Is food anarchy the answer?

L.A. Times columnist calls for government to retreat from its attacks on our food choices.

I received an interesting email yesterday morning from Julie Gunlock, director of the Women for Food Freedom Project at the Independent Women’s Forum. She was promoting an opinion piece she had written for the Los Angeles Times. Although she asked for nothing, I suppose she was looking for a secondary outlet for her message.

The article was titled, “Keep the State off My Plate.” The writer is yet another activist weighing in on government involvement into what—and how much—Americans eat and drink.

Gunlock makes a few good points, but her overall message is one that I imagine wouldn’t sit well with most Americans if they really think about it. She’s basically advocating a kind of food anarchy.

“Americans must ask themselves: Do we really want government bureaucrats in charge of how much soda we can drink and what amount of salt can go into a can of soup?” Gunlock concludes in her article. “Is this really fitting for a country of free citizens with a limited government?”

I think the answer is, yes and no. I’ve argued previously that attempted government controls are often poorly conceived and ill-fated, such as New York Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on the sale of fountain sodas of more than 16 ounces.

But government does provide some protections for Americans, not only from themselves but from unscrupulous practices on the part of Big Business. Does Gunlock actually want food manufacturers to have the unchecked ability to put whatever they want into the food we eat? Laying aside questions about government excesses or questionable practices, without government agencies such as FDA and USDA who would have the power to protect the health and safety of citizens from unregulated food manufacturers?

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
oversized portions

Here are the trends FSD's Chefs’ Council members wish would go away.

Kale Gluten-free Sriracha Chipotle Microgreens on everything Sous vide cooking Aversion to bread Healthy desserts Vegan diets Lies about local sourcing/organic food Fast food Cupcakes Pumpkin spice Fat-free or low-fat Meatless Mondays Bread cones Rigid child nutrition guidelines Bacon on everything Cajun Doughnuts with over-the-top toppings Oversized portions Fried foods Pinterest
Ideas and Innovation
Frose

Frose, sushi burgers and single-item restaurants are hot topics as of late, according to Forbes, which recently released a list of seven buzzwords in the foodservice world. Here’s what’s trending, in no particular order.

Blended burgers Frozecco and frose Goth food Hemp Single-item restaurants Sushi burger Upcycling
Industry News & Opinion
MeuDirections

One of my favorite cartoons shows a commander whose soldiers are in the midst of fighting a war with bows and arrows. Without turning around, he tells a man who has come up behind him, “I’m sorry, I’m too busy to talk to you.” The man was a rifle salesman.

In today’s time-pressed world, we are all too busy. So, it can be difficult to find time to reach out to others for ideas, solutions and best practices. But as that cartoon illustrates, it’s critical to being successful. The sharing of knowledge is a pillar of FoodService Director . Through our magazine and events, we have been...

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

FSD Resources