Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pie Fight?

It looks to me that the Instapundit has been surfing Samizdata for new posts.  He had at least two today.  One, on the Maryland Pie Fight, I ignored, but when I saw it at Samizdata I read it.

The issue is Trans Fats.

Dale Amon leads off his post with the following:
After working over fourteen hours today, with perhaps three hours of sleep the night before, my boss on the DC consulting job took me out for dinner at a diner, nearly the only restaurant still open in Bethesda at that hour.  After dinner he asked for a Banana Cream Pie, his usual self-treat after this sort of marathon work day.  The night chef told us it is no longer available.  Montgomery County outlawed Trans-Fats and such pies are now contraband.  For a moment I considered asking if there was a back room where one could gorge on smuggled pies, but thought better of it.  Such secret places would be only for locals and those known to the Mafia, not for transient gypsy engineers such as myself.
He then goes on with the post, including a video insert.

And, it being Samizdata, the comments are fairly interesting without immediately degenerating.

Having had a piece of cheese cake for dinner this evening, I am not looking for the trans-fat police coming to a restaurant near me.  On the other hand, as one commenter (Ilamas) points out, if the restaurant had purchased the pie from some vendor they could sell it, in its original wrapping.
Not quite.  The diner is choosing how to comply with the county regulation.  Under the regulation, they can still serve the customer a banana cream pie containing any amount of trans-fat as long as it is served in the maker's original package and is labelled as specified.
On the other hand, I don't like banana cream pie.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

kad barma said...

To me, if the issue is an informed consumer, the restriction on packaging can only be interpreted as anti-competitive. This is why everyone hates Demicans. (Or was that Republicrats?).

I'm all for truth in labeling. If we know something is possibly dangerous, we ought to ensure the robber barons aren't secretly killing us and/or our planet with it. Sure, there's a mile between proven killers like asbestos that need to be actively removed from use, and common food elements like trans fats, but there shouldn't be a hesitation to at least let folks know the extent to which they're scarfing down trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, sodium, nitrates and nitrites, etc.

Change the present law to simply require notification of the diner, and I'd be happy with it. Go so far as to put commercial burdens on one set of market participants (banana cream pie makers) over another (insert your non-trans-fat dessert of choice here), and that's the worst sort of governmental interference that winds us up with things like the MBTA instead of a functional light rail and bus network.