Mmmm, Mmmm, Bad…Bloomberg Says Soup’s Too Salty

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.

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Jim V
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Magnus T.
David Hardingham5 years ago

A strange fact is that too much salt increase health problems by 25% but to little salt in your diet increases health risks by 50%
but I love to see salt levels decreased as it they were company’s would have flavor the food with spices which would cost a little more but would be worth it a salt has been over used as a cheap flavor booster.
Plus if you got a compromised taste buds from smoking and other heath causes or need more salt from low blood pressure you can always add more

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

Has anyone of you ever realized the power in advertizing? I once did an unscientific study into TV-ads. I found that over half of the ads directed to children contained messages about fast food (bought or microwaved at home). Not in any ad where there people actually cooking food from scratch, but instead just opening packages and cans and added that to something already cooked. Green beans, gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, you name it, came in prepared packages made to be heated up in a microwave. Already made dinners with a nutritional value of excessive amounts of salt, fat (saturated) and sugar. Very few people today take the time to really cook dinner (or lunch or breakfast). It's much easier just to open something up.
I pride myself by buying food in large quantities, use my day off to prepare it and then freeze it in containers suitable for a dinner or a lunch. I also grow my own (organic) vegetables and after harvesting I make all sort of foods, sauces, juices and pies with them. I just love turnip mash! I agree with any Government that realizes these unhealthy practices can't go on any more. people have had the chance to better themselves but haven't done so. So why should we all stand by when people eat themselves to death and make the same choices for their children?

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

If the Government doesn't do anything, not hing will happen. Get it: People of today don't cook at home in the same way they used to. It's much easier to buy already-made food in the store. Open a can, put something in the micro, etc. We have become lazy and gotten used to the taste of processed foods. How many people, you think, can tell what chicken soup tastes like made from scratch? Jellies and lemonade? Hamburgers? Mashed potatoes? Gravy? As far as the Government meddles into peoples right to decide for themselves: Just look at the state of the country! 80 (EIGHTY) percent are O-B-E-S-E! It's a fact that obesity leads to all sorts of health issues and the cost to treat those will increase every year. How can we let children become fat and then see them grow even fatter as adults? And don't give me that about parental control!

Christine F.

Salt/sodium - yes, way too high in processed foods. And present in foods where it would seem to have no right to be.
Sugar and other forms of sweetening are the same.
And then there's all the chemicals that pose as being part of food.....
No wonder I prefer to make my own, at home.

Priscilla G.
Priscilla G7 years ago

All canned foods have way too much salt added, but more than that have you checked out how much sugar they put in them no wonder we keep putting on weight.

Sumit jamadar
Sumit jamadar7 years ago


Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman7 years ago

thanx for article

jane richmond
jane richmond7 years ago

Thanks Mike for caring enough to try to get people to eat healthy!

Christine S.
Christine S7 years ago

Canned soups have a ridiculous amount of salt added to them- I can't even stand to eat it, so I don't buy it.....