fat of their pick.

People are terrible at judging the healthiness of meals without quantified data.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Sarvis » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:21 pm

Todrael wrote:I'd rather they just ask for disclosure, so customers can make informed choices. I really liked the extra menu at Ruby Tuesdays. My dining partner that night had chided me for my "unhealthy" choice, and I was able to pull out the disclosure menu and show that I was ordering half the calories and 1/4 the fat of their pick.

People are terrible at judging the healthiness of meals without quantified data.


Agreed.

I've had arguments with people who think that requiring that kind of disclosure is some massive attack on the restaurant owner's rights or something, and swore up and down that you should know how many calories are in something just because. :roll:

Damn Libertarians.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Ragorn » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:31 pm

Corth wrote:http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_news/new_york_state/chefs-call-proposed-new-york-salt-ban-absurd-20100310-akd

I'm sure Kiryan is going to love this one. Salt ban at restaurants. Not a tax so much as a prohibition. I guess you'll have to know the secret password to get into a hidden back room for the real cuisine.

hahahahahah that's awesome.

I dug around a little bit to find out what the fuck that bill is about. As it turns out, NY has been leading an initiative to try to convince restaurants and food producers to get onboard with a voluntary program to cut back sodium in processed food by 20% over the next five years (source). And then this idiot goes and proposes a bill that would remove salt entirely from every restaurant in the state... an idea that is patently absurd on every level.

I guess he doesn't want to be re-elected.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby kiryan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:30 pm

I've read several articles on NY's health efforts from the cut back in salt to the bans on salt and trans fats. I don't have much to say other than I think they are ridiculous.

We are definitely on a slippery slope. I'm not sure when our attitudes changed from individualism to collectivism, but I see it more every day over ever more intrusive ways. Seriously, a pizza tax? There were articles a decade ago about how pizza was one of the more healthy entrees kids ate because it contianed dairy (since kids don't drink milk anymore) and vegetables. I want to say that they were suggesting that pizza accounted for 33% of a kids weekly vegetable intake and 25% of their calcium intake, it was a long long time ago. Probably was 20 years ago now that I think about it, I forget how old I am.

but times have changed, fat is now a national security issue.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Corth » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:07 pm

Well to be fair, the salt ban has about as much chance of passing as I do of getting pregnant. NYC has some of the finest dining in the world, and attracts a lot of tourism for that reason. The state is poorly managed, but not so bad that it would voluntarily destroy one of it's vital industries. I just got a real kick out of the fact that this even gets brought up.

As for fat, salt, sugar etc. being political issues. When to some extent the taxpayers pay for healthcare costs, then I'm not surprised that it becomes a political issue. Now all of a sudden it makes sense to have seatbelt and motorcycle helmet laws, sin taxes on unhealthy food, etc. The problem though is that in the first place there shouldn't be a socialized cost resulting from such individual decisions.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby kiryan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:20 pm

I like that statement. "shouldn't be a socialized cost for an individual choice"

I think its naieve to think that a salt ban in restaurants would never happen, not today I'll give you, but down the road its entirely possible. Whats the difference between getting too much salt vs getting too much sugar or transfats? We have enough salt in our diet that we would certainly be healthier if salt was taken out of every restaurant kitchen. With a few "scientific" reports documenting the healthcare cost and a couple decades of villification I'm quite sure they can get it banned.

Look at MSG. They got rid of it in the Chinese food industry in a breathtakingly fast manner, It was less than 1 year after I first heard about MSG and when it had been essentially banned everywhere in California.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Sarvis » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:23 pm

kiryan wrote:I like that statement. "shouldn't be a socialized cost for an individual choice"

I think its naieve to think that a salt ban in restaurants would never happen, not today I'll give you, but down the road its entirely possible. Whats the difference between getting too much salt vs getting too much sugar or transfats? We have enough salt in our diet that we would certainly be healthier if salt was taken out of every restaurant kitchen. With a few "scientific" reports documenting the healthcare cost and a couple decades of villification I'm quite sure they can get it banned.

Look at MSG. They got rid of it in the Chinese food industry in a breathtakingly fast manner, It was less than 1 year after I first heard about MSG and when it had been essentially banned everywhere in California.


People would notice the lack of salt. I don't think anyone noticed MSG was gone, nor trans fats. I don't think the latter two affected taste that much (not sure about MSG honestly) but were just a cheaper, less healthy ingredient to get the same effect.

People LIKE salt though, and wouldn't want to eat bland, salt-free food so it would be tougher to ban.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby kiryan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:30 pm

Are these taxes about what you like, what you will accept or what is good for you and good for America's finances (through saving money in healthcare costs)?

The asian people I knew at the time MSG was banned noticed the difference. I noticed it. The issue with MSG was its link to migraines.

I don't use salt... and my family and I don't eat out more than 1x a month if you count McDonalds. I don't use salt in my cooking except to raise the boiling point of water when cooking pasta and in the various steak seasonings I use. Banning salt at restaurants wouldn't affect me one bit.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby avak » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:09 pm

You essentially can't cook without salt.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Corth » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:14 pm

Well of course you can.. it will all just taste mostly like shit. :) And I think some bread products actually do need salt, not just for taste but because of the various chemical reactions that occur in making bread rise the right way. It mitigates the effect of the yeast or something.. I forget.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby avak » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:18 pm

That would be the reason for the intentional use of "essentially." You can also live on a diet made from uncooked foods...some people even recommend it.

Anyway, I own a restaurant. If the government dictated that I couldn't use salt I would seriously consider closing.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Corth » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:08 pm

I was thinking about this a little more and wanted to suggest a theory.

I'm starting with the assumption that the legislator who proposed this law is aware it has absolutely no chance of actually passing. This begs the question, why propose it in the first place?

My theory is that it's essentially a negotiation tactic.

Let's say you are a plaintiff trying to negotiate the settlement of a lawsuit. If your goal is to get $5,000, what you would ordinarily do is demand significantly more money. Perhaps $10,000. You want to raise the perception of what the case is worth and then you can give in a little bit and hopefully get what you believe is a reasonable offer. If you were, for instance, to demand $6,000 at the outset, chances are you wouldn't meet your $5,000 goal because the perception of the value of the case is lower. This is basic negotiation 101.

We do a lot of debating on this bbs, and often the essential issue, regardless of the specific circumstances, is the tension between individual autonomy and state control. I'm actually trying to avoid a debate on that point, but rather focus on the intention of the legislator here. If his goal was a marginal increase in state power over what we ordinarily consider individual choices, what better way, from a negotiation perspective, than to demand way more than what anyone might think is reasonable, with the goal being to 'raise the bar' on what might be considered reasonable.

It might seem completely unreasonable to ban salt altogether at restaurants, but if it's even proposed then it leaves the realm of impossibility. Psychologically we start believing that such an act is possible. At that point, perhaps we don't feel as offended when they propose legislation limiting salt or fat content. In that way, the legislator got to his real goal, which is regulation, by raising the bar in proposing an outright prohibition.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Ragorn » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:03 pm

Corth wrote:My theory is that it's essentially a negotiation tactic.

Let's say you are a plaintiff trying to negotiate the settlement of a lawsuit.

Yeah, I pretty much assumed the same thing. Like when someone proposed a mandatory draft a couple years back... they don't actually think it's going to PASS, nor do they even really intend it to. It's just an attention-grabber.

You didn't know about NYC's salt thing before today, did you?

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
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Re: pizza tax

Postby avak » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:13 pm

I absolutely agree. It also serves to raise the name recognition and prestige (in some circles anyway) of the lawmaker that proposes such stuff. I've always heard the concept Corth described referred to as part of the negotiator's envelope.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby avak » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:28 pm

I absolutely agree. It also serves to raise the name recognition and prestige (in some circles anyway) of the lawmaker that proposes such stuff. I've always heard the concept Corth described referred to as part of the negotiator's envelope.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Disoputlip » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:21 pm

The article is about some experts that have proof that something will help. Tax on some products, to make other products cheaper (fruites and greens).

There could be so many other suggestions: Better playgrounds, public water posts etc. etc. But I guess the article is based on some study.

I think it is a fairly easy approach to just criticise an article. Unless your point is that you think it is ok to have a nation of fat people. Else I would like to hear your suggestions about how to make US slimmer.

One of the things I don't understand about america is the food eaten there. People eat far too much meat in average, and some of the finished meals you can buy are horrible. John Steward often shows that pancake sausage thing. But, it seems like there is a market for it for some reason.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby teflor the ranger » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:43 pm

The American diet is strange because so many other regions of the world like shipping their food to us, ostensibly for the higher prices that they can fetch here. We have unfettered access to fresh, great food from all four corners of the globe, in addition to being a HUGE domestic producer of all sorts of foods.

Combined with the fact that we're super f'cking rich, (graph) it's not really a surprise that the American diet is so rich with everything people would eat if they could afford it.

Of course, there are plenty of Americans that make the choice to stay healthy and stay fit. This is evident by the very large base from which our military recruits, and the popularity of sporting goods - where foreign makers of sporting goods probably sell more in the United States than the rest of the world combined.

In the end it's about accessibility. When people have access to do as they please, you usually end up with a pretty diverse outcome.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Disoputlip » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:02 pm

It is not the rich people that are getting fat.

I am pretty sure that the points in the article works because money matters.

I know ofcourse that most americans are both slim and fit, I know quite a few americans that live in Denmark, and not a single one is above, hmm... lets say chunky. But the group of overweight citicens are growing, and as far as I can tell it is estimated to become a major problem in the US if nothing is done about it.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby teflor the ranger » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:12 pm

Disoputlip wrote:It is not the rich people that are getting fat.

Americans, by and large, compared to the rest of the world, are all rich.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Disoputlip » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:47 pm

You know what I mean.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby kiryan » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:40 am

I firmly believe in the principle that if you say somethign enough times it becomes true. At least for most people.

I don't get it Avak. You can cook without salt. There's already plenty of salt in food. I made a fabulous stew 2 nights ago without any salt. Before I found montreal steak seasoning at costco, I I'd make steaks with butter, freshly ground pepper garlic and onions. hmm butter has salt in it DOH.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Ragorn » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:30 pm

kiryan wrote:I firmly believe in the principle that if you say somethign enough times it becomes true. At least for most people.

I don't get it Avak. You can cook without salt. There's already plenty of salt in food. I made a fabulous stew 2 nights ago without any salt. Before I found montreal steak seasoning at costco, I I'd make steaks with butter, freshly ground pepper garlic and onions. hmm butter has salt in it DOH.

Montreal Steak Seasoning has 560mg of sodium in it. You owe the state of New York $1,000.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby kiryan » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:53 am

I know montreal steak seasoning has salt in it, thats why I said before I found it I cooked without salt... unless you count butter. Just pepper, fresh garlic and onions. Its only been about the last 2 years that I've used anything like a seasoned salt.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby avak » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:31 pm

Salt is a critical component of most dishes because it enhances flavor. I rarely, if ever, use salt for the taste of salt. It is really just an academic point...of course you can eliminate salt if you want...but I would just guess that over 90% of stuff on the main menu of any reputable mainstream restaurant has salt. It is really almost a miracle seasoning in my eyes. You can have the base of a dish tasting bland and pretty awful...add salt and it is amazing.

That said, I don't use very much salt. It is just absurd to think you could ban it. Think of what is currently banned from use in a commercial kitchen...hardly anything. I think it all goes back to the concepts already raised...this is about making a statement and trying to pull the center one direction...not actually getting a complete ban on salt.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby kiryan » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:38 pm

Oh definitely a raising the bar tactic and hoping for a "fair" compromise.

I fully agree its ridiculous to attempt to take salt out of a commercial kitchen... even if you did it, you'd just get pre-prepared salted products to get around the laws. Salt is also necessary for our bodies to function (although the issue here is too much salt in our diets from the preprocessed foods rendering adding salt as insult to injury).

A miracle spice huh? I might have to try cooking with more salt. When I started cooking as a youngster, I always avoided it because I didn't like pepper (it was obligatory, you add salt you add pepper). As I gained an appreciation for pepper I started adding it, but never started using salt. What dish do you think is easiest to distinguish between salted and unsalted?
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Re: pizza tax

Postby avak » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:27 pm

I think it is most noticeable in broth soups. Corth mentioned salt rising breads, but all breads need salt for flavor. If you've ever forgotten the salt in bread or biscuits or rolls you instantly know.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby kiryan » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:16 am

I love how this article starts "America's nutritional nannies are at it again". Basically covering the same points I did with some real numbers.

Another point I wanted to make, but didn't get around to is the market force. Its a tenet of capitalism that the lower the price the more people consume (food or otherwise). This article talks about how the price of healthy food has gone up but the price of "unhealthy" food has gone down. If food cost more, people would consume less. If unhealthy food was taxed to put it on par with healthy food, consumers would have a choice of equals (rather than an icnentive to choose the cheaper, unhealthy food). I think there is some validity to this thought, but it makes for terrible policy. Imagine, making food artificially expensive to prevent people from becoming fat... or essentially taxing away disposable income for the same effect. On the other hand, this should affect europeans too and I believe French are among the skinniest.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/taxes ... /19389681/

A study published earlier this week by the American Medical Association's Archives of Internal Medicine argues that if pizza and soda were more expensive, people would consume them less frequently in favor of healthier fare. Tacking an 18% tax onto pizza and soda would reduce Americans' intake of calories, which would in turn help slash health care costs by an astounding $147 billion a year, according to the study's authors. Pizza was singled out by the researchers because, like soda, its real price (versus inflation, through 2006) fell over time, while costs for seemingly healthier foods such as whole milk rose over the 20-year period reviewed in the study.

Medical expenses for the overweight accounted for 9.1% of total U.S. medical expenditures in 1998 and may have reached as high as $78.5 billion, according to the CDC. Approximately half of these costs were paid by Medicaid and Medicare.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Ragorn » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:04 pm

The way I make beef stew is to really just throw some cubed beef, red potatoes, and carrots in a pot, cover them with water, and simmer. It's pretty decent.

Now, if you add a couple beef boullion cubes, you get a little salt in there. Little rosemary, pinch of basil, and the broth goes from "functional" to "delicious in its own right." I drink stew broth like I drink the milk after cereal.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby kiryan » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:39 pm

In the words of dora the explorer, delicioso!

I made a similar stew sunday before last in the crock pot except with baking potatos and I added boullion for the first time. heavy on the pepper and frozen corn. It was quite tasty.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby teflor the ranger » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:12 pm

Next thing you know, they'll ban fat from restaurants. Have fun eating plastic, new yorkers.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Ragorn » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:28 pm

Hmm, corn... hadn't thought about that. Been looking for more things to add to the stew to get some variety.

The rosemary does wonders for the broth. Don't need much, just a taste.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby kiryan » Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:30 am

Interestingly enough, a article on MSG on huffingtonpost including that its still apparently a common ingredient in food you buy in the super market. This is classic government, ban it in chinese restaurants but keep it on the shelves. Sounds exactly like the proposed salt ban, ban it in restaurants and ignore it in your canned greenbeans.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercol ... 91502.html
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Corth » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:39 pm

Yeah I was surprised to see MSG listed in the ingredients of some product I purchased a few weeks ago. I thought it was banned.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby teflor the ranger » Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:56 pm

kiryan wrote:Interestingly enough, a article on MSG on huffingtonpost including that its still apparently a common ingredient in food you buy in the super market. This is classic government, ban it in chinese restaurants but keep it on the shelves. Sounds exactly like the proposed salt ban, ban it in restaurants and ignore it in your canned greenbeans.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercol ... 91502.html

It's a form of bad restaurant welfare. Places with shitty, tasteless food are now normal!
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Ragorn » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:29 am

MSG isn't banned.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Botef » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:23 pm

Yea can't say I ever recall MSG being banned. In fact, most Chinese restaurants gave me the impression it was a decision they made for their customers preferences as they proudly hang "No MSG Added" signs in the lobby.
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Re: pizza tax

Postby Ragorn » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:41 pm

Per wikipedia, the FDA dictated that MSG added to food must be specifically called out... you can't hide it under a designation like "artificial flavors." That's all... no government restriction, on chinese restaurants or commercial food products.
teflor the ranger
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Re: pizza tax

Postby teflor the ranger » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:32 pm

In my particular jurisdiction, MSG is not specifically banned. In fact, awareness of the uber deliciousness of MSG have caused all the Chinese places to specifically state that they aren't using it, while all non-chinese places are using as much of it as they can.

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