Food Police

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Dr of BBQ
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2006/09/27 00:15:37 (permalink)

Food Police

By DAVID B. CARUSO
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- Three years after the city banned smoking in restaurants, health officials are talking about prohibiting something they say is almost as bad: artificial trans fatty acids.

The city health department unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would bar cooks at any of the city's 24,600 food service establishments from using ingredients that contain the artery-clogging substance, commonly listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated oil.

Artificial trans fats are found in some shortenings, margarine and frying oils and turn up in foods from pie crusts to french fries to doughnuts.

Doctors agree that trans fats are unhealthy in nearly any amount, but a spokesman for the restaurant industry said he was stunned the city would seek to ban a legal ingredient found in millions of American kitchens.



"Labeling is one thing, but when they totally ban a product, it goes well beyond what we think is prudent and acceptable," said Chuck Hunt, executive vice president of the city's chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association.

He said the proposal could create havoc: Cooks would be forced to discard old recipes and scrutinize every ingredient in their pantry. A restaurant could face a fine if an inspector finds the wrong type of vegetable shortening on its shelves.

The proposal also would create a huge problem for national chains. Among the fast foods that would need to get an overhaul or face a ban: McDonald's french fries, Kentucky Fried Chicken and several varieties of Dunkin' Donuts.

Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden acknowledged that the ban would be a challenge for restaurants, but he said trans fats can easily be replaced with substitute oils that taste the same or better and are far less unhealthy.

"It is a dangerous and unnecessary ingredient," Frieden said. "No one will miss it when it's gone."

A similar ban on trans fats in restaurant food has been proposed in Chicago and is still under consideration, although it has been ridiculed by some as unnecessary government meddling.

The latest version of the Chicago plan would only apply to companies with annual revenues of more than $20 million, a provision aimed exclusively at fast-food giants.

A few companies have moved to eliminate trans fats on their own.

Wendy's announced in August that it had switched to a new cooking oil that contains no trans fatty acids. Crisco now sells a shortening that contains zero trans fats. Frito-Lay removed trans fats from its Doritos and Cheetos. Kraft's took trans fats out of Oreos.

McDonald's began using a trans fat-free cooking oil in Denmark after that country banned artificial trans fats in processed food, but it has yet to do so in the United States.

Walt Riker, vice president of corporate communications at McDonald's, said in a statement Tuesday that the company would review New York's proposal.

"McDonald's knows this is an important issue, which is why we continue to test in earnest to find ways to further reduce (trans fatty acid) levels," he said.

New York's health department had asked restaurants to impose a voluntary ban last year but found use of trans fats unchanged in recent surveys.

Under the New York proposal, restaurants would need to get artificial trans fats out of cooking oils, margarine and shortening by July 1, 2007, and all other foodstuffs by July 1, 2008. It would not affect grocery stores. It also would not apply to naturally occurring trans fats, which are found in some meats and dairy.

The Board of Health has yet to approve the proposal and will not do so until at least December, Frieden said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration began requiring food labels to list trans fats in January.

Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard University School of Public Health, praised New York health officials for considering a ban, which he said could save lives.

"Artificial trans fats are very toxic, and they almost surely causes tens of thousands of premature deaths each year," he said. "The federal government should have done this long ago."

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#1

34 Replies Related Threads

    myway
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 01:20:54 (permalink)
    Should have seen this one coming. It sure scare us all. I heard on the radio about two years ago that this was coming next after smoking. Political correctness will imprison all of us. I don't smoke, but I respect the rights of others to do so as long as they are using common sense. I do love my food. And I am a bit overweight. BUt it is my decision and choices that got me that way. I gave up cigarettes, but I will not give up my food. God bless America
    #2
    texgrill
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 03:37:19 (permalink)
    Who would enforce this? I guess the sanitarians (health/food inspectors).

    Ronnie
    #3
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 06:48:04 (permalink)
    The Liberatarian in me wins out. Trans fats are deadly and hidden but this is such a slippery slope that I see it leading to the banning of bacon and eggs. Can we get a compromise in that such information is prominently posted so that every customer knows what they are ordering and can make their own choices? It could prevent future lawsuits from someone claiming that a daily dose of fast food french fries unexpectedly gave them a heart attck.
    #4
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 07:26:16 (permalink)
    The mommy state is prevailing. Self-righteous government "experts" telling us what's good for us. Pretty soon, we'll be eating cardboard. "In the year 2525........." Zager and Evans - 1969)
    #5
    Jimeats
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 07:32:19 (permalink)
    This is getting way out of hand. These nit-wits with an agenda trying to shove their beliefs down the throats of the general public. Although I do try to stay away from trans fats I don't need some legislator telling me it must be this way. Chow Jim
    #6
    wallhd
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 07:32:36 (permalink)
    You HAVE GOT to be kidding.

    George Orwell's Big Brother is alive in well in New York City!

    (And I thought he was present only in Vermont and parts of California)

    May common sense yet prevail!!

    Wally
    #7
    ann peeples
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 07:57:48 (permalink)
    At this point all I can do is shake my head in disbelief....
    #8
    pdxyyz
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 08:02:44 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Oneiron339

    The mommy state is prevailing. Self-righteous government "experts" telling us what's good for us. Pretty soon, we'll be eating cardboard. "In the year 2525........." Zager and Evans - 1969)


    Wrong, wrong, wrong!!! That would require cutting down trees and harm the environment. Not to mention the amount of excrement produced due to a high fiber diet. The human race is just a blight on the planet.

    So much for climbing to the top of the food chain.
    #9
    wallhd
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 18:34:05 (permalink)
    I've said for years that Upstate New York State should break away from the a&*(%$s from south of Westchester that so dominate our state and become one of the following: the 51st state, part of New Hampshire, or part of Wyoming. New Hampshire appears to be the best bet as it is largely (but by far not completely) goverend by real people.

    With all due respect, we ain't like them at all. This is as good a time as any to get such a movement underway. Gentlemen start your hay bailers and chainsaws

    Wally
    From (very) far Upstate NY
    #10
    Tony Bad
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 20:42:38 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wallhd

    I've said for years that Upstate New York State should break away from the a&*(%$s from south of Westchester that so dominate our state and become one of the following: the 51st state, part of New Hampshire, or part of Wyoming. New Hampshire appears to be the best bet as it is largely (but by far not completely) goverend by real people.

    With all due respect, we ain't like them at all. This is as good a time as any to get such a movement underway. Gentlemen start your hay bailers and chainsaws

    Wally
    From (very) far Upstate NY


    The government involvement here scares me too...but I also wanted to warn you about getting what you ask for. Based on the last studies I read, which were from 2000, upstate gets $1.50 back from the state for each $1 it contributes via taxes. Downstate gets back less than a buck for each $1. Still think the split sounds good?
    #11
    wallhd
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 21:10:04 (permalink)
    The payback from taxes is probably becasue almost all of the NYS Correction Facilities (to use the current buzzword) are located Upstate. Not counting the Federal Prison at Ray Brook, there are 10 NYS Correctional Facilities in the three Northeasternmost Counties (Clinton, Essex & Franklin)alone:

    Moriah Shock, and Adirondack (Ray Brook) in Essex; Clinton (Dannemora), Lyon Mountain and Altona in Clinton; and Upstate, Franklin and Bare Hill all in Malone; Chateaugay Drug in the town of the same name and Camp Gabriels in that town; all of these being in Franklin County. These places alone make NYS the largest employer in NE New York. And the vast majority of the inmate population is from south of Westchester County.

    Getting way far from the topic here, but my .02 worth just to make a point.



    Wally
    #12
    Tony Bad
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/27 22:00:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wallhd

    The payback from taxes is probably becasue almost all of the NYS Correction Facilities (to use the current buzzword) are located Upstate. Not counting the Federal Prison at Ray Brook, there are 10 NYS Correctional Facilities in the three Northeasternmost Counties (Clinton, Essex & Franklin)alone:

    Moriah Shock, and Adirondack (Ray Brook) in Essex; Clinton (Dannemora), Lyon Mountain and Altona in Clinton; and Upstate, Franklin and Bare Hill all in Malone; Chateaugay Drug in the town of the same name and Camp Gabriels in that town; all of these being in Franklin County. These places alone make NYS the largest employer in NE New York. And the vast majority of the inmate population is from south of Westchester County.

    Getting way far from the topic here, but my .02 worth just to make a point.



    Wally


    A good, and fair point. My cousin lives in Kent, and a lot of people up there work over at Albion. Who knows, those prisons may all be getting busier with all of the "criminals" caught bootlegging donuts and other trans fat treats! I can just see Elliot Ness with his axe, busting open a case of Bavarian Creme donuts...."Rico, Johnny...get the back door!!"
    #13
    wallhd
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/28 08:34:50 (permalink)
    One inmate to another: "What are you in for?"; "Me?, for using the wrong stuff to cook my (former) restaurtant's french fries in" !!! Ugh!


    Welcome to Dannemora (or Sing Sing or Attica or Great Meadow, et. al.)


    Wally
    #14
    Wistah
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/28 08:46:44 (permalink)
    Check out this link for a glimpse into the Orwellian future:


    http://aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf
    #15
    prisonchef
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/28 16:20:08 (permalink)
    when i first saw this i made a post down in the bbq section. it really upset me and at the time i couldn't really figure out why. after a little reflection i came to the following conclusion but i guess the only way to explain that is to put it in a linear form;
    1-wood chunks for smoking being sent to california started to need a "warning label" on them.
    2-true wood burning pits (or stick burners) started being banned due to particulate output.
    3- for years the govt said maragrine was good and butter was bad.
    4-meat packers are on the honor system for the prevention of e-coli.
    5-spinach farmers being warned a year a go about water supplies that were being used.

    the whole thing is like a bad dream from 1984.
    the worst part of the dream is that the vast majority of the people don't even care they just follow like a flock of braying sheep.

    one thing i amazed by though is i grew up in the 50's. i can remember when the polio vaccine came out. man that was great. we could go out and play with our friends again since the previous summer we were all kept inside during the scares. i laid in the hospital for 4 months with rheumatic fever since they didn't have the antibiotics they have now to kill something as simple as strep throat. how in the hell did guys make it to my age??? better than that how did my parents make it to their age and they are still going.

    i guess my biggest fear is we are giving up freedom of choice. even bad choices beat no choices. and it is all being done in the name of protection.
    jack
    ps. and i hope that this is taken in the humorus vein that it is given in but everytime the government tells me they are concerned in my safety i just remember being drafted in 1969. man thanks that was safe!!!!! i so appreciate the concern.
    #16
    John A
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    RE: Food Police 2006/09/29 07:09:17 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Wistah

    Check out this link for a glimpse into the Orwellian future:


    http://aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf


    Automobile dealers in large metropolitan areas can do this. Their systems also show a credit report and your picture. You’re not just a voice on the phone anymore.

    John
    #17
    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/01 06:11:53 (permalink)
    this is a tough issue. on one hand, its plain and simple. gov should not tell us what we can and can not consume. hmm. but why are they interested at all>? well, because we pu tehm there, and they are compiled of us. im not saying i agree with their tactics, but i do agree that trans fats should not be consumed, as they are just as deadly as hhmm, well, lets dare say..... some additives in tobacco.
    well, when are they going to get on board to ban the use of certain chemicals in that?
    i use pure vegetable oil(the cheapest), and it does not contain trans fats.
    i dont see any bottles of it on my shelf, so i wont have to throw any away....heehee
    i say at least they are doing something, right or wrong.
    #18
    Dr of BBQ
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/01 08:40:29 (permalink)
    So I sell a bunch of the following lunches everyday. I just want to know why people order a pulled pork sandwich, nachos (with loads of cheese), baked beans (that are loaded with brown sugar), sweet corn with extra butter, and a diet coke? I don't think people really give a rats rump about trans fats or anything else, I think the media has just pounded all this concern into our heads because the media has to have a tragedy every day no matter how contrived it may be. I for one don't want the extra 3 years added on to my life for fear I may end up in some nursing home with some 16-year-old kid changing my diapers. Live hard die young with a great looking corpse. LMAO
    #19
    ann peeples
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/01 08:49:59 (permalink)
    I agree, Dr.-when I managed a large deli, I had a low fat section of salads.Heart healthy signs,beautiful presentation.That section of my deli went over like a lead balloon.When I simply incorporated those salads with my regular ones,they did better.And I am not talking low fat macaroni salad here-but really good interesting things.People want what they want, especially when eating out.I do not go to a hot dog cart or a deli to order low fat-that I can do at home.The government should tuck its tail between its legs and go home.....
    #20
    MilwFoodlovers
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/01 09:39:48 (permalink)
    Are we talking "low fat" or "trans fat" here? Huge difference. Julia Child said if you make a pie crust, make it with lard or don't make it at all. She also served margarine only to people she couldn't stand. I don't want any trans fats nor do I want any high fructose corn syrup. I want to know if those items are in what I'm considering to purchase. The choice however should be up to me. What pisses me off though is that the bulk of "low fat" items seem to have replaced fat with that %$#@ HFCS!
    Dr of BBQ, I'm afraid its way too late for me to die young and leave a great looking corpse!
    But with all the preservatives added to my food, if they dig me up in a few hundred years they should see what I looked like at the end. http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/8045/8045sci2.html
    #21
    Dr of BBQ
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/01 22:33:22 (permalink)
    Dr of BBQ, I'm afraid its way too late for me to die young and leave a great looking corpse!
    But with all the preservatives added to my food, if they dig me up in a few hundred years they should see what I looked like at the end.

    LMAO....... same here friend .
    Jack@DrofBBQ.com
    #22
    V960
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/12 16:19:59 (permalink)
    I am going to die fairly young (less than 70) but I surely look good.
    #23
    AdrianDube
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/12 18:08:19 (permalink)
    I also think transfats are truly bad, but I sure do find myself siding with with MilwFoodlovers on this one, who put it so well:

    "The Libertarian in me wins out. Trans fats are deadly and hidden but this is such a slippery slope that I see it leading to the banning of bacon and eggs. Can we get a compromise in that such information is prominently posted so that every customer knows what they are ordering and can make their own choices?"

    But here's another thought... I'm thinking that Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden wants exactly this, wanted it in the first place, and knows that if he presses for the complete ban, he can "fall back" to this. It's a good strategy.

    Karl in not-yet-frosty Anchorage
    #24
    John A
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/13 07:05:38 (permalink)
    Didn’t this start with the tobacco lawsuits. Sue the b------s, hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook. As if they were gong to reduce their profit margins! Seems like I recall some voices saying fat would be next, McDonalds, Burger King, etc. Looks like New York’s leading the way, glad I got out of there 35 years ago.

    John
    #25
    Jimeats
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/13 07:32:35 (permalink)
    I don't think New York is leading the way. The first shot fired across the bow was Chi Town, the Windy City, you know my kinda town Chicago. And I though this would have started on the left coast, wrong again Jim. Chow Jim
    #26
    Sonny Funzio
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/13 18:49:35 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by texgrill

    Who would enforce this? I guess the sanitarians (health/food inspectors).

    Ronnie


    When they outlawed booze during prohibition it was the FBI's G-men that were charged with enforcement. Come to think of it, they already have the perfect enforcement division ready to go! ... the Office of Homeland Security.

    #27
    P
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/15 19:53:00 (permalink)
    Well I personally think if the goverment wants to put its nose into this, they should not go around forcing people to do things.... what would be the harm in establishing clear and required signs to be put up in resturants using these things, then people have their choice to eat their or not. In the end the effect will likely be the same, returants will change to avoid having to put up an evil sign claiming they are unhealthy to eat, but it does not tell us what we can and cannot eat
    #28
    Voyageur
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/28 23:14:29 (permalink)
    "Food Troopers," as in circa 65 years ago, not "Food Police," would be a more appropriate title for this post.

    Some people surely like to run our lives.

    Sadly, it's the small restaurant operator who will suffer the most from the imposition of food bans and restaurant food labeling laws.

    If changes in traditional ingredients and menu nuitritional labeling are needed, let the public decide by its patronage of establishments that provide them.



    #29
    Foodbme
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    RE: Food Police 2006/10/29 01:47:05 (permalink)
    I wish someone would have put a warning label on my Ex-Wife!
    #30
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