Cinnamon Buns: The New Victims of Nanny States?

I am not a big fan of cinnamon. Less is better, as far as I’m concerned (it’s a matter of taste). After 2 and a half years in the United States though, I know that it is a very much used and loved ingredient here.

Since I love to cook, I read some food blogs and I couldn’t help but notice the high number of recipes for cinnamon buns. They are also quite popular (as is cinnamon) in Nordic countries in Europe. But the European Union is worried about this favorite pastry.

It reads like a joke, but apparently it is not:

The EU’s regulations on a common type of cinnamon called cassia limit how much bakers can use: 50 milligrams per kilogram of dough, if it’s a traditional or seasonal pastry, or 15 milligrams per kilogram if it’s just a regular old everyday pastry. The concern is that cassia contains high levels of coumarin, a natural substance that can cause liver damage, if you eat too much.

This particular kerfuffle comes because the Danish food authority recently classified kanelsnegler, or cinnamon rolls, as an everyday pastry, which gives bakers a lot less cinnamon to work with than if the rolls were considered “seasonal.”

“It’s the end of the cinnamon roll as we know it,” Hardy Christensen, the head of the Danish Baker’s Association, told The Telegraph. The union is extra miffed because in Sweden, cinnamon rolls are classified as traditional, seasonal pastries, so Swedish bakers can be much more liberal in their use of the spice. The union argues that people would need to eat a whole lot of cinnamon rolls to put themselves in danger.

Wait a minute. If cassia cinnamon is so bad for our health, why is it that a “traditional or seasonal pastry” can have more of it than a “regular old everyday pastry?” Surely, if you cannot trust people with Nutella, sodas or salt, you cannot trust them with eating reasonable quantities of seasonal pastries.

Thankfully, Europeans have the European Union. If they think they can regulate the form of your vegetables, they can regulate your intake of cinnamon.

Once again, the government is meddling where it shouldn’t. If Danes enjoy their cinnamon buns with more cinnamon, they should be left free to choose to have them with more cinnamon and to responsibly face possible health consequences of eating too many buns. Hopefully the Danish Government will be as enlightened to quit meddling with cinnamon buns, as it was to abolish the fat tax.

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