Trans-fats are unsafe to eat and must be banned from the food supply within three years, US regulators have said.
Watch the video and answer the questions below.
1 How many burgers are cooked at that restaurant?
2 What did Chef Jeff Tunks stop doing several years ago?
3 What does '7,000' refer to?
4 How much have transfats been reduced in the last decade?
5 In which product are transfats usually hidden?
6 What illnesses are Americans struggling with?
5,000 burgers are cooked every week at this restaurant. None of them contain transfats. Chef Jeff Tunks stopped using the controversial ingredient [transfats] several years ago after becoming worried about his own health. He welcomes a wider ban.
Transfat is a hidden fat in a sort of deceiving us sometimes you go to a restaurant with the expectations of fresh food, prepared wholesome stuff for you but there’s the underlying thing of how is the food cooked, what’s the fat that is fried in and stuff, so I think it’s a great ban that people can go down and be confident there’s more transparency.
Transfats are linked to a number of health problems. According to regulators, eliminating it could prevent an estimated 7,000 deaths from heart disease and 20,000 heart attacks a year. But some Americans don’t want the government telling them what to eat.
I think people need to make more informed choices about what they’re eating, so maybe telling people that there is or is not transfat is a good idea. I don’t think the government should really have any say in it necessarily.
I don’t think a lot of people pay attention to nutrition so much, so one day see something that looks tasty they are just go for it and it may be better to have a little bit of paternalism, a little bit of somebody looking over your shoulder to say, well, that’s probably not so good for you.
The food industry has already taken strides in the last decade to reduce transfats by 85%, but they are still used to prolong shelf-life in some mass-produced food.
Well, we’ve got a very yummy-looking burger here, but a lot of people will be surprised to learn that the transfat is more likely to be hidden in the bread.
Yes, most definitely. If you’re buying from a commercial bakery in high quantity and stuff for stabilisers and preserve shelf-life, transfat I’d probably be more in the bread than it is to be.
Shelf Tunks now makes his own bread but the Restaurant National Association that option isn’t open to smaller businesses and other foods containing transfats simply can’t be replaced.
There is certain applications like the baked goods and the pizza crust and the whipped toppings where there is just really no good alternative from that standpoint. So finding those other alternatives that are being able to meet the demand from the food supply standpoint but also be healthier alternatives.
Government’s advice on nutrition has not always been good. At one point transfats were thought to be better than other fats, but as America struggles with obesity and other diet-related illnesses, more food regulation seems inevitable.
Jane O’Brian, BBC News, Washington.