Usually when you mention the word "trans" in New York City, you mean something completely different. But, right now, NYC's hottest "trans" is trans fat. Why? Because earlier this week, the New York City Health Department proposed a near ban on trans fat in NYC restaurants. As you already know, trans fat is found in fast food, cookies, cakes, and basically anything I think is good to eat.
"Trans fat causes heart disease. Like lead in paint, artificial trans fat in food is invisible and dangerous, and it can be replaced," New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said in a statement. (quote from Scientific American)In the following quote from SFGate.com, by proceeding with a ban of one substance seen to have health concerns, this sets the precedent and opens the door to a laundry list of possibilites of future food bans.
There's also the issue of what should be banned. What about high fructose corn syrup? Sodium? Cases have been made that they're just as harmful as trans fats. Should we put a cap on the number of calories that people are allowed to order in a restaurant?I always love when the government tries to legislate behavior. By making trans fat, in a sense, illegal, doesn't it then make it more attractive? This may seem silly, but I see drug dealers turning into trans fat dealers. They would hang out outside of NYC's swankiest (is that a word?) restaurants with one side of the raincoat with cheap Rolexes and the other side with illegal donuts to bring into restaurants. Sales of crack, heroin, and meth will fall off dramatically in favor of french fries.
The other thing I can't wait to see is "New York's Finest" food police. Can't you see the TV show right now? "Tonight at 8pm - Dr. A stars as Detective Emeril (BAM!) - In Cold Food Files." Bon Appetit, NYC. Pass the donuts!