Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Mmmmmm, Hydrogenated .....

Most of us have no idea if or when we consume foods which are made using the now-nefarious partially hydrogentated vegetable oil. Brittney has an interesting post today about the current trend to ban the use of trans fats in food and says:

The restaurant I used to work at fried their frozen crinkle fries in a vat full of trans fats, and they were awesome. Did I eat them every day? I wanted to, but I didn't. Did I eat them once a week? Hell yes, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

I can't believe I'm saying this, it's such a cliche, but everything in moderation. Cigarettes should not be banned, even though you shouldn't smoke them regularly. Same goes for trans fats. I can't believe I'm saying this either, but at what point does personal responsibility for one's diet come into play?"

Some communities and some corporations and some countries are actively banning artificial trans fat usage. Web sites are devoted to the ban. Apparently, it all started with Crisco.

But given the vast number of processed foods, is a label on the side with content ingredients via percentages and small typefaces going to be read by a consumer?

If personal choice of foods is to be maintained, will you soon by asked by food service workers, "Would you like an extra hydrogen atom with that??"


  1. I have to get in on this one.

    I do think it should be up to the person to monitor what she/he put into her/his body, but I also think we should be given a choice. To wit:

    A former professor of mine was allergic to corn products. This doesn't seem like a big deal until you look into all the foods that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). There wasn't a non-diet soft drink on the market at the time that didn't contain HFCS, and everything from bread to chocolate contains this beast. Food manufacturers find it so much cheaper than sugar, but here he was unable to eat a variety of prepared food products. On top of that, HFCS is a suspect sweetener that many are speculating causes a lot of health problems down the line.

    It's all well and good to leave it up to the individual if there is a choice between a French fry made with vegetable oil or trans-fat. It's another thing entirely if the majority of food stuffs are made on the cheap (i.e., trans-fat instead of vegetable oil; HFCS instead of cane sugar). If food manufacturers and restaurants aren't willing to offer the customer a "healthier" choice, than maybe it is up to the government to do a little bit of arm twisting.

  2. carpenterjd3:33 PM

    But where do we draw the line on govt interference? At what point are we all safe enough to decide for our selves what we can/can't put into our everwidening bodies? I agree that the public should be offered healthier choices, but it has to be affordable and available. If the govt gets involved then the prices will skyrocket & I won't be able to afford anything but the processed food.

    Now, having said all of that, I am going to waddle my lard ass out of work this evening and stop by a fast food restaurant and OD on those gloriously evil ingredients that makes my tastebuds sing and my ass widen.

  3. Oh, agree that big brother stepping in isn't the answer, per se. Personal responsibility has a lot to do with it. Affordable, healthy alternatives are key. This means that the government needs to stop giving hand outs to corporate corn farms and such. HFCS is cheap because the government subsidizes it (for that matter, we also subsidize sugar cane plantations). Subsidize companies who offer healthy foods instead of rewarding the ones that make us all lard butts.

    At the very least I think the public school systems shouldn't be providing kids with loads of junk food. Schools do this because because they've accepted corporate money. Take some of those farm subsidies away and put the money into schools. Whatever.

  4. GOD, save us from ourselves!

  5. I will not be involved in your salvation.
    Put down the Twinkies and get your butts off the couch.

    You need some smiting done?

  6. carpenterjd3:41 PM

    Joe, I am impressed. The almighty reads your words. Although I would have thought he would be over the whole 'smiting' business. He must be the OT God.

  7. uh oh.

    errrr ... no smiting needed at the moment, G., but thanks.

    oh and happy b-day to the Boy from me!

  8. The Editor said everything I felt the need to say on this topic.

    Also, HFCS is the devil.