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Here Come the Salt Police!

Written by Gary North on March 22, 2013

Medical researchers at Harvard University have released a report which says that Americans eat too much salt. This is a follow-up report on an earlier report by the same team, authored by the same man with the unpronounceable name, which concluded that Americans eat too much sugar.

The author of the report, predictably, called for the federal government to enact legislation to limit the intake of salt in processed foods. In other words, he wants to turn the federal government into the equivalent of Nanny Bloomberg. He doesn’t like sugar. He doesn’t like salt. And, most of all, he doesn’t like liberty.

The Salt Institute, a manufacturer’s Association, recommended that we take the report with a grain of salt. Not really; I wish it had. Unfortunately, the PR guy at the Salt Institute did not make fun of the report. The way to deal with a report like this is to make fun of it.

I have no doubt that Americans eat too much processed food. I eat almost none of it. I eat very little salt. I also need very little sugar. But it is none of my business, nor should it be the business of the federal government, to tell Americans what they ought to eat. The best thing that the federal government could do would be to stop all agricultural subsidies, shut down the Department of Agriculture, and cease to publish any reports on what is good for us to eat. Since we are not going to pay any attention to what a bunch of tenured bureaucrats say we should eat, why should we continue to pay tax money to fund such people to tell us do what we know we are not going to do. They also know we are not going to do it. The only reason why they keep telling us not to do what we are going to do is because they get paid to publish reports.

Just because somebody was silly enough to finance this report is no reason for anybody to take seriously. The public is not going to change its eating habits because of a report from Harvard University. The best thing for the rest of us to do is to ignore the report.

There is an insatiable desire on the part of people getting grant money to publish reports so that they will get attention in the media. When somebody says that 10% of Americans die because they eat too much salt, this gets media attention. The idea that we eat too much salt implies that there is some kind of statistically valid measure of what constitutes Goldilocks salt intake. It assumes that there is a universal standard that applies to all of us. But the only universal standard that the government ever comes up with is a universal standard of keeping overpaid people on its payroll for another year to publish articles that nobody will pay any attention to. That is the universal standard of government: the publication of articles that no one ought to read, and which, fortunately, almost nobody will read.

Deep down in the inner being of experts in nutrition, whether good guys or bad guys, is an inner nanny. “If you continue to eat this way, you are going to die!” Yes, I am.

Hardly anybody pays any attention to these studies. While I am not a consumer of many processed foods, with a few exceptions, my general attitude is that you will live longer and have more healthy life if you ignore nutrition reports coming out of either Harvard University or the United States Department of Agriculture. Less stress is good for you.

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39 thoughts on “Here Come the Salt Police!

  1. Someone's actually funding these "studies"? I can tell you that Americans don't get enough exercise, too; I don't need to run a study on it.

  2. I like salt on my food. It's no body's business if I do or don't. Another waste of the taxpayers money.

  3. ex-everything says:

    I just read a report that said we should not eat the fancy salt and should instead eat iodized salt. Americans are not getting enough iodine in our diet and not eating enough salt. One of these days a study will come out saying the alcohol is good for you liver, and that tobacco is good for you and that it is especially good for you if you smoke it after it has dried.

  4. truthbeknown says:

    Really. when is the government and all the liberal goofs get out of our lives. They cost us more in time and money than people eating too much salt or sugar. And now they add to the pot with the cost of affordable healt care. yea right its everything but affordable. everyone should have some health care that is true. but the government is not the one who should run or ruin it as it may be.

  5. seektruth says:

    Perhaps we do each too much salt. The crap that's put out by big biz that has been stripped of any nutrients other than sodium chloride by bleaching and then poisons (Sodium ferrocyanide as anti-caking agent and flouride which is worthless) are added.
    What the feds ought to crack down on is the processes by which these products are made. As usual, their intentions sound good, but they're going after the wrong targets.

  6. DietGuruDeb says:

    There are also studies indicating that the use of indistrially-processed, refined, unbalanced, bleached, artificially iodized table salt itself causes thyroid problems (e.g., Hashimoto's disease) by increasing the activity of thyroid-destroying antibodies. Scientists keep going flip flop! Flip flop! Flip flop! Helps to keep selling magazines, apparently.

    The recommended remedy is using natural sea salts with trace minerals. Sea salts are so flavorful you may only need to use half the amount you need of commercial table salt, and the trace minerals including natural iodine may help keep blood pressure lower. Also, in processed foods, salt is still a better, more natural preservative than most of the other weird unpronounceable chemicals being used.

  7. Personally, I'm waiting for the okay on well-marbled meats. Well I generally prefer leaner cuts myself because I don't like excessively fatty/greasy food.

    These studies are funded by lefty-loons and the government trying to find one more way to control you. While I use a lot of canned stuff because I can't afford all the fresh produce that would be necessary to get a lot of vegetables and have a brown thumb, but I usually stick with lower-salt stuff when I can (and it doesn't taste like the can), but what I get from that stuff, I use very little salt in my cooking that's added, as I figure what comes from the canned product is about enough. Generally, I'm right, and if needs more, I'll add some Mrs. Dash or Italian seasoning blend (salt-free).

  8. Fourth ID says:

    So let me get this straight. A salt on the table causes more deaths than an assault weapon. Time to register salt shakers and consumer background checks

  9. Carl Benander says:

    In 1953, my first factory job, had a salt tablet dispenser at the water fountain. Now. I'm told that this is bad for me. Fluorideing water was necessary 50/100 years ago because of the water condition at the time. Now, we're told that Fluoride is bad for us. It seems to me that these huge amounts of my tax money are being wasted on useless projects (probably for someone's buddies?) and a Congress that can't see this should be replaced.

  10. exbuckeye says:

    Doesnt make a lot of sense to me!!

    On one hand they want us to eat healthy so we will live longer (presumably to pay nore taxes).
    and on the other hand they refuse care for older people hoping they will die sooner (and not
    be a burden on society.)

    Hasnt anyone else noticed??

  11. I eat what I can afford not what I want or need the cause is the lack of money.

  12. Evil Big Business! Oh MY.. Yes we need more crackdown by the Feds. Get real.

  13. Jolongus says:

    What they should do is limit the amount of sodium the manufactors put in the proccessed food, plus other preservatives. I personally use Kelp as salt with iodine, as iodine is good for the thyroid, which diabetics have problems with.

  14. sigmetron says:

    Mmm, Nuke the Whales, and a little Iodine sea weed on the side, Mmm good, nuked whale meat, make the meat salty!!

  15. c powers says:

    The fact is that food manufacturers use high salt and sugar to disguise flavorless and inferior food. It should not be added and it is nearly impossible to buy food without it. Let people season their own food to their own tastes. It is far healthier to see and control how much salt you are eating.

  16. Centurian says:

    Read The Great Cholesterol Myth. It explains that nearly every study on the matter indicates that the more saturated fat you eat, the longer you will live. High levels of certain types of cholesterol and the consumption of saturated fats, such as those from meat, and the reduction of sucrose intake will result in lower blood pressure, lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. What we have been told by the government and pharmaceutical industries since 1961 is exactly the opposite of the truth. So have that marbled steak and relax in the knowledge that it will contribute to your health and longevity.

  17. Really some Genius at Harvard! Anybody with half a brain knows that Americans eat too much salt, sugar and dont exercise enough. Sounds like good ole boy payback to me.

  18. Peter Propwash says:

    There have been 4 studys in my lifetime about salt intake that I rember. Each one has reversed the findings of the last.
    On a personal note I have been told for 60 years if I do not quit eating so much salt I will die young.
    I DO NOT SMOKE. Mao Tus Toung said he smoked a pack a day from age 9. We are told he died from smoking at age 92.

  19. nichfinder says:

    They said salt, but meant sodium chloride. Real salt (usually sea salt) has a raft of minerals the body can use. Sodium chloride is derived from a kiln dried salt, which has NO mineral value. Confusing the two leads to the usual "he said, she said" garbage.

    They didn't even get the announcement correct…why?

  20. just stay away from the Frankenfood in the center of the grocery store. If you only shop the perimeter, you will get healthier food.

  21. The Duck says:

    So sal tis now the new villian in our diet. We'll die if we eat it? Well I think we'l ldie anyway. I have never met anyone who is immortal. Seems like even my best friends have died and I like Betty White need a oigee board to talk to them now. If I read the report on how bad salt is and stop eating salt will I receive immortality? Well we can dream anyway. But I fear I am going to die no matter what. Very funny. Waht a waste of tax dollars.

  22. We're all going to be dead in 100 years anyway what difference does it make . Enjoy life and eat all of the salt and sugar you want, in the words of baby abortionists… 'its my/your body'. If tenured bureaucrats would mind their business they wouldn't be minding yours and mine.

  23. OperationAjax says:

    The ONLY thing we need to limit is the size of the federal government and their salaries!!

  24. awkingsley says:

    Salt is necessary to our diet. Those who eat too little salt do not have enough energy.

  25. Doesn’t bother Me at all……………
    Since 2008, I refuse to pay any attention to any thing or any one that comes out of
    I would not want my kids to go to school there even if tuition was free.
    It’s time to boycott almost all Ivy league schools (possibly there is one school that
    has not gone insane)!

  26. outspoken says:

    Hey, I thought we were a PRO-x society now, you know pro-choice, pro-life, pro-gun control, pro-guns, Weell, I AM PRO-SALT, PRO-SUGAR, PRO-COFFEE, PRO-LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST, you know – eat, love, pray…..we need all three

  27. It is the added salt that comes in prepackaged food and canned foods that is the KILLER, not your salt shaker unless you do not control it. Kids today have high blood pressure due to salt intake, look at the Lunchables, take a look at a can of Spaghettios. One can has 980mg of salt! That is what people are feeding kids today. Take a look at a can of soup. Trick is, if the can says it is 2 servings then the salt has to be doubled ,so it can go from 980 mg to 1,960 mg of salt per can. Figure the milligrams per teaspoon of salt and you will see why this is a KILLER, as it is. Salt can be an addiction, just like suger, nicotine.

  28. Exactly, it is all the high amounts of salt in a can of soup, prepackaged foods, look at a can of Spaghettios, the Lunchables kids get and lunchmeat and so on! The kids are paying with their health. parents take the easy way out and buy the kids these and more. I take care of my grandfather and he is on a low salt and low fat diet, congestive heart failure, so we are always in a struggle with ther salt and his swelling. My son who is 9, tells his great grandpa No, it has too much salt, and he watches his own salt intake too. he does not ask for Lunchables and never did like Chef Boyardee.

  29. LetzBReal says:

    Twice Jesus said "Salt is good" (Mark 9:50, Luke 14:34). To be sure he was using this as a metaphor to teach us about remaining "salty". I would roughly translate this to, remaining on fire for God. Nonetheless, the imprimatur of the Creator God is unmistakable, salt is a good thing. Can anything that comes out of Harvard be trusted? They gave us Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Nutritional experts are now saying it’s not the amount of salt you consume (although common sense says there's a limit) but the balance between sodium and potassium that's important. Most Americans are deficient in potassium and therein lies the rub.

  30. luckyk351 says:

    I know what will kill me a lot faster than salt. It is the incredible amount of garbage put out as laws or requests for laws by the brainless loons. I think the frustration and tension i get from hearing them is far more likely to kill me than salt, sugar or any other product these loons can think of banning.

  31. Yes, we "are told that fluoride is bad for us," but those telling us this are ignorant folks who have fallen prey to nutjob propaganda that has been around for far too long.

  32. Sodium chloride does have mineral value. It provides sodium chloride (obviously!), which is a mineral! DUH!

    Sodium is essential to life. Your beloved sea salt is predominantly sodium chloride, although it provides traces of other minerals, none of which is lacking in a reasonably well-balanced diet.

  33. Ya-a-a-w-w-w-n-n-n!

    Another round of anti-regulatory whining by self-anointed champions of personal liberty. Look, folks, it is in the interest of the society of which you and I are part for people to take reasonably good care of their health. Unfortunately, in the American populace there are all too many irresponsible flabby lardbags who abuse their bodies by over-eating, over-drinking, and under-exercising. Since so many people refuse to be responsible for their own good health, there is nothing wrong with government regulations that create disincentives to the production of food products with excessive sugars and excessive salt, two of the substances responsible for many of the widespread and costly health problems in this nation, problems that I and other healthy-living people have to pay for by subsidizing the health care costs of the irresponsible slugs who campaign for the freedom to kill themselves with their own bad health habits.

  34. Rabble-rouser says:

    Tea Party members, eat all the salt you like. Your death will give us more.

  35. If you eat anything for 95 years, it'll kill you.

  36. zoomer165 says:

    I just bought 4 cases of salt, better invest in salt it'll be like bullets you can't buy it anywhere.

  37. wootendw says:

    Salt, especially iodized salt, is the leading source of iodine in the diet. And iodine-deficiency is the world's leading cause of preventable mental retardation. If one reduces his salt intake, he had better make it up with iodine supplements or he'll end up as retarded as the author of this Harvard report.

  38. Yep, every frieking day!

  39. And most people do not realize how much sodium is in the water we drink, but we are always being told to drink lots of it.