The skinny on the fat reports that California is moving to ban the use of trans fats in restaurant menu items.

The bill is being challenged by restaurant owners across California who worry the trans fat ban will force them to use more expensive alternative oils that could change the flavor of their food for the worse.

Why is it that I can hear sac-eats’ stomach grumbling now as it ponders a world without artery clogging, heart attack creating, yet oh so creamy industrially created as a side effect of partial hydrogenation of plant oils – a process developed in the early 1900s and first commercialized as Crisco in 1911, trans fatty acids?

“It’s going to be a big fight,” said Terri Mead, manager of Sacramento’s Pancake Circus Restaurant. “We don’t want them telling us what we can and can’t use in the restaurant.”

You tell’em Terri (a nay sayer from the Pancake Circus? Get out…). We don’t want those health freaks telling us what to do. Next thing you know we’ll have the government telling us that we have to maintain a certain level of “cleanliness” and “freshness” in order to “pass” a random “inspection” or face being “shut down”.

As someone who just threw back 3 or 8 zero trans fats per serving Tagalongs, let me just say that I don’t miss the trans fats at all.  And if it is good enough for our Girl Scouts of the USA, it’s good enough for me.

Author: RonTopofIt

RonTopofIt is a complex personality, as are most of the small breed of modern day renaissance millionaires. He wishes more people were like him and yet believes that it takes all kinds. You've met RonTopofIt many times, you just don't remember him.

28 thoughts on “The skinny on the fat”

  1. Pancake Circus is a Sacramento treasure! Anywhere you can see Tony the Tiger advertising his bail bonds on the tablecloth by dislocating someone’s jaw is great in my book.


  2. Kit, perhaps your comment is better suited for the Pancake Circus thread over here.

    The, er, point of this post seems to be about the banning of trans fats in California restaurants.

    As you were.


  3. It almost feels too obvious commenting on this, but somethings got to keep the name of HeyMeg going. Transfats are bad for you like a million other things are bad for you. They do not equal instant death. A disclaimer would probably be overdoing it, but banning them outright at restaurants where people voluntarily order foods that are obviously fatty is totally ridiculous. We can expect an expansion on the legislature’s notion that it ought to be controlling our diets as Arnie works on his magical pretend plan for the state to fund universal healthcare. But it is absolutely absurd to me that with all the other social evils facing our culture we’re jumping on the transfat bandwagon. And it’s not that I don’t care about healthy eating – you can frequently find me up in the gym just working on my fitness. But still. mmmmmm. . . transfat bandwagon. . .


  4. Why even argue? Any day now Glaxxo-KlineSmith-Wellcome will come up with the ultimate fat pill, which eliminates 99% of the fat the we take in. I really advise you to put your money in as much of their stock as possible.

    You will be able to eat 14 big macs a day and not gain a pound. However, you will be sitting on the toilet for two hours per day shitting out red-hot liquid magma and suffer from blinding headaches almost everyday, but it’ll be worth it America. Obesity will be a thing of the past and just like every other problem in this country, we’ll have found a pill to beat it.


  5. Redicalus..just redicalus. I hate being told what to do and I feel sorry for restaurant owners. Geez.

    Okay..I can see why transfats should be limited in grade school cafeteria’s…maybe banned. I don’t like the word Ban (but love secret).

    I’ll take that pill Sac-eats!


  6. Melly53: I hear that pill has dangerous side effects, you should do research on the internet before you take it.


  7. “TransFATS” sounds like the name of a bus system, like for the Fresno Area Transit System (FATS)


  8. Lord, how I wish I knew how to use photoshop right now. The image of a fat woman running to catch a “TransFat” bus is just dying to be published.


  9. The transfat bandwagon could shuttle musicians from one deep fried stand to another at the State Fair or Jazz Festival! I’m writing to RT right now!


  10. They make laws about seat belts, smoking, etc… We live in a society where common sense is legislated. I am secretly thrilled that people will be forced to feed their kids better, just sad that they don’t want to.


  11. When I have kids I am going to feed my kids nothing but Crisco and lard. Man I hope it’s still legal to do that by then.


  12. proeats: the ban only affects restaurants. parents are still free to abandon their common sense.


  13. Well, hopefully they’ll get enough exercise chasing the transfat bandwagon.
    Just to clarify, I don’t want more personal laws. Very pro-choice.


  14. I am also very pro choice. But as an educator and a mother I see the majority of our fellow men not making sound decisions for their families health and well being. If getting rids of trans fats helps to reduce the increasing rates of heart disease, obesity and diabetes then it is worth the try. It is the same as putting filters in cigarettes. People still smoke, but there is an added layer of protection. They can’t outlaw fried foods, but they are adding a layer of “safety” to it.
    I also don’t appreciate any “snarky” reference to AIDS as I have watched not only my own brother die from it, but also countless children. Have some class.


  15. the joke was about the pharmaceutical industry, but i understand where you’re coming from.


  16. Aren’t we all kind of missing the point here? Isn’t the real story about how this doesn’t affect Peet’s Coffee at all, and how they still have the best coffee in the world?


  17. proeats: I don’t know you very well, so I can’t tell if that is sarcastic. So thank you or buzz off, depending.

    (p.s. that was sarcastic. my response to amrit was not, though)


  18. So, with just three of the bills introduced during this legislative session, a parent could hit the trifecta by spanking their transfat-eating kid under the light of an incandescent bulb.


  19. ha, sally leiber pulled the spanking bill because she doesn;t want to look like a nut.

    my new favorite bill is sharon runner’s increase on the jail sentence for necrophilia. because that extra 18 months of jail time is going to discourage the corpse fuckers.

    ps… 100% in favor of the trans fat ban.
    #1 I don’t want to eat them, yet i don’t want to ask every fucking cook in town “are there trans fats in this? are there trans fats in this?” ‘Cause the servers sure as hell aren’t going to know.

    #2 They are really, really, really bad for you. Read the research.

    #3 They are TOTALLY unecessary. They are a recent invention and we ate fine before they came along. Have you tried any foods that used to have the trans fats and now do not? Can you even tell the difference? Their main purpose is to extend shelf life on processed foods. Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

    #4 See the seat belts and cigarette filters arguments.

    #5 If you really want to eat junk food, or eat what you consider to be “yummy” food, the trans fat ban is not going to stop you.

    #6 Really, they are really bad for you. Dieticians say that butter, duck liver and sugar are all OK in moderation but there is NO acceptable dietary level of trans fat and it serves absolutely no legitimate nutrirional value.


  20. While I’m not for the legislation banning trans fats, I am glad that this serious issue is being as widely discussed (other than here on the sacrag) as it is.

    This is NOT a “flavor of the week” diet recommendation. It is NOT like those lame studies that come out every so often that tell us Mexican food and Chinese food are high in sodium and fat.

    This is the first time the FDA has required adding new nutritional information to food labels since 1992 when the labels were expanded to basic per serving nutrition information.

    The bottom line is that trans fats SIGNIFICANTLY raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol. If you don’t know what the difference is between these two things, you need to take some responsibility in protecting your own health. (Sure, I know how to use and AED and just got my recertification on the new CPR standards, but I don’t want to have to use these skills.)

    You might say that it’s your body, and when it’s your time to go it’s your time to go. Blah blah blah. I don’t want to hear about it. Get off your duff, get your blood moving, and eat some fresh quality food that’s not fried or drowning in sauces. You will feel so much better if you don’t eat as much processed food and get exercise most days of the week — it doesn’t take much effort, and it will greatly improve your quality of life.

    One of my non-profits recently had a PhD nutritional science researcher from UC Davis come speak to us about diet and its affect on your body. I went into the training session thinking I already knew everything she was about to say, but I learned so much more about trans fats, and it scared the heck out of me.

    All the top medical institutions are coming out against transfats. Please at least inform yourselves on how bad this stuff really is for you. Here is some basic info in case you don’t know all the facts:


  21. CoolDMZ – I was being sincere. Even if you did know me; you’d still ask.

    Stickie – great post! True, transfats were introduced for economic reasons. Now they are being banned for the same reasons. If the health consequences weren’t so expensive and largely hitting a demographic without insurance…


  22. I’m all for the ban AS LONG AS they are allowed to simply substitute trans-fat substances with just pure lard.

    I remember when we used to wince at the thought of lard even existing, because we were brought up in post-1950’s america when we were taught to beleive that the new, space-age technology was healthier and more normal, and that using lard was uncouth and primitive. It’s something that communists and people who live in countries like Mexico eat. It’s not for us, though.

    Then I ate things that had been prepared with Lard. My God. Lard. You know what, I’d be okay with us having lost World War One and living in an autocratic empire controlled by an out-of-touch German Monarchy if we could have more lard.

    I’m guessing here, but I’m going to speculate that lard is no worse for you than transfats, other than perhaps it creates a higher risk of cardioascular problems. Sure, nothing to blow your nose at, but well…LARD IS SO GOOD!


  23. The research that I have read shows that transfats clog arteries, thus contributing to heart disease and hyprtension, at a rate of 18 TIMES that of naturally occuring fats, such as butter and lard.

    Runnerg –
    LDL/bad cholesterol sticks to the arteries, causes clogs and leads to heart disease/hypertension

    HDL/good cholesterol has the opposite effect, removing gunk and transporting it to the liver, where it is processed into fuel.

    Basically, you want a diet higher in mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats. These occur in vegetables and plants in a higher ratio, although foods like avocados and peanuts are pretty high in saturated fats..

    You want a diet lower in saturated fat. These occur in animals in a higher ratio.

    Of course, in general, you want a diet low in ALL fats because protein and sugars have 6 calories/gram, while fats have 9 calories/gram.

    I am not a doctor, but I play one on the Internet. 🙂


  24. Stickie: The information you gave is exactly what the scientist from UC Davis told our group — I just managed to mangle the facts in my comment, so thank you for clarifying!

    Glad to know you’re our Internet MD while we’re waiting for the weekend to get our fix of Dr. Dean Edell. I’m always playing freelance advice nurse for my friends, so maybe we should set up a practice. (I specialize in sports injuries with a focus on running with severely blistered feet.)


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