The Kitchen Think: Fed Up with Food Bans


Guess what’s NOT on the menu?

In Boston, it’s sugary drinks. In parts of Los Angeles? Fast food. In Illinois, as in California, it might be trans fats. City and state governments have come to the conclusion that the feds aren’t moving fast enough to keep us all healthy—so they’ve decided to act and outlaw what’s bad for you. (Actually, they’re outlawing what they THINK is bad for you…)

All of this banning and prohibiting reminds me of a time long ago (before Mama was even born) when the government tried to improve everyone’s health and end society’s ills by making it illegal to drink the demon liquor. Boys and girls, that was way back in the ‘20s during a time called Prohibition.

That worked out well, now didn’t it? No…it didn’t. The government’s efforts failed miserably.

Not just because it started a whole mess of illegal activity, but because Americans continued drinking and in greater quantities. (Amazing, isn’t it, how nothing’s changed?) Banning the sale of liquor didn’t stop its consumption, nor did it improve anyone’s health. People wanted what they wanted and were willing to do what was necessary to get it.

I’m concerned we’re heading down the same path with these food prohibitions. While I agree that we must reduce the amount of fast food restaurants, and the amount of trans fats and high fructose corn syrup we eat, outright bans treat the symptom, not the problem. Until we teach our children, and educate ourselves, about making healthy choices, practicing portion control and reducing  calories, nothing’s gonna change—ban or no ban.

Do I think someone will start selling Dr. Pepper on the black market… or people will get machined-gunned in a garage on St. Valentine’s Day because of rival gangs can’t agree on who’ll control the deep fried onion ring racket? Don’t be ridiculous. But enforcing these bans is going to be incredibly expensive and it won’t reduce the demand.

(And really, aren’t there just a few more serious issues for the government to worry about?)

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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: