Legislators in New York City are considering a city-wide ban on spoons.
The bill was announced yesterday by members of City Council, and has been touted as a measure to curb what some have called a “growing obesity epidemic”.
“New York City has a weight problem, and that problem is growing.” Councilwoman Julie Menin, creator of the bill, said in a speech delivered to supporters on Tuesday. “We’re in the middle of a serious public health crisis, and action needs to be taken.”
The proposed legislation, if enacted, would prohibit the possession and sale of spoons in New York City. Forks and knives would not be affected by the ban.
Supporters of the bill say that spoons are typically used to consume unhealthy foods, such as cereal, ice cream, or pudding. By banning spoons, consumption of such foods would decrease and lead New Yorkers to develop better eating habits. Supporters cite a recent study done by nutritional experts at Yale, which found that the consumption of mass quantities of unhealthy foods accounted for over 50% of spoon usage in New York City in 2022.
Mayor Eric Adams has also expressed his support for the bill, calling it “a huge step onto the treadmill.”
“I think it’s a great idea,” Mayor Adams said in a statement to AJnet. “Obesity is a serious and deadly problem not just in this city, but in the whole country. Getting spoons off the street will go a long way in solving that problem. It’s a good thing, it’s a huge step onto the treadmill for America.”
While reception to the proposed legislation has been mostly positive, others have taken issue with the idea of a spoon ban, saying that it’s excessive and draconian. Chef Jeff Cicero, head chef at Ai Fiori, expressed his disapproval of the bill, saying that it unfairly targets Italian cuisine.
“Are these people for real? How are we supposed to make our sauces without spoons? And what about measuring ingredients? I’ve gotta know how much salt is going in my risotto.”
Cicero also questioned why unhealthy foods were singled out.
“Sure, you eat plenty of bad stuff with a spoon, but what about the good stuff? I’m talking about soups, oatmeal, yogurt, things like that. You ever try eating a bowl of soup with a fork? You can’t do it, it’s impossible.”
Councilwoman Menin dismissed Cicero’s concerns.
“Our focus is on spoons used for personal consumption, like tablespoons or teaspoons. Nobody’s coming for your wooden sauce spoons. As far as your soup goes, it’s a liquid, just put it in a cup.”
Menin also offered an alternative to measuring spoons.
“Instead of a tablespoon of salt, use weight. Many recipes do this, you don’t need a spoon to measure ingredients.”
The bill is currently in the early stages of being written, with a planned vote no later than the end of 2024. Menin hopes to have the bill finished and put to vote even sooner.
“People’s health won’t wait, we can’t wait either. We need to get moving on this issue, sooner rather than later.”
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