CATS Strikes Again

News out Sacramento is that the State Legislature has passed a law banning Trans Fats in Restaurants by 2010. I feel blessed to live in a state where someone is watching out that I don’t enjoy my food too much.

Oddly, the morning paper somehow missed picking up this other bit of news out of Sacramento:


(Sacramento, CALIF)—California is posed to become the first state in the union and first political entity in the world to ban sugar in alcohol. Known to cause both tooth decay as well as excessive delight, sugar must be absent from all alcohol produced in California by 2010

The ban includes a limit of no more than one half of one percent sugar in  California-made wines.  Vintners, who opposed the law primarily by pointing out that grapes naturally come with sugar, are scrambling to figure out how to incorporate artificial sweeteners into their dessert wine.

The measure, passed by a 2/3 majority, was supported by a coalition of doctors and other health professionals Calling themselves CATS (Coalition Against Tasty Stuff) and who for months trumpeted the now familiar slogan, "Alcohol Shouldn’t Be Tasty".

California vintners were slow to organize against the anti-sugar measure thinking for months that the movement was a practical joke. However, when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome joined the movement, vintners saw the threat was real.

"When Mayor Newsome lined up those bottles of Late Harvest Wines like bowling pins on Market street and rolled the CATS-labeled bowling ball through them, we knew it wasn’t a joke anymore," said one Napa Valley Vintner. "I cry every time I see that video because those were damned good wines Newsome struck down."

The Coalition Against Tasty Stuff celebrated yesterday with what was at first promised to be a bacchanalian celebration featuring dry, sugarless wine. But in a somewhat odd turn of events, the celebrants found themselves only sipping the dry gewurztraminers and dry rose they had lined up for the post vote celebration.

"I think the nature of this very celebration proves the point of the whole movement," said Darby Doolittle, chairwoman of CATS and creator of the "Alcohol Shouldn’t Be Tasting" slogan. "There is no question that without a little sugar wine doesn’t taste nearly as good and none of us could get down more than a half glass of this stuff."

Stock prices of Nutrasweet and other artificial sweeteners rose on news of the newly enacted ban on sugar.

14 Responses

  1. el jefe - July 17, 2008

    um, aren’t they talking about artificially produced trans fats…? I’m one of those who also prefers incentives to bans, but I think our Double Doubles are still going to taste the same. But in any case, as long as I can still have my butter and lard I am one happy camper.

  2. Jack at F&B - July 17, 2008

    The CAL-OBP (Coalition Against Lame-o Blog Posts) is citing you on this one. You have to pay a $5000 fine and fork over your collection of chardonnays from your favorite producer.

  3. Arthur - July 17, 2008

    This post seems like it was ghost written by Mike Pollard (shirazshiraz.blogspot).

  4. Jo Diaz - July 17, 2008

    I feel blessed to live in a state that will monitor trans fats, because we’re all paying higher health insurance premiums for those who are grossly overweight… pushing up health costs.
    Ban on sugar… both of these stories are related to health and trying to get medical expenses under control.
    I don’t care who prints what, as long as both are happening.
    My health insurance payments are abhorrent to me, since I’ve had less than $500 in medical expanses in the last 17 years, but have paid out so much I could have traveled the world and back again.
    I take a lot of vitamins… Period.

  5. Pattie - July 17, 2008

    I’m sorry, but why does the government feel it is their job to police/play mom & dad what we eat and drink? Is the American public too stupid? Is the media insanity of OMG-OBESE not enough to get people to watch what they eat? We need LAWS prohibiting the creation of these “terrible” foods? Please… I want the government out of my kitchen, and out of my day to day life…I’m an adult now, I can decide what I want to eat. If I want salad I’ll make one. If I want to go to a diner and eat greasy burgers covered in fat, that’s up to me. How about doing some REAL WORK, fix the REAL PROBLEMS of this country.

  6. Arthur - July 17, 2008

    Pattie, see Jo Diaz’s comment.
    Going by the millions of dollars of *our* tax dollars going to pay for the consequences of people consuming these types of foods, the answer to your questions would seem to be “YES”.
    Now, as a society, we can elect not to ban these substances (we are talking about exogenous trans fats and not those already in the meat) but levy them with heavy taxes like tobacco to: 1) discourage their consumption and 2) offset the costs of caring for those develop diseases associated with these substances.

  7. Wineguy - July 17, 2008

    If they outlaw Mogen David they will have the Jewish lobby against them for sure…

  8. Morton Leslie - July 17, 2008

    My parents developed a taste for “oleo” in the 1950’s and have consumed the hydrogenated stuff ever since. My Dad is 91 and Mom is 90 and I’m concerned that if they continue to eat this stuff it will cause premature health issues. Unfortunately, they live in that Conservative enclave, Oregon. A state so dominated by business interests they still allow their citizens to poison themselves. Maybe this will finally convince them to protect my parents from themselves.

  9. Charles Smith - July 17, 2008

    LOL@Wineguy “Premature health issues” at age 90 and 91. lol, well played sir

  10. Thomas Pellechia - July 18, 2008

    On this I am ambivalent–sort of, anyway.
    I dislike government so much that I want it to fade into oblivion faster than a overly concentrated, ripe and alcoholic fruit bomb.
    Still, our culture of hucksterism which has sold us “better living through chemistry” and other abominations that have us–them, not me–eating more salt, more sugar, and more plastic fats (all cheaper to produce yet more expensive to consume) really does wreak havoc on those of us who do not imbibe–in health insurance costs.
    My take, however, is different. I don’t want government regulating and engineering our lives. If the culture swings toward unfettered business in the food channel at the expense of our health, then the culture ought to support a single-payer comprehensive health care system.

  11. razmaspaz - July 18, 2008

    I think Typepad has a bug. That post you had set for delayed publishing on April 1 just kicked off, you might want to look into that.
    This is nuts. Stupid nuts. I thought the French government were idiots, but it turns out the California legislature is tops in the kick ourselves in the groin department.

  12. Thomas Pellechia - July 18, 2008

    My first thought when I read the post was that it is a joke, but then saw that it isn’t and that made me laugh and cry simultaneously.

  13. el jefe - July 19, 2008

    This one burns me even more! Don’t take away my bacon!
    (Apologies! – you have to endure a commercial before the video.)

  14. Doug - July 23, 2008

    Nicely done Tom!

Leave a Reply