If a ban proposed by Brooklyn assemblyman Felix Ortiz passes, New York chefs will be banned from using salt in food preparation in all restaurants. The
Ortiz told the Albany Times Union that he was inspired by his father who "used salt excessively for many years, developed high blood pressure and had a heart attack." Under Ortiz's salt ban, the public would still be allowed to add salt at the table. I have to admit that if I got a batch of unsalted fries, I would add just as much, if not more, salt than the cooks in the kitchen would have.
Ortiz did issue a clarification later in the week: “My intention for this legislation was to prohibit the use of salt as an additive to meals. If salt is a functional component of the recipe, by all means, it should be included. But, when we have meals prepared by restaurants that pile unnecessary amounts of salt, we have a problem.”
New York is not new to bans. New York City passed a ban on trans fat in 2006. For a column in the Chicago Tribune, Mary Schmich talked to Nicole Pederson, executive chef at C-House in Chicago, who compared the ban to the trans fat ban with one important distinction: "Trans fat is bad in every single way... But salt is not bad in every single way."