Nov 11, 2012

Bloomberg Against Cholent

Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg is on a warpath. And he seems to win every battle. The motif seems to be health. Bloomberg first took on the sugary soft drinks, successfully implementing a ban on sales of sugary drinks in sizes over 16 ounces. Then, more recently, Bloomberg took on the metzitza b'peh issue, successfully implementing a new law requiring anybody performing a circumcision to inform parents of potential health risks, and have them sign a waiver to allow the metzitza b'peh.

And now, the latest battle by Michael Bloomberg is fighting against cholent and bagels. Bloomberg stopped donations of bagels and cholent to homeless shelters, saying food donations must be examined for salt, fat and fiber content.

CBS News reports:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s food police have struck again!
Outlawed are food donations to homeless shelters because the city can’t assess their salt, fat and fiber content, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
Glenn Richter arrived at a West Side synagogue on Monday to collect surplus bagels — fresh nutritious bagels — to donate to the poor. However, under a new edict from Bloomberg’s food police he can no longer donate the food to city homeless shelters.
It’s the “no bagels for you” edict.
“I can’t give you something that’s a supplement to the food you already have? Sorry that’s wrong,” Richter said.
Richter has been collecting food from places like the Ohav Zedek synagogue and bringing it to homeless shelters for more than 20 years, but recently his donation, including a “cholent” or carrot stew, was turned away because the Bloomberg administration wants to monitor the salt, fat and fiber eaten by the homeless.
Richter said he was stunned. He said his family has eaten the same food forever and flourished.
“My father lived to 97; my grandfather lived to 97, and they all enjoyed it and somehow we’re being told that this is no good and I think there is a degree of management that becomes micromanagement and when you cross that line simply what you’re doing is wrong,” Richter said.
But Mayor Bloomberg, a salt-aholic himself, was unapologetic.
“For the things that we run because of all sorts of safety reasons, we just have a policy it is my understanding of not taking donations,” Bloomberg said.
Told that his administration recently enacted the policy, the mayor was Grinch-like.
“If they did in the past they shouldn’t have done it and we shouldn’t have accepted it,” Bloomberg said.
Richter said that over the years he’s delivered more than two tons of food to the homeless. He said Mayor Bloomberg is eating away at his ability to do good.
The ban on food donations was made by an inter-agency task force that includes the departments of Health and Homeless Services.

One might call Michael Bloomberg an anti-semite, if he wasn't Jewish, or maybe he is a self-hating Jew. To attack cholent? bagels? How low can a person get!!??

I never heard cholent defined or categorized as a carrot stew. Carrots are generally a minor ingredient in cholent, so "carrot stew" is not quite right.

Seriously though, if this guy, Glenn Richter, credits cholent for his families lifespans to 97 years, I want that recipe! But he does have a point - while I understand that the city has to be worried about sfety and health - if people are donating food, maybe the food is spoiled or unhealthy or maybe someone is donating with malicious intent and the food was poisoned - the city cannot just take donations of food without guidelines and restrictions. it can be dangerous, and it can lead to lawsuits. If someone were to get sick from eating the cholent, or anything else that was donated, the city would be sued for millions.

Yet, Bloomberg does seem to be micromanaging, and over-reaching in his level of control... I get that he has to be worried about safety issues, but does he really need to be worried about salt and fat content? Will/can an obese homeless person, or one with high blood pressure, sue the city for making him unhealthy for having served food with high salt content?

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  1. I think Mark Steyn summarized it beautifully:

    "This is a man who spends his days micro-managing the amount of soda New Yorkers are allowed to have in their beverage containers rather than, say, the amount of ocean New Yorkers are allowed to have in their subway system — just as, in the previous crisis, the municipal titan who can regulate the salt out of your cheeseburger proved utterly incapable of regulating any salt onto Sixth Avenue."

  2. Where's the recipe for that chulent? Looks so good.

  3. sorry, Neshama. I just pulled a pic off google images. I dont know the recipe...

  4. BTW, "this guy, Glenn Richter" is as responsible as anyone for the release of our brothers from the USSR.
    He was moser nefesh, devoting himself full-time to the cause as National Coordinator of Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry.
    Clearly he is still the amazing ba'al chesed...

  5. The road to hell was paved with good intentions...people just never learn. SMALL government less intrusive government is true freedom...i dont want to chas vshalom draw any comparisons, but the first thing Hitler did when coming to power was take away guns from the populace...for the good of the nation.



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