Assemblyman seeking to ban all salt in restaurant cooking
March 10, 2010 at 11:59 am by Steve Barnes, senior writer
A new bill in the state Assembly would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them.
In a deeply misguided gesture that is also an abuse of the legislative process, a New York City Assemblyman is pushing a nanny-state bill that would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of all restaurant food.
If passed, the measure, introduced Friday by Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, would result in fines of up to $1,000 for each individual addition of salt by restaurant staff, whether before, during or after cooking. Customers would have the option of adding salt when the food is served.
Ortiz admits that prior to introducing the bill he did not research salt’s role in food chemistry, effect on flavor or his bill’s ramifications for the restaurant industry. He tells me he was prompted to introduce the bill because his father used salt excessively for many years, developed high blood pressure and had a heart attack.
“I think salt should be banned in restaurants. I ask if a dish has salt in it, and if I does, I get something else that doesn’t have salt,” Ortiz tells me, before going on to say that he has and expects he will continue to eat, other other things, ham, cheese and bread in restaurants, all of which contain salt.