Friday, June 1, 2007

Trans Fats: Proof that the Government is smarter than me

As you may have heard, NY State recently banned Trans fats. And when I say banned, I mean they made it illegal for restaurants (private businesses) to use them in food. It is illegal for a cook to use a particular type of fat…..Illegal?!? While they are not good for you, what gives the government the right to decide what’s best for you? What gives the government the right to decide how someone should run their business? I thought that this level of invasion would stay in NY, but it has made it to MA. The city of Brookline just banned the use of trans fats this week.

Look, if you eat trans fats everyday, you’re going to get fat. Maybe even die early if you eat enough of them and you are predisposed to problems that can be associated with eating them. But is it really they government’s job to hold our hand and tell us what we can and can not eat? I would rather think for myself and make appropriate decisions than to have someone who has never met me dictate what is best for me based on their opinion of how I should behave.

I could understand making restaurants list ingredients or if they use this type of fat, but exerting such complete control over business and what we eat is not the government’s job. Sure they should provide information, that’s why we pay taxes for the FDA. And while I think I’m better off with out eating Trans fat, I should not be forced not to eat them because enough people in the government think this is good for me. I just cringe at this whole situation because alcohol, tobacco, and ________(insert something “bad” that you enjoy here) are next.

Happy Friday. I’m off to go eat Oreos, Burger King, and KFC before it’s too late. (and yes I’m going to eat them all at the same time while running with scissors and smoking a cigarette.)


ed-it said...

good post about taking an issue that most intelligent and compreshensive people already know (that trans fat is not exactly good for ya) and having the politicians act like they are guardians of our health. yeah, right.

In my little state, RI, the poor stepchild of MA, at least the politicians are trying to use better sense and instead of enacting a ban, they are proposing to institute an educational program for both restaurants and consumers and also incentify restaurants somehow if they voluntaritly remove trans fats. not a bad idea, better than jamming this thru.

Many restaurants, including the family style and upscale type have mastered recipes thru the years that even changing the type of oil used could alter the taste thus taking away the reason a customer liked least let them experiment and be creative in making a healthier alternative. Many restaurants, food manufacturers, etc. are already doing it on their own and will be the winners in the end.

Maybe we should be glad that the feds are not making restaurants switch to Olestra, the famous "anal leakage" oil still used by frito-lay under their Light brand, formerly called WOW!, which was what you said when you ran to the bathroom, and could not believe you were going again! That's it for me, i gotta go, gotta go right now. Those damn potato chips, can't have just one!

K-logik said...

Great comment, ed-it. I love the use of the term “anal leakage”. I’m going to see if I can’t work that into my daily vocabulary.

Also, I think RI has a much better idea with government incentives to encourage businesses vs. placing restrictions on them to dictate what they ought to do.

Good comments, and I appreciate your posting. You’re always welcome here.

Oh and by the way, did anyone notice ed-it’s use of a commercial jingle in his post? Well done!

Katie said...

First of all I would like to note the FDA no longer requires the anal leakage warning, because olestra was found to be not so bad. Personally, I love the stuff and never been leaky! (knock on wood)

Anyhow, being the one who works with obese youth I figured I should add that sometimes knowledge isn't power. Nutrition labels havn't reduced our sky rocketing healthcare costs (though I am not implying that was their intention). But to add a note from the other side, perhaps this is one small step the goverment can do to prevent health problems (because it is clear that education doesn't change lifestyle). Would it be worth it if it reduced our healthcare premiums by 1 cent?

K-logik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K-logik said...

Hello, Katie, it's good to see you back.

first off, your anal leakage info....nasty yet oddly comforting....

second, are you saying that the govt's banning trans fats could be a good solution or are you saying the educational aspect could be a good solution? To answer your question under both assumptions 1) if education is used, I think it would be worth it. In general having more information is better than if the opposite were true (in my opinion). It can be up to us what to do with that knowledge, and I like having control over my life. 2) if a ban on trans fats is used; absolutely not. It's not worth giving up our freedom and have decisions made for us even if health care premiums go down.

Thanks for the comments.

ed-it said...

Hey there. Was watching the Jay Leno Tonight show yesterday and he had a joke on McDonalds converting from trans fats, so it is both a hot button and good topical humor.

And because of it being in the news, most companies and restaurants will feel pressure to conform..and that will keep the feds at a distance instead of trying to "protect" us. there will always be items that use trans fats, and people that want them can do so, that is the way it should be.

katie, glad you like the chips and since they have now fortified them with vitamins to correct the problem, the anal leagage warning was taken off the label and they claimed that it was so highlighted in the news that the warning was moot..but they waited until the shit hit the fan so to speak.

and I sincerly hope that if you do have to knock on wood, that the door to the restroom is open!

and k-logic, there were two advertising references..the "just can't have just one" was a long time Lay's potato chip slogan!

So, education, awareness, and good common sense will help but just like nutritional labels, it is there to only assist and people can make the decision.

Dora said...

Thanks for writing this.