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Political polarization has now reached the dinner plate. The right-learning Carolina Journal writes that the Obama Administration’s concern about the amount of salt in the nation’s food could ruin country ham, a salt-cured staple of Southern life.
The Washington Post reported last month that the federal Food and Drug Administration is “planning an unprecedented effort to gradually reduce the salt consumed each day by Americans, saying that less sodium in everything from soup to nuts would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart disease.” The FDA would analyze salt levels in sauces and breads and everything else — including country ham.
This has become a cause of conservatives, especially when it comes to ham. Sara Burrows in the Carolina Journal reports that country ham is required by the USDA to have at least a 4 percent salt content. (That’s how it’s cured, after all.) Reducing the amount of salt in country ham would change its taste and make it less healthy, say folks from the National Country Ham Association.
Our ancestors here at the Yonder have cured their own hams, using plenty of salt. And, yes, we know it’s less than healthy. One grandfather told us, “More Kentuckians have died from eating old ham than in all the nation’s wars.” Maybe so.
Conservatives are seeing this as another example of big government running out of control. We don’t know about that but we do know we like our country (or old) ham salty. It has nothing to do with politics.