Having Conquered Trans Fats and Starbucks, City Sets its Sights on Salt


As the Morton’s cannister says, when it rains, it pours: as the Times reported earlier today, the city has announced its targets for “voluntary reduction” of salt in packaged and restaurant food.

The goal of the city’s campaign, which is part of the National Salt Reduction Initiative, is to cut the salt in packaged and restaurant foods by 25 percent over the next five years. In exchange for voluntary compliance, companies will get good publicity, and presumably some love from noted salt tooth Michael R. Bloomberg.

As Marion Nestle points out on her blog, this is a pretty moderate proposal: not only is it voluntary, but it’s just the tip of a very large ice pick. When it comes to marketing packaged foods to kids, the proposed target is 480 mg of sodium per serving, which is what is contained in only a half-cup of Cambell’s soup. The low-sodium version.

What exactly this means for restaurants is unclear, though one imagines that chefs are greeting the news like they did that of calorie postings, meaning, most likely, not at all.


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