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December 27, 2005


You may remember that little campaign to reduce the salt in the nation’s diet?

That extremely stupid campaign as the body has its own salt regulation? Eat too much and you piss it away sort of thing?

But never mind, the health nazis have decided that you will eat less salt. So much so that:

The centuries-old recipe that gives Stilton, the "king of English cheeses", its distinctive flavour is under threat from the Government's anti-salt campaigners.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has proposed cutting the salt in blue cheese to under 1.9 per cent but makers say Stilton typically needs around 2.5 per cent.

Talks with the FSA ended a few weeks ago and the watchdog is drawing up draft guidelines.

Salt is added partly for taste, partly to drive out moisture and also to slow the development of bacteria.

Without salt, the curd "races away" and the resulting cheese is unpalatable and does not last well.

The FSA said it was eager to reach a voluntary agreement with the Stilton makers but warned that mandatory limits were possible.

"We are responsible for finding a way of reducing the nation's salt and we have a target of six grams a day by 2010," a spokesman said.

"We have to find a way to do so while taking into account manufacturers' concerns about traditional recipes. Nobody is suggesting making products unpalatable but at some time we will have to weigh that against the health implications."

This is how we are governed. A few nitwits campaign for some fad about our food. A bureaucracy is set up, targets arranged, guidelines and talks appear. And at the end, as that last sentence points to, a form of food will be banned for no good reason.

Think I’m joking? Tried to buy cheese made from unpastuerised milk recently?

Why don’t they simply stick a sign on it saying "Lots of salt here"?

Because that wouldn’t lead to the employment of lots of Real Salt Officers perhaps?

December 27, 2005 in Your Tax Money at Work | Permalink


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Tracked on Dec 29, 2005 7:13:47 AM


it has been my experience ,that too much salt and your body swells with water to dilute it

if you want to get rid of salt in your body ,sweat it out and/or drink a lot more water...then you piss it out..

Posted by: embutler | Dec 27, 2005 11:06:37 AM

They had better not mess with Stilton or they will be revolution I tells you!

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge | Dec 27, 2005 1:44:20 PM

Unpasteurised? Try Beaufort Extra-Vieux from Valvona & Crolla (valvona-crolla-online.co.uk). No link - just a very satisfied customer of some years standing. It is simply one of the best cheeses I've tasted for some time. I'm sure they'll deliver to Portugal!

Posted by: The Bagged Bear | Dec 27, 2005 5:16:58 PM

If you're worried about the amount of salt in Stilton, only eat a small piece. Bloody nanny-state idiots...

Posted by: Sam | Dec 27, 2005 5:19:44 PM

You're probably right about Stilton but I really wouldn't rely on that "salt-regulating system". A high-salt diet does raise your blood pressure, and over time, that will pretty reliably give you a stroke, which is usually not a particularly nice way to go.

Posted by: dsquared | Dec 27, 2005 6:36:11 PM

It'll be marvellous when they drive all salt from the diet, relize that sodium is required for any number of cellular processes, and then swiftly perish.

Posted by: Timothy | Dec 27, 2005 10:53:51 PM

They could always make it voluntary or they could have the Stilton makers make both regular and low-salt cheeses and let the consumers make a choice.

Sorry, that would be too logical for out betters to accept. Just a thought, though.

Posted by: dick | Dec 28, 2005 1:57:23 AM

From memory the problem is with the sodium content of salt, and that excessive sodium takes the body out of balance. Also that increased potassium counteracts this effect.

In other words the problem isn't too much salt, it's too much salt with insufficient potassium or similar.

Of course, this is just from some vague memories, so take with a pinch of salt...

Posted by: David B. Wildgoose | Dec 28, 2005 10:30:10 AM

In other words the problem isn't too much salt, it's too much salt with insufficient potassium or similar.

Do I remember that there's potassium in a nice glass of red wine?

Posted by: Sam | Dec 28, 2005 8:52:20 PM

"In other words the problem isn't too much salt, it's too much salt with insufficient potassium or similar."

So have a banana with your Stilton......

Posted by: JuliaM | Dec 29, 2005 8:55:14 AM