“The Right to Be Stupid”

As the debate continues over New York City’s proposal to ban trans fats, one restaurateur gets downright patriotic in expressing his outrage.

Over the weekend, the New York Times op-ed pages were filled with opinions on the proposed ban: John Tierney (TimesSelect registration required) critiqued the prohibition as an overreaction and a case of hubris on the part of the city’s health commissioner; public health expert and author Marion Nestle argued that the focus on trans fats is a “calorie distraction”; and Dining section writer Kim Severson provided some useful context for how the food industry came to adopt trans fats so readily.

But whether you are for or against the proposal, you have to appreciate the sheer eloquence of Kenny Shopsin, proprietor of the famously quirky Shopsin’s, who expresses his opposition to the ban on grounds that are almost constitutional: “They’re taking away our right to be stupid, which is our primary American right.”

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