16 May 2003
The other side of the cookie
In previous episodes, I've made fun of a California lawyer's war on Oreos. I still think he's a twit, and I still think legal action is ill-advised if not actually insane, but I'm not about to argue that trans fats are actually good for you.
Diane L. goes a little farther. She characterizes them as a "health menace", and expounds:
The problem is not so much that these unhealthy fats are legal and shouldn't be (wrong and impractical liberal point of view) but that there are so few alternatives, unless one is a totally dedicated foodie/health nut. Why do I have to work so hard to keep this crap out of my body? Sometimes I want to pop some prepared food into the oven instead of cooking everything from scratch. But I can't, because most processed food has that poison in it.
And why is that, you ask?
Because it's cheap and doesn't go bad. So, people are getting diabetes, heart disease and getting seriously overweight, because food processors want to save money.
Well, not just because. I'd scorn the Oreo (although frankly, I prefer the late, lamented Hydrox, but that's another religious battle entirely) if it tasted like the hockey pucks it vaguely resembles; if I really wanted a mouthful of such, I'd stock up on rice cakes, which in civilized societies are used to hold up the wobbly fourth leg of the coffee table.
Diane does have a solution of sorts:
Business people must be increasingly aware that there is money to be made from offering an alternative. Even McDonald's is trying to change the formula for the toxic oil it fries its "food" in. As the effects of trans fats become more known to the public, there will be more of a market for healthy fast food and processed food.
Sounds reasonable enough to me. (If, as usual, Blogspot archives are harder to trace than Iraqi artifacts, dial up 12 May and take the 12:01 am posting.)