Hold the salt
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 | 02:13 PM ET
By Amber Hildebrandt, CBCNews.ca
First it was a ban on trans fats. Then it was calorie counts on menus. Now, the ever-feisty New York City is taking on the latest nutritional evil: salt.
It's just a proposal and it's still in the draft stages, but already the city's plans to seek a 25 per cent reduction in salt in packaged and restaurant food within five years has set everyone a-chatter.
This is, after all, the same city that brought us the shocking video of a man tossing back a glass full of thick, yellow, gooey fat in an effort to raise awareness about the pounds you can pack on from pop.
Yet again, all eyes are on New York. But they're not the first to tackle the salt problem. In fact, their plan is modeled on a similar effort in Britain, where it was also voluntary and tackled 85 categories of processed foods, such as ready-made meals, breakfast cereals and bacon.
Canada, meanwhile, is still mulling salt restrictions. We've been aware for quite some time that Canadians' sodium intake is too high: a Statistics Canada report in 2007 found most people in all age groups were overdoing it.
The federal health minister responded, setting up a working group on sodium reduction. But its action plan isn't expected until the end of 2010. And when it does finally come, it will likely only include voluntary restrictions -- in the same vein as Britain.
What do you think? What should the Canadian government do about salt consumption?
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About the blog
From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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