Sugar-Free Substitutes a Law?

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, FL - "Ah, you get any two sides, any bread... "

Fifteen years in business, and the menu here at Olean McCaskill's 'Home Cookin'' Restaurant hasn't changed much. From fried chicken to collard greens and pancakes, if you want the staples, she's got them, but if you're looking for a light topping, well, good luck.

Olean McCaskill, restaurateur, says, "We do have a lot of people that request low-fat syrup, low-fat jellies, and sometimes they will ask me and I'll say, 'no, we don't have that', you know."

Over the weekend, Olean picked up a bottle of reduced sugar jam, but, a newly-filed bill would go even further, requiring restaurants to carry sugar-free substitutes for jelly, jam and marmalade. Some tout 90 percent fewer calories and they're diabetic-friendly.

The health benefits may be tremendous, but critics say a syrup crackdown would be akin to a new government mandate. Another example of Tallahassee laying it on thick.

If the bill passes, the cost of doing business would undeniably go up...
That is, for restaurants. Demetrius Brown, a supporter of the bill, wonders if the jelly industry has its sticky hands in the legislative process.

Brown says, "It's all the money game. Someone's probably paying them to push it so that they can get those options out, probably, that's my only thing, 'cause I mean, as long as you still have options of regular syrups, people are still going to use it."

At least they do here at Olean's, where she says out of a hundred customers a day, at most only three will ask for anything but the real stuff.

"The majority of the people want some sugar!"

Still, it's not the healthiest habit to have, and, at least a few lawmakers want to squeeze a new alternative onto your plate.

The bill would also require restaurants to post prominently on their menu that they offer sugar-free syrup and jelly substitutes.


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  • by TallyLassie Location: Tallahassee on Feb 14, 2011 at 09:51 AM
    Stupid - Stuid - Stupid.........
  • by Lip Cheese on Feb 14, 2011 at 06:29 AM
    Good move!! Now let's require "Soul Tofu"!!!
  • by Dewayne on Feb 13, 2011 at 08:54 AM
    90% of type 2 diabetes can be controlled with diet. Just make it illegal. Works with drugs and drunk driving.
  • by spouse of diabetic Location: Tallahassee on Feb 13, 2011 at 08:15 AM
    I agree with the good intentions behind the bill. It misses the point, though. If it passes then my diabetic spouse would be able to eat the jelly or the syrup but he still couldn't eat the bread or the pancakes it is supposed to go on! If legislators want to help, the biggest help would be to create legislation that requires restaurants to disclose the nutritional information of their menu items and display it where it is easy to get to. Then we can decide where and what to eat for ourselves. Until then, restaurants that do not disclose their nutritional information where we can easily get to it, will not have my family as patrons. If a restaurant has it's nutritional information online then we can look and decide what is ok to eat before we go. If it isn't available online, then we don't go to that restaurant. At the rate that diabetes is spreading, most households will have a diabetic in it soon. Restaurants that don't adapt, will go out of business.
  • by CaptainDisbelief Location: Tally on Feb 13, 2011 at 07:31 AM
    Can you update article with the bill number and/or the legislators sponsoring it? This is a ludicrous idea.
  • by MEOK Location: TALLAHASSEE on Feb 13, 2011 at 06:28 AM
    WE NEED LESS LEGISLATION IS OUR LIVES, NOT MORE. I AM A DIABETIC, AND MOST OF THE ARTIFICAL SWEETENERS ARE NOT GOOD FOR PEOPLE. I PERSONALLY CAN'T USE THEM DUE TO BAD REACTIONS. PEOPLE JUST NEED TO USE THEIR OWN JUDGEMENT AND RESTRAINT. THINK FOR YOURSELVES! DON'T GET THE GOVERNMENT TO EVERYTHING FOR YOU!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 13, 2011 at 04:53 AM
    when will the goverment ever get out of our lives?????? I dont really need them. I can walk on dirt paths to get where I need to go, I can protect myself, I can take care of my own. I really dont need the goverment telling me what I can and can not eat.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 12, 2011 at 02:04 PM
    I have hemorrhoids, so They need to make a law that says any establishment that has public restrooms must use Charmin Extra soft instead of the writing paper tissue so I won't bleed all over their toilets.
  • by Does Splenda have a lobbyist in FL? on Feb 12, 2011 at 11:26 AM
    what ever happened to good ol' self-control? Besides, sugar substitutes are only lower in calories...they react in the pancreas the same way that sugar does (with the exception of pure stevia extract). If the whole idea is to slow diabetes, they're missing the point.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 12, 2011 at 11:09 AM
    Next thing you know they'll be required to offer vegan and gluten free options. Oh and don't forget the ethnic options, we don't want to leave anyone out!
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