In an interesting move this week,
Now, there are good fats, bad fats and down right scary fats-- trans fats dominate the later category. About a year ago, food companies started to eliminate trans fats from retail food offerings as more artery-clogging evidence surfaced. Trans fats actually contribute to heart disease by raising bad cholesterol and lowering good cholesterol. But trans fats still find their way into diets of unknowing consumers, largely in the form of baked goods and deep-fried foods.
Many fast-food chains, including Taco Bell, KFC, Wendy's and Culver's, have already said they will shift away from trans fat cooking oils. McDonald's said it would probably follow suit by 2008, when
Now that one ban is on the books, other cities likely will follow.
Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, presented a similar proposal last spring and is now planning to resurrect it. Burke spearheaded
Apparently a committee is considering limiting the trans fat ban to restaurant companies with at least $20 million in sales annually, which would essentially focus the law on QSRs and large casual-dining chains. Burke said he would also look into a calorie-content posting law similar to
I'm not saying this is a bad thing-- trans fats are scary. The question is-- is it local “government’s” role to take these kinds of actions? Naturally, if the Food and Drug Administration bans a product, that’s a different story. It's sort of sad, and the pattern is disturbing, that a ban was approved. Restaurants, bakeries, foodservice companies and suppliers should have been proactive in eliminating trans fats themselves.
The food sector must respond wisely to the right issues, and recognize they are a partner in supplying food.