Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Government in the Pantry

\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n

Question: \r\nWhat do you think of New York's proposal to ban salt in restaurants?

\r\n\r\n

 

\r\n\r\n

Mark Bittman: \r\nI think it's moronic.  I\r\nthink that the problem with salt, to the extent that there is a problem with\r\nsalt, and this is not really, really clear, but to the extent there is a\r\nproblem with salt, it's the salt in processed foods.  People who don’t eat a lot of processed foods don’t have\r\nproblems with salt.  People who add\r\ntheir own salt to food have no problems with salt.  Chefs who make their own – chefs in restaurants who cook\r\nfrom scratch and add salt to their taste or to the perceive tastes of their\r\ndiners are not adding criminal amounts of salt.  If you want to limit the amount of salt that McDonalds puts\r\nin its processed foods, that's great. \r\nI'd like to limit the amount of food they can sell period.  It's not really a salt problem, it's an\r\noverall food problem.

\r\n\r\n

 

\r\n\r\n

Question: Why are proposals to tax sugary sodas important?

\r\n\r\n

 

\r\n\r\n

Mark\r\nBittman:  Well, I think it is happening, which is\r\nreally amazing.  The mayor of\r\nPhiladelphia just proposed a very – the proponents of a soda tax or generally\r\nproposing a penny per ounce as an excise tax, which means 12 ounce can of soda\r\nmight cost a $1.12 instead of $1.00 and a 24-pack case of soda might cost --\r\nmight double in price from a sale price of $2.99 or $3.99.  That's really incredible.  The guy in Philadelphia, I think his\r\nname is Nutter, but hey it's his name. \r\nThe guy in Philadelphia is proposing two cents per ounce, which is\r\nreally quite amazing because it means a $1.00 can of soda would cost a $1.25.  A 32 ounce bottle of soda that was a\r\n$1.00 would cost a $1.64 and so on.

\r\n\r\n

 

\r\n\r\n

So I think it is\r\nhappening.  Why is it\r\nimportant?  Soda is the leading\r\nsource of calories for Americans. \r\nAmericans get seven percent of their calories from soda, which is more\r\nthan they get from any other single food. \r\nAnd let's think about this, it's non-nutritive.  That is to say no benefit\r\nwhatsoever.  None.  Like it's not harmless, it's negative.  Secondly, it's a leading cause of\r\nobesity in the United States.  I\r\nmean, if obesity is a problem, you have to look at where the calories are\r\ncoming from.  If soda is the number\r\none source of calories in the United States and it's not a beneficial source of\r\ncalories, it's something people can do without. 

\r\n\r\n

 

\r\n\r\n

So if you're\r\nobese and you're looking for ways to help people figure out what they can do\r\nwithout, soda is a very good start. \r\nSo I think the tax is a very smart thing.  There is some research that shows that taxing junk food,\r\nwhich soda is a junk food, taxing junk food is more likely to help people eat\r\nwell than subsidizing healthy food. \r\nThe irony is that if you subsidize healthy food people will take the\r\nmoney they're saving and buy junk food, which is sad but true.

\r\n\r\n

 

\r\n\r\n

I think the soda\r\ntax makes sense.  I think it's\r\nhappening.  I think it's going to\r\nhappen this year and next year.  I\r\nthink it is going to be a swell of soda taxes and I think once the greedy state\r\nlegislatures realize they can make money on this thing it's going to have even\r\nmore momentum.

\r\n\r\n\r\n

Proposals to tax sugary sodas are good -- but plans to remove salt from restaurants are "moronic."

LIVE TOMORROW | Jordan Klepper: Comedians vs. the apocalypse

Join The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, July 14!

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

LGBTQ+ community sees spike in first-time depression in wake of coronavirus​

Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Coronavirus
  • Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
  • Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
  • The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Keep reading Show less

The mind-blowing science of black holes

What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.

Videos
  • When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
  • A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
  • Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less

Space travel could create language unintelligible to people on Earth

A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.

Credit: NASA Ames Research Center.
Surprising Science
  • A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
  • Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
  • This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast