Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Zero Trans Fat Lie

I took the kids on what was supposed to be a quick run to the store to pick up a few essentials: bread, milk, lunch meat, pasta, etc. Of course we were there longer than I expected - that always happens. But the really frustrating thing is that the reason it took so long was because of all the reading I had to do.

Up until today I'd been buying bread that was labeled, "Natural and Healthy." We liked it because it didn't have any partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (PHVO). But now that we're cutting out high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) too it's no longer an option.

All but one brand of bread had at least one or the other, and I spent a good 10 minutes reading fine print on labels trying to translate chemistry terms into choosing bread least likely to kill us eventually. My kids were fussy and whining that we weren't getting close to the pudding section, while I wondered if hydogenated and hydrolyzed mean the same thing. By the time I left the store I was hopping mad.

What especially makes me furious is why is it okay to advertise ZERO TRANS FATS (per serving) on something that HAS trans fats in it??

I imagine a conversation took place similar to this:
Government: You have to stop putting rat poison in food. Someone told the public it's poisonous and now they're all up in our grill about it.
Big Business: Impossible. It's in everything we make, and it'll cost us too much to take out. Not to mention the public actually likes the taste.
Gvt: Well the public knows that WE know that you're putting rat poison in the food, but we'd hate to see your profits take a hit.
BB: How about we keep putting it in, but say we aren't?
Gvt: Good thinking. Where are you treating us to dinner tonight?

1 comment:

K said...

Thanks for the information on trans fat. That government/big busines conversation had me on the floor laughing!

We recently wrote an article on the trans fat ban at Brain Blogger. As you may know, in California a trans fat has been banned after it was linked with diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and high levels of cholesterol, but what will be next to be banned? Would it be right to ban the consumption of food that is bad for you?

We would like to read your comments on our article. Thank you.