Put down the Warm, Delicious Roll, Citizen, and Back Away

 

I still marvel that the architects of the European Union never realized that their initials, in English, sound like a reaction to a tin of spoiled herring. I marvel often that the subjects of Brussels don’t rise up, build barricades, rip up the paving stones, and rain them down on the heads of the abstemious non-entities who want to codify what’s acceptable to have for breakfast. 

The season’s festivities in Denmark have been overshadowed by the prospect that it could be the last Danish Christmas before a European Union ban on their beloved kanelsnegler or cinnamon rolls.

The proposed ban followed plans by Denmark’s food safety agency to implement EU regulations aimed at limiting the amount of coumarin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical found in the most commonly used type of cinnamon, cassia.

Of course, you’d have to eat about 46 times your body weight in cinnamon rolls to suffer any consequences, but no matter: there’s a TOXIC CHEMICAL involved, so the dry bony hand of the state has to whisk away the plate. But it’s organic! Sorry, that’s conveniently irrelevant.

There might be a compromise in the offing, if cooler heads prevail. A warning sticker could suffice, complete with a picture of a decomposed Santa Claus, and a sternly-worded message: QUITTING CINNAMON ROLLS NOW REDUCES YOUR CHANCE OF DEATH. But that would still allow for individual choice, which has the potential for the worst-possible outcome: an EU nutrition regulator walking into a bakery and seeing people eating cinnamon rolls in flagrant violation of everything the state has asserted.

Said one dissident:

“We don’t need the nanny state or the EU to tell us what do and certainly not how many Danish pastries we should eat for Christmas.”

It’s almost gets you right here in the sternum-area when you read things like that. As if the needs of the people are a factor. They may not need the EU to tell them what to do, but the EU needs to be able to tell them what to do. Otherwise, what’s the point of having all those people on staff who worked on the cinnamon project for a year and put together that smashing PowerPoint on toxicity vectors? Really, has anyone thought about how they’d feel? All that work, for nothing? One of the staff members did the graphics over the weekend while she was dealing with a sick cat, and it’s not like you can claim family leave for that.

There are 27 comments.

  1. Percival Thatcher

    Lima beans contain cyanide.

    Where was that little factoid when I was six years old?

    • #1
    • December 31, 2013, at 1:24 AM PDT
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  2. Israel P. Inactive
    James Lileks: QUITTING CINNAMON ROLLS NOW REDUCES YOUR CHANCE OF DEATH.

    It won’t be 100%?

    • #2
    • December 31, 2013, at 1:35 AM PDT
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  3. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    James Lileks:

    Of course, you’d have to eat about forty-six times your body weight in cinnamon rolls to suffer any consequences, but no matter: there’s a TOXIC CHEMICAL involved, so the dry bony hand of the state has to whisk away the plate.

    The “toxic chemical” in question, coumarin, has been outlawed as a “food adulterant” in the US since 1954, so in a sense the EU is merely catching up to us.

    Coumarin is most recognizable as the characteristic flavor and odor of the tonka bean, which is delicious. (Old-fashioned pipe tobacco and many colognes, such as Givenchy Pi, smell of tonka beans.) And yes, people have been busted in the US for tonka bean possession.

    So why hasn’t the FDA gone after other coumarin-containing spices like cinnamon, lavender and licorice? Shrug. Perhaps we should be simply glad of our federal government’s incompetence on this one.

    These are stupid, stupid laws.

    (Innocent citrus peels have also been hard-hit, as they contain furocoumarins. By the EU’s logic, peeling an orange is a hazardous activity.)

    • #3
    • December 31, 2013, at 1:59 AM PDT
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  4. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    So the EU’s going to regulate the Danish out of the hands of the Danish?

    I think that’s a great idea. Should have gotten this done before Christmas.

    • #4
    • December 31, 2013, at 4:45 AM PDT
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  5. Scott Abel Member

    Bashing of the European Union is so last decade. Sorry, it’s lazy polemicizing.

    Let’s be serious for a second. This is a story from the most conservative newspaper in the U.K., which has a vested interest in seeing the Brits out of the EU. Taking people’s temperature here, a lot of continentals would like to see them go so they don’t have to put up with the constant whining.

    Just because something is proposed doesn’t mean it is going to happen. Remember the infamous banana sizing story? Never happened. This won’t happen, either. I guarantee.

    There are a lot of reasons to deride, mock, and give a good-old middle finger to the EU. I do so myself on a regular basis. But then again, the U.S. is the country who is banning incandescent light bulbs at midnight tonight, a bill that was co-authored by a Republican. A REPUBLICAN. Glass houses, ladies and gentlemen.

    • #5
    • December 31, 2013, at 5:22 AM PDT
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  6. BrentB67 Inactive

    I wonder if these cinnamon roll rebels in the EU are still lining up for their healthcare provided by the hand of government?

    Anyone who acquiesces their liberty to the state for their healthcare, food, etc. gets exactly what they ask for when the state then must regulate the potential consequences of individual choice.

    • #6
    • December 31, 2013, at 6:08 AM PDT
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  7. BrentB67 Inactive
    EstoniaKat: Bashing of the European Union is so last decade. Sorry, it’s lazy polemicizing.

    Let’s be serious for a second. This is a story from the most conservative newspaper in the U.K., which has a vested interest in seeing the Brits out of the EU. Taking people’s temperature here, a lot of continentals would like to see them go so they don’t have to put up with the constant wining.

    Just because something is proposed doesn’t mean it is going to happen. Remember the infamous banana sizing story? Never happened. This won’t happen, either. I guarantee.

    There are a lot of reasons to deride, mock, and give a good-old middle finger to the EU. I do so myself on a regular basis. But then again, the U.S. is the country who is banning incandescent light bulbs at midnight tonight, a bill that was co-authored by a Republican. A REPUBLICAN. Glass houses, ladies and gentlemen. · 46 minutes ago

    Indeed. In the US the food stamp -> obesity -> soda bans -> Obamacare death spiral is in full effect.

    • #7
    • December 31, 2013, at 6:10 AM PDT
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  8. Giantkiller Member

    When I first read EastoniaKat’s post, my innate redneck began to glow with irritation. Then I paused, went to a few other sites, and came back to re-read his note.

    He’s right, of course. We in the US have no brief to feel superior to idiotic EU proposals, not with the FDA, the EPA, the Federal Courts, and Congress hard at work. 

    So, well said EstoniaKat. 

    Let all sound minds join in moral and rational thought and action – and throw the rats out of office, in a bunch. A juvenile plan perhaps, but who knows? It might be the best option.

    • #8
    • December 31, 2013, at 6:43 AM PDT
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  9. BrentB67 Inactive
    Giantkiller: When I first read EastoniaKat’s post, my innate redneck began to glow with irritation. Then I paused, went to a few other sites, and came back to re-read his note.

    He’s right, of course. We in the US have no brief to feel superior to idiotic EU proposals, not with the FDA, the EPA, the Federal Courts, and Congress hard at work. 

    So, well said EstoniaKat. 

    Let all sound minds join in moral and rational thought and action – and throw the rats out of office, in a bunch. A juvenile plan perhaps, but who knows? It might be the best option. · 6 minutes ago

    You weren’t alone in your initial reaction. No offense to EK on that part.

    The propensity of many to wail and gnash their teeth about the state encroaching on their individual liberty while simultaneously abdicating their individual responsibility to the state knows no borders.

    • #9
    • December 31, 2013, at 6:52 AM PDT
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  10. BrentB67 Inactive
    Kim K.

    They may not need the EU to tell them what to do, but the EU needs to be able to tell them what to do

    I think you hit the nail on the head right there, James. It’s not a matter of people needing the constant niggling regulation. It’s that the bureaucrats, whether at the EU, FDA, EPA, etc., need to have something to do. · in 1 minute

    I am confident that all those doing the complaining are equally ready to let the EU provide their every personal need and safety net.

    • #10
    • December 31, 2013, at 7:09 AM PDT
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  11. Kim K. Member

    They may not need the EU to tell them what to do, but the EU needs to be able to tell them what to do

    I think you hit the nail on the head right there, James. It’s not a matter of people needing the constant niggling regulation. It’s that the bureaucrats, whether at the EU, FDA, EPA, etc., need to have something to do.

    • #11
    • December 31, 2013, at 7:09 AM PDT
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  12. Scott Abel Member
    BrentB67
    Giantkiller: When I first read EastoniaKat’s post, my innate redneck began to glow with irritation. Then I paused, went to a few other sites, and came back to re-read his note.

    He’s right, of course. We in the US have no brief to feel superior to idiotic EU proposals, not with the FDA, the EPA, the Federal Courts, and Congress hard at work. 

    So, well said EstoniaKat. 

    You weren’t alone in your initial reaction. No offense to EK on that part.

    The propensity of many to wail and gnash their teeth about the state encroaching on their individual liberty while simultaneously abdicating their individual responsibility to the state knows no borders. · 4 minutes ago

    I was raised in Kansas. I only came to Europe after the Downfall of ’91. If I wasn’t a pea-coat, scarf wearing, hat-that-looks-like I’m off to get a baguette guy, I’m pretty sure I’d have a flat-bed and a gun.

    Personally, I’m astonished by the lack of outrage over the NSA story by Americans. Just astonished. A stupid bureaucrat making a stupid proposal about cinnamon rolls doesn’t move my meter.

    • #12
    • December 31, 2013, at 7:11 AM PDT
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  13. BrentB67 Inactive
    EstoniaKat
    BrentB67
    Giantkiller: 

    You weren’t alone in your initial reaction. No offense to EK on that part.

    The propensity of many to wail and gnash their teeth about the state encroaching on their individual liberty while simultaneously abdicating their individual responsibility to the state knows no borders. · 4 minutes ago

    I was raised in Kansas. I only came to Europe after the Downfall of ’91. If I wasn’t a pea-coat, scarf wearing, hat-that-looks-like I’m off to get a baguette guy, I’m pretty sure I’d have a flat-bed and a gun.

    Personally, I’m astonished by the lack of outrage over the NSA story by Americans. Just astonished. A stupid bureaucratic making a stupid proposal about cinnamon rolls doesn’t move my meter. · 9 minutes ago

    Edited 0 minutes ago

    I share your astonishment. The ability of our 21st century progressive movement to distract the majority while simultaneously suffocating our liberty is remarkable.

    • #13
    • December 31, 2013, at 7:28 AM PDT
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  14. KC Mulville Inactive

    I’m sorry, I can’t get past “cinnamon rolls.” I’m having my coffee at work, and now I have a craving for them.

    Think of Homer Simpson and a cartoon balloon above my head, drooling ” … ahhhh … cinnamon rolls … ”

    • #14
    • December 31, 2013, at 8:06 AM PDT
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  15. Foxfier Inactive
    KC Mulville: I’m sorry, I can’t get past “cinnamon rolls.” I’m having my coffee at work, and now I have a craving for them.

    Think of Homer Simpson and a cartoon balloon above my head, drooling ” … ahhhh … cinnamon rolls … ” 

    I’ve got a recipe for “cinnabon knockoffs” that is great– now trying to figure out if we have enough nuts to make them defensible. 

    • #15
    • December 31, 2013, at 8:49 AM PDT
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  16. Blue State Blues Member

    If they want my cinnamon rolls, they are going to have to pry them out of my cold, dead, sticky fingers.

    • #16
    • December 31, 2013, at 9:18 AM PDT
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  17. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Foxfier
    KC Mulville: I’m sorry, I can’t get past “cinnamon rolls.” I’m having my coffee at work, and now I have a craving for them.

    Think of Homer Simpson and a cartoon balloon above my head, drooling ” … ahhhh … cinnamon rolls … ” 

    I’ve got a recipe for “cinnabon knockoffs” that is great– now trying to figure out if we have enough nuts to make them defensible. · 54 minutes ago

    I’ve been craving a cinnabon since I heard the news this morning that Mt. Sinabung was erupting in western Indonesia.

    Mmm, I’m picturing lava of gooey goodness.

    • #17
    • December 31, 2013, at 9:54 AM PDT
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  18. Probable Cause Inactive

    The net effect of these regulations is to empower the Russian mafia.

    Pssst. You want to enjoy some gambling? Cocaine? Big Gulp? Cinnamon rolls?

    • #18
    • December 31, 2013, at 9:54 AM PDT
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  19. Dramman Inactive
    James Lileks: Of course, you’d have to eat about 46 times your body weight in cinnamon rolls to suffer any consequences · 13 hours ago

    I take that challenge sir! Mmmm…..cinnamon…mmmm…

    • #19
    • January 1, 2014, at 1:57 AM PDT
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  20. Richard Fulmer Member

    Pine trees give off benzene, a powerful carcinogen. Time to clear cut the national forests.

    • #20
    • January 1, 2014, at 8:57 AM PDT
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  21. Richard Fulmer Member
    Percival: Lima beans contain cyanide.

    So do almonds.

    • #21
    • January 1, 2014, at 9:00 AM PDT
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  22. SParker Member

    At long last I have the answer to D. Parker’s Résumé. Coumarin kin do me in. I’m going to the bakery. I won’t be coming back.

    • #22
    • January 2, 2014, at 2:48 AM PDT
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  23. Blue State Blues Member
    SParker: At long last I have the answer to D. Parker’s Résumé. Coumarin kin do me in. I’m going to the bakery. I won’t be coming back. · 0 minutes ago

    Guns aren’t lawful??

    • #23
    • January 2, 2014, at 5:12 AM PDT
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  24. Kozak Member

    EVERYTHING is a toxic chemical, it just depends on the dose.

    • #24
    • January 2, 2014, at 5:38 AM PDT
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  25. Cato Rand Reagan
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    James Lileks:

    Of course, you’d have to eat about forty-six times your bodyweight in cinnamon rolls to suffer any consequences, but nomatter: there’s a TOXIC CHEMICAL involved, so the dry bony hand of the state has to whisk away the plate.

    The “toxic chemical” in question, coumarin, has been outlawed as a “food adulterant” in the US since 1954, so in a sense the EU is merely catching up to us.

    Coumarin is most recognizable as the characteristic flavor and odor of the tonka bean, which is delicious. (Old-fashioned pipe tobacco and many colognes, such as Givenchy Pi, smell of tonka beans.) And yes, people have been busted in the US for tonka bean possession.

    So why hasn’t the FDA gone after other coumarin-containing spices like cinnamon, lavender and licorice? Shrug. Perhaps we should be simply glad of our federal government’s incompetence on this one.

    These are stupid, stupid laws.

    (Innocent citrus peels have also been hard-hit, as they contain furocoumarins. By the EU’s logic, peeling an orange is a hazardous activity.)

    Shhh. Shhhh. Shhhhh. You obviously know way too much. Don’t give them any more ideas.

    • #25
    • January 3, 2014, at 12:32 PM PDT
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  26. Cato Rand Reagan
    EstoniaKat:

    But then again, the U.S. is the country who is banning incandescent light bulbs at midnight tonight, a bill that was co-authored by a Republican. A REPUBLICAN. Glass houses, ladies and gentlemen.

    This is an infinitely more serious subject. The @#*&$ twisty lightbulbs they’re making us buy burn out immediately in anything with a dimmer switch. It also bugs me that they don’t light very well, but mainly, I’m wondering if anyone’s solved the dimmer switch problem?

    • #26
    • January 3, 2014, at 12:35 PM PDT
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  27. Blue State Blues Member

    There are CFLs that work with dimmer switches (but not terribly well). They start really dim, and gradually brighten. At really low power levels they flicker. I will try LED bulbs when the prices come down a little more.

    • #27
    • January 3, 2014, at 12:47 PM PDT
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