"So dictator Bloomberg now wants all baby formula locked up in NYC hospitals to impose, not promote but to impose,breast feeding only! I am afraid the crazies have this country too far to fix! What happened to a womans choice?"
I see this in my Facebook news feed. "Womans choice" is not language this friend normally uses. And as much as we have heralded breastfeeding at BalanceofFood.com, we certainly don't require it.
Turns out that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken his quirky look at life and is trying to make sure formula is only used when needed.
Even as Bloomberg has his heart in the right place, his style can annoy people, such as me. So I have sympathy for my Facebook friend. "Nanny State" really does describe Bloomberg's thought process.
The problem for me is that I like the overall message, and those who have trouble breastfeeding can still get access to formula.
Health care costs go down with breastfeeding. Costs for the mother go down with breastfeeding. Kids turn out better.
Bloomberg's proposal comes as almost half of all babies born in the United States (47.2%) are still breastfeeding at 6 months, and the initiation rate for mothers had its highest jump in a decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act as of August 1, insurers have to cover comprehensive lactation support, new mothers counseling, and the rental of breast pumps.
Do I wish Bloomberg could tone down his approach? Absolutely. Is he being a dictator with forced breastfeeding? Uh, no.
"Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork" is one of the few books written by a politician that I have read cover to cover. Mike Huckabee's struggle with losing weight is a really nice look at the battle over eating better.
Watching Huckabee lead the charge last week in favor of Chick-Fil-A and against gay marriage produced a few chuckles in the press since he has become an advocate for eating better, yet was promoting fried chicken sandwiches.
I can sympathize with the reaction to his pro-fried-chicken stance. Suddenly deciding to eat Chick-Fil-A because they give money to groups that fight against gay marriage is pretty mean, and definitely not very Christian. Those who have access to the chain and eat the food and support what they support — well, I don't agree with them, but they are consistent.
If Huckabee does occasionally eat there — as part of his Balance of Food — and ate there on August 1, then he is somewhat consistent. If he hasn't eaten there in years, and picked August 1 to suddenly get a sandwich, he deserves more criticism than he has received.
John Goodman takes the opposite point to an extreme as a very pro-gay Col. Sanders in this Funny or Die video. The idea that someone from the South who died in 1980, someone who was friends with Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell, being that pro-gay is more ironic than funny. But the point that Goodman as Sanders makes at the end of the video: we're all a bunch of "big ol' moneymouths." The point of the video: Food isn't about politics; it's about food.
People who are large and those who used to be large (like all people) deserve the right to eat wherever they choose. The one element that I agree with in the Wednesday protest is that people have a right to choose where they spend their money. Thanks to people such as Huckabee, we know where they stand not so much about fried chicken sandwiches, but on gay marriage. Maybe we'll find out at some point where Huckabee and the other conservatives stand on fried chicken.
Think the San Francisco ban on toys with regular Happy Meals was harsh? Kids meals are banned in all of Chile with no nutritional exceptions. Toys and food is a no-go in the South American country.
The ban kicked in June 7, and also applies to other food manufacturers, including cereal companies, that use toys, crayons, or stickers to entice children to buy the product.
Fast food chains are being sued in Chile for not following the law; McDonald's, Burger King, and KFC were singled out; KFC is a surprise by U.S. standards in that the chain doesn't usually give away toys in the States.
Sen. Giudo Girardi, who wrote the law, noted that he wanted to get this law passed because nearly 25% of Chile's 6-year-olds are obese.
See conspiracy theorists: this is the kind of behavior you accuse Bloomberg and others of doing, and Chile is actually doing it.
The funny part is that a number of these people who rail against the nanny state would love to have a similar law to the Chilean legislation. Imagine how much easier it would be to grocery shop if your kids weren't screaming or whining for a food product based purely on the toy inside.
The point to all three of these food-related political stories is that consistency is really difficult in life. You support gay marriage, but you want to eat Chick-Fil-A food. You support breastfeeding but wish people would make that choice rather than pressure to do so. You think toys shouldn't be tied in with food, yet an actual nationwide ban is pretty creepy.
Most of the struggles to find a Balance of Food involve whether a food tastes good versus being good for you. Sometimes, the taste or nutrition isn't the main issue. Food being wrapped up in politics is still very sad, but as long as this is a part of our lives, finding that true Balance of Food becomes that much more difficult.