Salt Crimes

Just as the winds of socialism blew-in from our southern border in the early 20th century [1], the War on Salt (WOS) is about to do the same.  You may not know that in 2010 the New York government went full-bore on the WOS by introducing a bill that promises to fine chefs hundreds of dollars each time salt is used in their cooking [2].  In spite of the fact that the scientific link between high salt intake and adverse health effects has been discredited by other studies, the technocrats persist in their attempt to make your life better by making your food less tasty [3].  They’re the smart ones, of course, because they possess advanced degrees and teach at universities, whereas you are just a dumb boob who needs their wise instruction to live a safe and happy life.  After all, salt is apparently too dangerous to leave in the hands of the unwashed masses, or even learned chefs.

The latest salvo in the WOS is a study conducted by the Canadian Stroke Network that has discovered that Canadian fast food has a higher salt content than the food found in a few other western nations [4].  One of the authors of the study, Dr. Norm Campbell, claimed in a press release that:  “In the absence of the federal government setting and enforcing national sodium content targets, the food industry will continue to put their profit before our health.”  Furthermore, in a separate email he justified pushing for salt legislation as follows: “We elect government in a large part to provide a safe healthy ‘environment’ for us, our children and our future generations.”

The anti-salt propaganda appears to be as follows:  The fast food restaurants are evil.  They put their profits above your health.  They commit salt crime by subjecting you and your children to high blood pressure.  You must rely on the scientific elite to put things right.  Trust and follow their instructions and they will show you the way to health and happiness.  And, please, disregard other studies that disprove the claimed link between salt consumption and your health.

What’s wrong with this message?  Let’s see:

1. The link between higher salt usage and higher profits as claimed by the Canadian Stroke Network is obviously erroneous.  Profits are what are left over when expenses are subtracted from income.  Basic economics tells us that the usage of more salt would result in increased costs and, therefore, decreased profits (not increased profits).

2. The link between salt and adverse health effects has been disproved by other studies, as already stated.  The basis of the entire scientific “health” argument, therefore, is dubious at best, and is possibly entirely fallacious.

3.  The fact that Canadian fast food has the highest salt content simply demonstrates that Canadians like their food to be tasty and not bland.

4.  No person is forced to eat fast food.  Every person can prepare his own food at home and use as much salt as he desires, or eat at other restaurants that cook with less salt.  Because each person has a multitude of such options, the argument for regulating the salt content in fast food is shown to be what it is:  an unnecessary and blatant power grab by the technocratic elite (a power grab that is the “camel’s nose under the tent” – the ultimate goal being the control over how much salt you use in your kitchen.)

5.  The press release reiterates the meme that fast food chains put “profit” over “health”.  However, the reality is that fast food chains have succeeded wonderfully because they have consistently offered their products at a price and quality that their customers expect.  They are obviously not in the business of compromising the health of their customers (after all, restaurants who make their customers sick don’t stay in business very long).  Consider the fact that restaurant food has never been more safe thanks largely to the repeatable and hygienic systems of food preparation invented and deployed by restaurant franchisors over many decades.

6. The ‘environment‘ that the technocrats are trying to make “safe” encompasses everything & everyone: every restaurant, every business, every person.  Indeed, there are no limits to the extent of the power and territory claimed by them.  It matters not if you are a private restaurateur serving food according to your own recipe to customers who choose to eat it.  There is no escape from the tenacious tentacles of the scientific elite who wish to control you and your private decisions.

7. The needs of government to control salt consumption runs contrary to the needs of free people.  In fact, the proper role of government in a free society is to ensure that you are able to enjoy as much salt as you want rather than subjecting you to artificial limits.  As an extension to the argument, would it not be a criminal act to make criminals out of restaurant owners and their customers who simply want to enjoy tasty food?

8. The technocrats’ ambitions drip with hypocrisy.  Consider that no technocrat would ever dream of forcibly removing the salt off of your table because you would likely have him arrested if he tried (or, you might punch him in the mouth).  However, the same technocrats do not hesitate for a moment to push for an immoral law that would force you to hand-over your salt shaker to the salt police.  Of course, the technocrats would be more than happy to supervise the whole operation.  (And, it’s not difficult to imagine subsequent government-funded/peer-reviewed studies on salt crime).

At the turn of the 20th century, Sir Wilfred Laurier, Canada’s seventh Prime Minster, wrote that “the role of government is not to force action in any one direction but to remove barriers to man’s own efforts to undertake personal and social improvement” [1].  What would Sir Laurier think of this latest push by the technocratic elite to regulate the amount of salt allowed in our food?  It goes without saying that he would be aghast at the thought of the police chasing-down salt users (salt abusers?).  The notion of “salt crime”, an invisible evil that needs to be managed by the scientific intelligentsia, would be an entirely foreign concept to him.

Ask yourself: Do you like your food to be tasty?  Do you enjoy piling-on the salt?  Well, that’s your prerogative because you are a free individual.  And if you want your restaurateur to pile-on the salt for you, that’s between you and him.  Alternatively, if you wish to follow the recommendations of one scientific study or another, the more power to you.  But you are equally allowed to disregard any study if you choose to do so.  However, the technocrats want to take that choice away from you and give it to themselves.  They want the power to decide for you.  And they will decide everything in your “environment”, without limit, if you let them have their way.  As Dr. Thomas Sowell recently wrote:  “People convinced of their own superior wisdom and virtue have no time to spare for what other people want…” [5] 

It is apparent that the WOS will not make you or your children happier or safer (just like every other state-funded “War On FILL_IN_THE_BLANK“).  It will, however, continue to benefit the scientific intelligentsia and special interests who wish to impose their superior wisdom upon you.  It is my hope that the winds that are blowing the WOS into Canada from across our southern border will die down and face eternal doldrums as individuals wake-up to the utter tyranny that the WOS promises to unleash.

Now, please pass the salt…


[1] Chris Leithner, “What on Earth has Happened to Canada?”, (Le Québécois Libre, October 25, 2003)

[2] “New York Restaurants Face Salt Ban in New Health Bill”,–causing-chefs-blood-pressure-soar.html#ixzz1sJeNh1et (UK Daily Mail, March 12, 2010)

[3] Staessen, et al, “Fatal and Nonfatal Outcomes, Incidence of Hypertension, and Blood Pressure Changes in Relation to Urinary Sodium Excretion” (The Journal of the American Medical Association, May 4, 2011)

[4] “Canadian fast food saltier than similar products in Australia, France, UK and New Zealand”,, (Press Release, Canadian Stroke Network, April 16, 2012)

[5] Dr. Thomas Sowell, “Mixing and Matching”, (Lew Rockwell, April 17, 2012)

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