Of peanuts, salt and bad airline food

You gotta love those wild and crazy Nanny State guys; they never stop searching for things to regulate, limit and tax, and they never, ever give up.  This past month of June has been a typical one for the federal nannies.

Within just one week earlier this month, the Department of Transportation, headed by federal nanny-in-chief, Secretary Ray LaHood, proposed and then backed away from a ban on serving peanuts on commercial U.S. air carriers.  Seems the feds realized after proposing the ban, that they really didn’t have the authority to ban the roasted legumes.  In fact, the folks at DOT apparently forgot they are expressly prohibited by law from summarily banning peanuts on airlines. 

The small number of persons who fly commercially and who also happen to be allergic to peanuts, first cheered and then booed the federal actions.  However, the much larger groups of Americans who are not allergic to peanuts, breathed at least a temporary sigh of relief that this small but welcome perk (for which the airlines do not yet charge passengers), would remain legal.  Another reason the early demise of the peanut ban was welcomed by the flying public, is that this snack food may be some of the safest food served on airlines; at least according to a report issued also this month by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  According to the FDA, much of the prepared food served on major U.S. air carriers is prepared in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.  While this reported finding could account for the uniformly poor quality of what little prepared food is still served on domestic flights, it does illustrate why it is important to at least insure that packaged, roasted peanuts remain available to ease the hunger of air passengers.

But wait; don’t ease your vigilance yet.  There’s another nanny-ism looming on the horizon.  The federal Salt Police at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are continuing their pressure to convince restaurants and commercial food producers to cut back on the amount of salt used in food preparation.  A study by the CDC released in mid-June moves this ball a bit closer to the goal line of forced salt-reduction, by headlining that only “1 in 18″ Americans limit their daily salt intake to the level recommended by the federal nannies.  This continuing effort by Nanny State adherents, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, could be employed by the feds as a peripheral attack on peanuts, insofar as the peanuts given out on airlines contain — shudder — salt! 

Stay tuned.  These Nanny-State battles are far from over.

67 comments Add your comment

Sanity

June 30th, 2010
6:38 am

Hahahaha this is a funny entry. Good job. By the way guys: you don’t like salty food, stay away from the restaurants and cook your own food.

George

June 30th, 2010
6:50 am

I have no problem with a peanut ban, as peanut allergies Kill people. We don’t let guns on planes, why would we allow a substance that is toxic to a fair number of the population?

Joel Edge

June 30th, 2010
7:08 am

This will never end, as you stated. The nannies are always looking for ways to extend their power. I can’t believe some of this crap. It’s like a small town busy-body attitude.

Morrus

June 30th, 2010
7:13 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

Gale

June 30th, 2010
7:22 am

Agreed, George. I have an acquaintance wit a peanut allergy. While she is able to avoid them on the ground due to a sensitive sniffer, on a plane there would be no way to escape. The oil from peanuts gets into the air and just breathing it could set up a deadly reaction. I don’t know why this is such a big deal. So, you don’t get peanuts on the flight. Shut up and eat your cookie or pretzels.

Johnny

June 30th, 2010
7:29 am

Peanut allergies are a largely made up. It’s a psychosomatic reaction that causes them to mimic an asthma attack. While a very small number of people do have a peanut allergy they have been grossly over represented.

http://www.themedguru.com/20100112/newsfeature/peanut-allergy-more-hype-truth-finds-study-86131774.html

leeh1

June 30th, 2010
7:30 am

We have also gotten away from our Christian roots of helping the other guy out. It is little enough to ask people not to eat peanuts on the plane, if it means saving the life or health of a young child.

Of course, all the other people out there think it is better to kill the vulnerable ones off first, in order to enjoy your advantages of non-alergic eating.

Some people live the Christian way of life. Most others do not. We are getting farther and farther away, and anyone who stands up for the poor, the sick or the vulnerable in society are labeled “nanny”, not “Christian”.

N.Ga. Nut Lover

June 30th, 2010
7:32 am

I don’t care what happens with plane nuts cause I like mine boiled. Ever body knows most nuts on planes are from the middle east. If the feds want real trouble, let them mess with our roadside boiled peanut stands up here. They’ll be more hollerin’ than a little.

NANA

June 30th, 2010
7:33 am

What about people with wheat allergies? Let’s not eat anything on planes. Or drink for that matter. Who cares if you have to sit on the runway for hours. If their allergies are that serious, maybe they should take other modes of transportation. What if I pack my own peanuts. I happen to love them and quite often have a ziplock bag in my purse. Once again, the minority rules. If I were worried about something killing me,I would avoid it or take my own precautions like a mask or something but I wouldn’t want to force everyone else to deal with my problem.

Valerie

June 30th, 2010
7:33 am

Peanuts may be the current most prevelant deadly allergy, but there are plenty of allergens tht are deadly to people. Maybe peanut allergics should be prepared to deal with possible exposure instead of spending so much time trying to
control what the rest of the population eats….. My kids both have allergies and both are expected to learn how to live in society with those allergies. I don’t expect everyone else to adjust their life to accomodate my kids’ problems…. It’s just not right. I’m already plotting ways to get nuts into schools when they are school age. ;) yes, I whole heartedly think it is simply that absurd that we try to control everyone elses life just to make a handful of peoples easier!

david wayne osedach

June 30th, 2010
7:35 am

Bring your own peanuts but you can’t BYOB!

NANA

June 30th, 2010
7:35 am

leeh1, I just read your statement. Give this Chistian a break. It isn’t a Christian/non-Christian issue. It is an issue of a small minority controlling everyone else!

NANA

June 30th, 2010
7:36 am

Thank you, Valerie.

Humphrey

June 30th, 2010
7:39 am

Big deal. Most airlines don’t even serve peanuts anymore. Find something else to whine about.

Bubba

June 30th, 2010
7:42 am

The vast majority of Americans are not salt-sensitive, and there is no reason for them to limit salt in their diets.

TNG

June 30th, 2010
7:45 am

Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in complaining about the “Nanny State” DOT trying protect people from food that’s harmful and backing it up by…quoting a report from the “Nanny State” FDA who are trying to protect people from food that’s harmful. That’s some mighty fine work there Bob. Mighty fine.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

June 30th, 2010
7:48 am

Depending on how long the democrats continue to dictate law, the airlines might no longer be serving peanuts. Drudge has a funny link to the Lady KaGa hearing yesterday: youtube.com/watch?v=DSoWGlyugTo

Stupid Wins Again

June 30th, 2010
7:49 am

We already have a nanny state. My kids are not allowed to bring a peanut butter sandwich to school because some kid might smell it! I sent a cheese sandwich with my daughter and received a call from the school that I had not packed a nutritious lunch! What the hell????

George Carlin

June 30th, 2010
8:05 am

If God meant for man to fly, we would all have wings on our backs. Since someone may get on a plane with some other allergy and die, the government should ban all aircraft and close down all airlines. Perhaps we should have to provide proof of pre-flight physicals so someone who is scared of flying does not have a fatal heart attack on the plane.

Sam

June 30th, 2010
8:06 am

Peanuts cost the airlines money (like all food). If you need to eat on a 90-minute plane flight, just buy a pack of chips in the airport before you get on the plane.

In-flight food service (on short domestic flights) costs money; bring your own food and drink if you need it, it will be cheaper and better than having the airline having to foot the bill and pick something for you.

BADA BING

June 30th, 2010
8:15 am

They will get my peanuts when they pry them from my cold, dead hands. Or they could ask nicely and say please.

RxDawg

June 30th, 2010
8:17 am

Stupid Wins Again
June 30th, 2010
7:49 am

You have got to be kidding… Please tell me your kidding… I’ve lost faith in humanity.

Gator Joe

June 30th, 2010
8:19 am

Bob,
The lack of quality, healthy food (and leg room) on airlines is your free market at work. Perhaps there could be a return to the “good ole’ days” of air travel, great meals, lots of seat room, and uncrowded airports, if we paid the all of employees, pilots included $3.50 per hour.

Stupid Wins Again

June 30th, 2010
8:58 am

RxDawg @8:17am

I wish but I’m not joking in the least. No peanut butter at school. You never know who might be allergic. Never mind I have the pickest eater in the world and all she wants is a simple PB&J for lunch. She could have had the cheese sandwich IF I had put lettuce and tomato on it. Knowing my daughter she would have taken it off and ate the chesse sandwich plain and I still would have gotten the phone call.

Is it a ploy to get her to purchase the school lunch for a $1.95 which serves a bologna and cheese sandwich with lettuce and tomato on the side?????? I too have lost a lot of faith in humanity!

I Now Pronounce You: "Barack & Larry."

June 30th, 2010
9:25 am

Obama is a “god” to those who are too stupid/uneducated/unambitious/self-entitled/gullible to think for themselves. Aside from the obvious & purely aesthetic reasons, that is primarily why he is so loved by them.

Obama is also the King of Incompetence. However, you better believe if that leaking hole in the Gulf was on the anatomy of Larry Sinclair, Barry would immediately find a way to plug all by himself.

The Cynical White Boy

June 30th, 2010
10:04 am

Bob, bet you’d sing a different tune if you had a child with peanut allergies so severe that visits to the ER were burned into her memory, and medication has to be carried everywhere – just in case.

Peanut products are hidden in a lot of things.

This is one case where the government should step in.

How would you feel if someone held a loaded gun to your head as you jet around?

Swede Atlanta

June 30th, 2010
10:11 am

It has already been stated here but peanut oil and dust (that stuff you find in your hand after you have eaten a handfull of peanuts) is DEADLY to people with peanut allergies.

They are literally captives in an airplane with no place to go. I don’t see why this is such an issue. There are many other options the airlines can give to placate their starved and mistreated passengers.

This has nothing to do with a nanny state. This is common sense. There are other reasonable alternatives to serving peanuts or snacks with peanuts in them.

Fang1944

June 30th, 2010
10:15 am

“…to at least insure that packaged, roasted peanuts remain available to ease the hunger of air passengers …”

If make certain something happens, Bob, you ensure it. If you write somebody an insurance policy, you’re insuring him or her.

I have friends with the allergy to nuts and peanuts. They have traveling jobs and have to ride on airplanes, and they have no choice but to eat the over-salted food in restaurants.

Fang1944

June 30th, 2010
10:17 am

Sorry about the typo. It should read, “If you make certain something happens …” Got distracted. Had a senior moment.

neo-Carlinist

June 30th, 2010
10:18 am

CDC? aren’t they the folks who warned us of the ominous Swine Flu (registered TM) menace? at least with salt, there is less of a “moving target”. re: Peanuts, I see the PEA (Peanut Enforcement Agency) declaring “war on peanuts”. then again, the Constitution says nothing of legumes or peanuts, so as always, the right to eat peanuts, or not eat peanuts will eventually go to the highest bidder. and in the irony of all Hollywood ironies, I believe Sonny Corleone was eating peanuts (maybe cashews, or pistacios) when he told his father; “…there’s a lot of money in that white powder…” as they discussed the costs/benefits of getting into the heroin business. but I digress.

BobDog

June 30th, 2010
10:20 am

Gale and Cynical,

Peanut oil getting in the air? Where did you get something like that?

The oil doesn’t get in the air, and the smell alone won’t cause an allergic reaction. It might create anxiety for the allergic person, but won’t cause any harm.

If you research actual incidents where allergic individuals were sickened, you will find that the incidents were accidental ingestion. An allergic individual served a meal that accidentally had nut products, etc. No incidents from airborne particles.

It’s interesting that peanuts were singled out by the DOT and not tree nuts or other allergenic foods such as dairy, wheat, seafood, etc.

If an individual is allergic to anything, they should always keep up their guard and they should never be led to believe that they are in a totally safe environment. That’s when accidents happen.

neo-Carlinist

June 30th, 2010
10:24 am

Fang and swede, et al – and I have a legally blind friend who wants to play for the Braves. matter of fact, I want to play for the Braves, but I have an allergy to talent. this is like banning smoking. most airlines became “smoke free” long before the fed got the idea. ditto smoke-free workplaces and hotels and rental cars. if enough passengers (consumers) tell Delta, or United, or Continental they cannot fly because they are allergic to peanuts, the MARKET and not the gub-ment will produce “peanut free flights” and or the market’s first “no peanut” airline. I hate cliche’s but the term Nanny state is appropriate. the government is empowered to “regulate commerce” not legumes.

Jefferson

June 30th, 2010
10:35 am

Slow day, eh?

Swede Atlanta

June 30th, 2010
11:00 am

Neo-Carlinist………

What a crock of crap, pardon my language if there are ladies on this blog.

Yes, we knew for years that smoking was bad, bad, bad for you. And as a society for years we accepted smoking as perfectly fine. There was a change in society that began to accept limitations on a person’s freedom to smoke anywhere they want. I worked for Northwest when we were the first to ban smoking on domestic flights. Customers told us we would go out of business. That didn’t happen.

While peanuts also present a public health and safety issue, the affect of peanut dust and oil is ACUTE. If you are allergic and you do your level best to not be seated next to someone who is eating peanuts, etc. you can actually die as a result. The affects of second-hand smoke are gradual. That isn’t to say there weren’t people who were affected by allergies to cigarette smoke but as a society haven’t we learened something?

Travel by air in thie country is in fact a necessity. We don’t have many options to get from L.A. to New York except to fly. We lack high-speed rail and driving is not a practical option. So safety in the air is in fact an element of public accomodation.

neo-Carlinist

June 30th, 2010
11:03 am

just realized, this is a minumum wage “trojan horse”. if peanuts are outlawed, no American can “work for peanuts”. slippery slope, here we come. seriously folks, why can’t these people be allergic to Big Macs or Lady Gaga (did you see she fell in the airport? it was front page news for five days on ajc.com). I don’t like a nanny state, but banning something I don’t consume would be fine by me.

Robert

June 30th, 2010
11:05 am

There are no documented cases of anyone dying on a plane from being exposed to peanuts. Fumes from peanuts do not cause reactions, but particles can get in someone’s food on rare occasions.

People have much more severe reactions to shellfish and tree nuts. People are allergic to all kinds of foods…Why call out peanuts?

1. “He knew of just 1 case of an allergic reaction to peanut dust on an airplane. ‘The reality is, they continue to serve peanuts and don’t have any problems. I am extremely allergic myself, and I’ve become very comfortable on airlines, even though I hate the smell and instantly know when peanuts are being served.” –New York Times news item, published May 1998, Dr. Robert Wood (Johns Hopkins Medical Allergist). He is still on the JHU faculty today…

Robert

June 30th, 2010
11:10 am

It looks like this thing has settled down once DOT was reminded that Congress required a peer reviewed study before a ban, and they haven’t gotten that study yet.

Al Gore

June 30th, 2010
11:19 am

I am allergic to flight delays. Can we please ban those along with the peanuts? I missed a massage the other day because of a flight delay.

Scout

June 30th, 2010
11:21 am

This can be condensed very easily:

“THE BIGGER THE GOVERNMENT THE SMALLER THE CITIZEN” Author Unkown

Scout

June 30th, 2010
11:22 am

P.S. to Bob:

We need to get the above posts in the correct time zone !!

Cynthia Mother Tucker

June 30th, 2010
11:31 am

It is little enough to ask people not to eat peanuts on the plane (TO ELIMINATE SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AND DRASTICALLY REDUCE THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX), if it means saving the life or health of a young child (THE COUNTRY).

Noooooooooo!

Can’t tolerate peanuts? – WEAR A FREAKING MASK THEN YOU SELFISH GREEDY BASTUUURDS.

neo-Carlinist

June 30th, 2010
11:36 am

swede, I crapfully disagree. an allergy is an allergy – an act of god, if you’re into that stuff. air travel is a convenience and a luxury. just as a food allergy or other physical condition is an inconvenince and reality to those afflicted. at some point, businesses and the market have to be allowed to function. and I disagree re: smoking. I used to be a bartender. it’s about the choice of the patrons and the business owners.

Little Johhny

June 30th, 2010
11:40 am

I’m allergic to peanuts and I can’t go to the zoo, or the circus, or a baseball game or fly airpwanes, or even venture outdoors because if I wade into a waft of poison peanut air and I’ll drop dead right there. I have to live in a plastic bubble.

Byron Mathison Kerr

June 30th, 2010
11:42 am

“You gotta love those wild and crazy Nanny State guys…”

Sorry, Bob, that’s as far as I got. Try writing without hysterical labels, and I’m more likely to read what you’ve got to express.

Swede Atlanta

June 30th, 2010
11:59 am

Neo-Carlinist

No, in this country air travel is not a luxury. It is a de facto necessity, a matter of public accomodation. If there were viable options I would be less adamant that this is something that must be seriously considered.

Sure, an option to go from Atlanta to Orlando is to drive but not from Atlanta to say Denver or San Francisco.

Thankfully I limit my air travel to once every two years to see family on the west coast. The hassles at the airport have dropped my expenditure on airfare from what used to be several thousand dollars a year to an average of less than $500.00…………Sorry Delta, you lose.

Barack

June 30th, 2010
12:03 pm

I promise to release stimulus funds to any farmer that can’t sell as many peanuts if they are banned from planes by our good government. To pay for this, I will institute a peanut tax. When I run for re-election and the issue of raising taxes comes up…I can safely say that any tax increase I sponsored on the middle class was really just peanuts.

jm

June 30th, 2010
12:24 pm

Here is a question for Mr. Barr and any other lawyers who might be reading this blog. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, would peanut allergies be covered? If so, what accommodations would airlines be expected to make for people with peanut allergies.

Perry Mason

June 30th, 2010
12:41 pm

jm

No and none. Stupid people are not either, so you are still out of luck.

Rockerbabe

June 30th, 2010
12:41 pm

Here we go again!

Mr. Barr, it is not “nanny state” that is the problem. The problem is business who cater to people who refuse to take care of themselves and then end up at the doctor’s office for such things a edema, high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease. Let’s not forget the oodles of diabetics trying to find foods that is not loaded with sugar and corn syrup!

Given that our healthcare system is greatly overburded and excpensive and many have difficulty accessing the system at all, the guidelines are a well nudge in the right direction to helping folks better protect and improve their lives. NO ONE is suggesting that the salt shaker and sugar bowel be done away with at home; but commercially prepared foods could be more nutritious and healthful if the salt and sugar content was reduced. AND, just maybe, some of us will actually begin to eat some of these products if they were lower is salt and sugar. Don’t tell be to petition the manufacturers; I have done that, and with little positive results. So until the food is less salty and sugary, off to the farmer’s market I go.

Arthur Fonzarelli (aka The Fonz)

June 30th, 2010
1:02 pm

Bob has jumped the shark.