New York on Tuesday became the first city in the nation to ban artery-clogging trans fats at restaurants, leading the charge to limit consumption of an ingredient linked to heart disease and used in everything from french fries to pizza dough to pancake mix.... and finds several person-in-the-street interviewees who support the new ban:
"I don't care about what might be politically correct and what's not," said Murray Bader, nursing a cup of coffee at Dunkin' Donuts on Tuesday morning. "I want to live longer!"Trans fats are found in baked goods, deep-fried foods, hard margarines, and to a lesser extent meats. They tend to raise the "bad" kind of blood cholesterol. They have few defenders.
Even so, I must admit to fearing that this ban might overreach. Many products in the marketplace are bad for us. Only those products with the highest risks and no redeeming features should be banned. For those products that merely increase risks and have some merits, well-informed consumers can weigh the risk for themselves.
Trans fats may be a borderline case. In your own reflection, ask yourself why trans fats should be banned in restaurants but not barbecue pork ribs? Why ban trans fats in restaurants but not butter-drenched baked treats? Or, following Kate at Accidental Hedonist, why ban trans fats in restaurants but not trans fats in properly labeled manufactured foods such as potato chips?