The FDA and Food Freedom
The intoleristas of the plate
A few days ago, we learned that the ever-wise FDA banned trans-fats from existing. They will be phased out from restaurants, processed foods, and wherever else they may be used. This is all for our protection, mind you. Trans-fats cause people to get fat. And fat people are bad because they increase healthcare costs due to our Obamacare system of taxing healthy people to pay for unhealthy people. So it goes.
I think the regulations are ridiculous, and I want to draw attention to the worldview that underlies the whole operation. Doug Wilson gave an astute observation of how food regulations should work in a free society here, but I want to dig a little deeper. I understand that trans fats are probably bad for me. Side effects of over-consumption may include obesity. Ok, I get it. But should we be ok with supporting the onerous regulations that will require businesses to substantially change their operations? This may help people eat healthier, but it certainly won’t make food cheaper or more available for lower income families. And why can’t I choose to eat healthy under the freedom of my own conscience? But that’s just the economic side of things.
The real mindset is an issue of worship. The government is saying “We know what’s best for you, you don’t. We will provide for your needs, so you better get with the program.” People who idolize the State are on board with this, of course. The State knows best, because the State is god. But people who understand that we are a nation run by fallen and sinful men will look on with a more dubious gaze. By what standards does the FDA promulgate these dietary restrictions? Why saturated fats? On what authority do they presume to control our diet? What about people who want to eat trans-fats anyways? Who negotiates what the regulations will regulate? (Hint: lobbyists hired by big corporations). As Wilson once quipped, “’regulations’ to ‘reform everything’ get us crony capitalism.”
A better question is this: what are you not willing to allow the government to control about your lifestyle? Why? What if the FDA says that car emissions pose a serious threat to national health? Would you willingly allow the government to prohibit you from driving a car? What about exercise? Would you gladly submit and support state-mandated exercise regimes three times a week? All of these may be good things, but we should be allowed to do them in the freedom of our own conscience. I can think of some areas of life where the government should exercise some control over our decisions, but that’s based on the Bible’s authority. I’m not sure what the FDA is basing their authority on. The sanctity of life? Please…
A government hungry for people to worship it as almighty will do anything within (or without) its power to keep the people distracted from what’s going on. All in the name of “daddy knows best.” And people blind to the god of this age will take the bait and think that they are being taken care of by a faithful legislator. The true God says not to worry about the suffering that is to come, but to entrust our souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. The god of this age tells us not to pay attention to the oppression, but to entrust our souls to a faithful legislator while eating good.
Of course, the greatest irony in all of this is that we are talking about dietary restrictions, the very thing that the intoleristas point to in the Bible for evidence of its oppressive and archaic nature. As the kids say, I’m ROFL. CAN YOU NOT SEE?
I think this whole thing is (subliminally) intended to remind us that we should serve and worship the state (and man), not God. Because when we truly worship God, reformation happens. That’s a threat to the god of this age. As long as we wallow in blindness, there will be no reformation. But we worship a God who has the power to remove blindness wholesale. And I am thankful for that. May he start with me.