City of Calgary to ban use of trans fats in restaurants starting Jan 1, 2008.

yllus

Elite Member & Lifer
Aug 20, 2000
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Calgary moves against trans fats

The Calgary region is to become the first in the country to require restaurants to cut the use of trans fats, suspected of killing up to 5,000 Canadians a year from heart disease.

Starting Jan. 1, the regional health authority ? which serves more than 1.2 million people ? will require that all margarines, spreads made with margarine and oils used for cooking contain a maximum of two per cent trans fats of the total fat content.

The health consequences made it imperative that the Calgary Health Region act now, said Dr. Brent Friesen, medical officer of health.

Trans fats raise the levels of low-density lipoprotein, or "bad" cholesterol, in the body and can lead to clogged arteries and heart disease.

The Heart & Stroke Foundation has estimated that consumption of trans fats accounts for 3,000 to 5,000 deaths in Canada a year.

A majority of 400 Calgary restaurants surveyed have already made the switch to oils that meet the new requirements, and two-thirds already use acceptable spreads, the health region said.

But it hasn't been without some issues.

"When we first changed, you know the customers did complain because it doesn't taste as good as before," said Rick Man of the Treasures of China restaurant.

But now, diners are used to it. "I think they're worried more about their health than they worry about the taste."

And some chain restaurants are waiting for national plans from head offices, Friesen said.

Calgary food inspectors will issue warnings for the first five months to give restaurants time to adjust. After that, violations will be posted on the health region's website and, in extreme cases, the city could shut down restaurants that don't comply.

While at 26 years of age I'm among those who have made the change to lead a healthier lifestyle (at the insistence of a growing waistline), this kind of sticks in my craw.

I really don't want the government deciding what's healthy enough for me to eat - I thought that was my job. One unique issue to Canada is that since the government is the sole supplier of healthcare in the country, they have a vested economical interest in improving the diet of its citizens. Still... Ugh.
 

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
Mar 5, 2001
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I don't have much of a problem with it. It's a public safety issue that the average person doesn't know much about. It's not really something that the market will work out on its own, i.e. people aren't going to see "our oil has no trans-fats" and end up choosing those restaurants instead, simply because they don't know what the difference really is.

I know a lot of people are going to say "big government" etc. But, in reality, it's a simple health issue. For what it's worth, where were the people whining when "wash your hands" became a rule for people working in kitchens? And, (at least in many areas of the country) "wear gloves when handling food." Is that big government? The free market isn't going to work out issues such as that because in reality, you don't have a clue if the people working in the kitchen of the restaurant are handling your food "safely" or not.
 

Sqube

Diamond Member
Dec 23, 2004
3,078
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It is big government, but it's Canada, so that's not a surprise.

This is an economics issue. If we don't let you use trans-fats, it's one less source of people becoming obese with all the concomitant (always did want to use that word) healthcare issues, which means less money spent.

Also, you need government to work stuff out like that because there's no reason for private industry to do it until people are a step away from rioting in the streets.
 

Rudee

Lifer
Apr 23, 2000
11,218
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I live in Calgary and this is the first I heard about this. Now, if they would just make it mandatory for all women to have a minimum level of attractiveness, that would be equally awesome. Regarding the change of oil, they are going to have a very difficult time enforcing this, as just like in NYC, many people will continue to use the older less healthy oil just to maintain flavor.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
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But but but just 20 years ago they said that margarine was healthy and that it was butter that should be banned...
 

Rudee

Lifer
Apr 23, 2000
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Originally posted by: Vic
But but but just 20 years ago they said that margarine was healthy and that it was butter that should be banned...

I read a big article on butter vs margarine just a couple weeks ago in a health magazine. The biggest difference between the two comes when you heat it up. Margarine is healthier then butter if it is chilled. However, as soon as soon as you heat up margarine the properties change significantly, and it becomes slightly worse then butter in terms of health effects. So bottom line: Use margarine for sandwiches and don't cook with it. Use butter for cooking.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
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Originally posted by: Rudee
Originally posted by: Vic
But but but just 20 years ago they said that margarine was healthy and that it was butter that should be banned...

I read a big article on butter vs margarine just a couple weeks ago in a health magazine. The biggest difference between the two comes when you heat it up. Margarine is healthier then butter if it is chilled. However, as soon as soon as you heat up margarine the properties change significantly, and it becomes slightly worse then butter in terms of health effects. So bottom line: Use margarine for sandwiches and don't cook with it. Use butter for cooking.

Good info. Personally, I just stick with butter for taste reasons.

My point though was to point out that the chocolate ration has been changed again.
 

Deeko

Lifer
Jun 16, 2000
30,215
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Ohh just the latest "evil" in the food world. First it was saturated fat, so they filled everything with sugar. Then carbs were evil, so they made "fake" saturated fats. Now those are bad...what's next? Vitamins B6 linked to brain tumors?

Face the facts, if food tastes good, it's probably gonna kill you. Might as well accept it.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
50,415
14,305
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Originally posted by: Deeko
Ohh just the latest "evil" in the food world. First it was saturated fat, so they filled everything with sugar. Then carbs were evil, so they made "fake" saturated fats. Now those are bad...what's next? Vitamins B6 linked to brain tumors?

Face the facts, if food tastes good, it's probably gonna kill you. Might as well accept it.

Heh. Reminds of some stand-up comedy skit I saw... "Remember the 90s? When they said you could eat as much as you wanted as long as it was low fat?" :p
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
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Originally posted by: Rudee
Use margarine for sandwiches
you put margarine on sandwiches? :confused:

and don't cook with it. Use butter for cooking.
that should go without saying. 50% butter, 50% olive oil for the mfw
 

Deeko

Lifer
Jun 16, 2000
30,215
11
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Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Deeko
Ohh just the latest "evil" in the food world. First it was saturated fat, so they filled everything with sugar. Then carbs were evil, so they made "fake" saturated fats. Now those are bad...what's next? Vitamins B6 linked to brain tumors?

Face the facts, if food tastes good, it's probably gonna kill you. Might as well accept it.

Heh. Reminds of some stand-up comedy skit I saw... "Remember the 90s? When they said you could eat as much as you wanted as long as it was low fat?" :p

Yea, or earlier this decade when you could eat as much as you wanted as long as it was low carb.

Ohh those crazy fads. The low far one stuck pretty well though. I still see kids' cereals (yes...which I still eat...what can I say I love count chocula) that advertise being fat free, despite being pure sugar.
 

imported_Imp

Diamond Member
Dec 20, 2005
9,148
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Think my province is still using voluntary trans-fat reduction. You don't HAVE to do it, but if you don't, they'll just tell everyone you suck. They just released a report last week... It appears the general solution is to switch from trans-fats to loads and loads of saturated fats.
 

Boone

Junior Member
Dec 30, 2007
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I'm starting to wonder if "Contains zero trans fat" is being put on product labels just for marketing purposes.
 

Rudee

Lifer
Apr 23, 2000
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Originally posted by: ElFenix
Originally posted by: Rudee
Use margarine for sandwiches
you put margarine on sandwiches? :confused:

and don't cook with it. Use butter for cooking.
that should go without saying. 50% butter, 50% olive oil for the mfw

Margarine on bread is something which is a new concept to you?
 

jman19

Lifer
Nov 3, 2000
11,221
654
126
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: Rudee
Originally posted by: Vic
But but but just 20 years ago they said that margarine was healthy and that it was butter that should be banned...

I read a big article on butter vs margarine just a couple weeks ago in a health magazine. The biggest difference between the two comes when you heat it up. Margarine is healthier then butter if it is chilled. However, as soon as soon as you heat up margarine the properties change significantly, and it becomes slightly worse then butter in terms of health effects. So bottom line: Use margarine for sandwiches and don't cook with it. Use butter for cooking.

Good info. Personally, I just stick with butter for taste reasons.

My point though was to point out that the chocolate ration has been changed again.

If you'd do your jerks with a bit more fervor you wouldn't have to worry about what you eat so much, Vic ;)