Who to Believe?
The City Hall food police are planning to outlaw the use of trans fatty acids in all 24,600 New York City eating establishments, in many cases turning their businesses upside down.
It’s possible that new studies will show that trans fatty acids actually cure a boatload of diseases, just as recent research has turned the food pyramid on its ear, discounted the benefits of low fat and vegan diets, shot down vitamin supplements and shown that slightly overweight people live longer.
It’s a topsy-turvy, fast changing world we have to deal with.
The Good Old Days
In business, the only thing I miss more than a two-martini lunch is a three-martini lunch.
It was the corporate culture back when I was starting out. I well remember ordering martinis before lunch in the Macmillan executive dining room back in the 1960s.
“Alcohol is a social lubricant,” my first boss, Franklin Watts, would say with a wink as he tapped the rim of his empty glass. Across the room the ramrod straight maitre d’, Mr. Otto, would silently nod assent and signal the bartender to pour another round.
Henry Luce, co-founder of the Time Life empire, reportedly gathered all his salesmen, circulation staff and editors in the company auditorium. “I know you people drink at lunch; I expect that,” he said. “But I don’t want you drinking vodka. I want people to know you’re drunk and not just think you’re stupid!”
Alas, the alcohol police have foisted their Prohibition mentality on American business.
Instead of being able to shift gears and relax over the martinis and steak of those palmy days of my early career, luncheon fare is sparkling water and chef’s salad. Hence the uptight conversation that not only brings office tensions to the table but also adds heartburn to the mix.