Some cities in California have already taken it upon themselves to ban trans fats including –yes- America’s first Trans Fat Free City, our own Tiburon, California. Sure the annual income of Tiburon residents is equal to a small country’s GNP, at least they’re doing good with all their money and bay-view homes.
The hearings for various bills start this week, including bills that would ban trans fats in restaurants, as well as schools.
The ban raises the question- are trans fats really really bad, or are they just the latest buzz word for the public health freaks? Well, trendy they might be. But they also seem to live up to the infamy: clogging our arteries, giving us all kinds of bad cholesterol and causing us to die senseless and premature deaths. (More or less.)
Various studies have found that if Americans replaced all the trans fats they consume with good fats (poly and monounsaturated), then we could prevent anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 premature heart-related deaths per year.
The initial idea behind trans fats was to increase the shelf life of food products and add a nice smooth texture too. A good idea in the bomb shelter 1950s. (But we know better now, little pariah fat!)
The bans haven’t been around long enough to see any real results. Most restaurants are pretty slow to respond. Some public health officials are saying that bans are not the way to go -- public health departments should instead focus on awareness, consciousness, outreach... But shockingly, all that failed in New York City.
So while our Assembly battles it out in Sacramento, stock up on your curly fries and donuts now, before the age of McWheat-Germ fries takes hold….
(Check out http://bantransfats.com/index.html for more than you ever wanted to know about trans fats.)
By Jessie, contributing