First, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg came for the soda pop. Now, his crusade for healthier foods has hit a new a new target — the can of soup.
Via the New York Post:
Mayor Bloomberg’s latest health campaign — cutting salt intake — has targeted soup as one of the big sodium offenders to be taken down with new city ads.
The ads, which will be plastered on subways for the next two months, feature a half-opened can of soup with a geyser of salt spewing from the top and forming a heap around the can.
Trying to put fear into the hearts of salt-aholics, the ads will warn that excessive sodium “can lead to heart attack and stroke” and list average amounts of salt in various foods, such as salad dressing and frozen pizza.
Obviously, Campbell’s Soup isn’t very pleased with the new campaign, and how they perceive they are being presented.
Soup giant Campbell’s are not very impressed with the new campaign and said the posters are ‘not an accurate representation of the company’s soup portfolio’, spokeswoman Juli Mandel Sloves said.
‘Campbell’s is an acknowledged leader in sodium reduction. We have been reducing sodium across our portfolio for decades’, Ms Sloves added.
But some groups assume this is just another one of their “grab a headline” gimmicks:
Of course, no can of soup contains the amount of salt portrayed in Farley’s ads. In fact, as you can see, the 1,300 milligrams of salt in a can of chicken and rice soup is actually less than a teaspoon. (Everyone who remembers the soda debacle knows Farley isn’t on particularly good terms with the truth.) But given Farley’s shrieking over soda by depicting it as liquid fat, we were half-expecting a PSA in which a man grabs his chest and keels over after eating a spoonful of soup.
But if New York City’s approach to trans fats is any indication, this could get a lot worse. The CDC recently awarded NYC a $412,000 grant to “help reduce sodium intake in the population for a three-year funding period.” New York City is also spearheading the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI), a partnership with state health authorities and other national and local health organizations. The group’s goal is “a voluntary reduction of sodium levels with the objective of reducing the amount of salt in packaged and restaurant foods by 25 percent over five years.”
There’s just one problem: Very few food companies have signed on with the NSRI. So how can the reduction stay voluntary? (Hint: It won’t.)
Then there’s the FDA which announced earlier this year that they intended to reduce Americans’ salt intake — without providing any specific details at the time. Notorious food nags at the Center for Science in the Public Interest have been petitioning the FDA for years to revoke salt’s “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) status. This would require the FDA to approve the (much lower) salt content of every food in the nation.
As for me, I’ll just stay out of the fray and continue making most of my food from scratch.