About twenty years ago, I worked in a research establishment whose human research division decided that the staff canteen must no longer add salt to food. Since the director of the institute was one of those human meddling types, the edict was duly passed.
We all added salt at the table. So they took away the salt shakers.
We all went out to the pub for lunch. Eventually the penny dropped and the institute's management finally accepted that a research division should not be involved in running the canteen. Many returned to having lunch in the canteen. Many did not. The damage was done.
While the canteen was popular, the human meddling department had at least some control over the staff diets. Healthy and vegetarian options were available, plenty of fruit and veg, meat but not fatty meat. No burgers or sausages or processed foods. It was pretty good food overall. Not fantastic but pretty good and it was on the premises, so it was handy. Well, apart from that period when it was rendered inedible by the human meddling department.
After they ratcheted up their control to silly levels, even after they relented, many staff decided they preferred a pie and a pint for lunch after all. Often, one or two didn't make it back after lunch. Meddling made things worse. It always does.
Various commenters have pointed out this story, and Letters from a Tory has already commented, as no doubt have others I haven't spotted yet.
New York's Righteous have banned so many things they are now down to the level of controlling condiments. You just know it won't be long before it starts here too. So far it's reached the level of pretending that the only source of sodium in any kind of food is salt, and putting fewer holes in salt shakers. Oh, and of course those heart attack figures are all down to salt now that the antismokers, antidrinkers and antifatty groups have finished with them.
What's next? Calls for minimum pricing on salt? A duty ratchet? Age restrictions on buying it? Restaurants having to keep the salt shakers in special non-enclosed areas outside? Fines and prison for allowing someone to salt their soup in a public place? Second-hand saltiness? Employment ads stating that the workplace is a salt-free environment and salt users need not apply? Children taught in school to nag their parents about salt in case their parents die of heart attacks?
They've done all that to smokers. And more. They're doing it to drinkers and the overweight right now. They have started on Electrofag.
If there was too much salt in the food served in restaurants, we wouldn't go to those restaurants. I once had a prawn curry that might well have been made with seawater. I never went back and neither did anyone else. If the food is salty enough, I don't add any. If it's not, I do. If I am served salt-free food and don't like it, I won't go there again. It's not complicated. There used to be a children's story about three bears and a little girl called Goldilocks that explained it very well. It's probably long forgotten now because children are taught that porridge is racist, the bears have been killed off by global warming and Goldilocks now has a child and a council flat.
This salt ban will wreck the restaurants in New York and since the antismokers have claimed that pubs can survive the smoking ban by selling food, it will further wreck the pub - and restaurant - business here. It will come, and like all the other insane business-killing measures, it will stay no matter how many more join the dole queue and the bankruptcy list.
Unlike that human meddling department, the current Righteous won't admit their mistake and back down.