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Mixed-up in all the foie gras hoo-ha: another limply received City Council proposal about Chicagoans and their food. Alderman Ed Burke introduced a measure last week similar to the NY Board of Health's plan for menu labeling: his proposal would require chains with at least $10 million in national sales to post calories, sodium, and saturated fat content for each menu item. Mayor Daley (sorry, Ben--there are times when I like the guy) biffed the idea away with his usual straight-up cranky nasal indignation. "We all have responsibilities in life and, to me, let's take our own responsibility," he said. As for calorie counts, he added, "you can figure that out yourself maybe." (From the Tribune; registration required.)
Burke says the proposal isn't really for adults, but for children (six very powerful syllables these days: "childhood obesity") who eat too much grizzy fast food offered by high-profit franchises. “The kids are going to McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC. They’re going to the chains. That’s where the kids are consuming all of this food. There’s not too many kids going to Gibson’s, Rosebud and the other places.” (There is something hilarious about that sentence, and I can't quite figure out why. Maybe it's the implication that if they only knew better, nine year-olds would be lining up for thick-cut pork chops and martinis at high-end steak houses.)
Meanwhile, Paula Deen was in Chicago for a book signing last week. Her response when the interviewer asked the woman famous for starting every recipe with "take-a-stick-a-butter" what she tells people who says her food isn't diet-friendly? "I am your cook, not your doctor. You are going to have to take responsibility for that."