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Freedom Fridays

Kick the Feds Out of the Kitchen


Freedom Fridays


We have a lot to be thankful for as we spend time with friends and family this week. Our nation is the greatest in the world and the one most blessed with liberty. We should never forget this.

Nor should we take our freedoms for granted. Although I would like everyone to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast largely free from the concerns of Washington, I want to take this opportunity to point out that federal overreach even extends to the holiday table. While basic food regulations may keep us safe and sound, our government clearly goes overboard.

Here is just a small sampling of ridiculous regulations on some of your favorite Thanksgiving foods:

On the nutritional labelling of a “non-discrete bulk product” (i.e., a whole turkey): “…the serving size shall be the amount in household measure that most closely approximates the Reference Amount for the product category and may be the amount of the bulk product represented as the main ingredient plus proportioned minor ingredients used to make the Reference Amount for the combined product determined in §381.412 (c)” (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 9 Part 381.409). How lucid!

On the classification of “good” canned cranberry sauce: “1.) Jellied or strained: The gel is tender to slightly firm and there may be evidence of a reasonable separation of free liquid. 2.) Whole: The skin particles and the semi-jellied portions are reasonably tender and the fruit, seed, and skin particles are dispersed reasonably uniformly throughout the product.” (USDA Grading Guidelines) This really doesn’t sound all that appetizing….

On the definition of a “fairly well shaped” potato: “1.) Fairly well shaped means that the appearance of the individual potato or the general appearance of the potatoes in the container is not materially injured by pointed, dumbbell-shaped or otherwise ill-formed potatoes.” (Code of Federal Regulations Title 7 Part 51.1580) In other words, not necessarily the belle of the ball, but hardly an ugly stepsister.

On label verification of canned green bean size: “….If a term designating diameter is used, it shall be supported by an exact graphic representation of the cross section of the bean pod or by a statement of the maximum diameter in common or decimal fractions of an inch and, operationally, by the millimeter equivalent stated parenthetically. The diameter of a whole, cut, diagonal cut, or short cut is determined by measuring the thickest portion of the pod at the shorter diameter of the bean perpendicular to the longitudinal axis.” (Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 Part 155.120) Let me get out the measuring tape….

Do we really need all this regulatory gobbledygook? How many bureaucrats were needed just to write such extensive regulations and descriptions?

All food for thought. Stay tuned for more festive Freedom Friday posts as the holiday season continues. In the meantime, I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!