City inspectors know best

Ethel C. Fenig
Especially enjoying  all the freedoms of this fine country over the July 4th week end were all the immigrants and their descendants as they celebrated with glorious food from their ancestral homelands.  And in New York City, with people from around the world, that could mean cannoli, cheesecake and croissants to name a few ethnic reats.  Heaven, in other words, for me.  But in over-bureaucratized, big brother New York City, a new insensitivity to the cultural  food diversity of its citizens means that the local government is deciding that (grand)ma's recipes have too much trans fat so they're going to take it away from you. 

For your own good of course.

"How can that be when there is only butter in it [the croissant]?" asked Sarabeth Levine, owner of Sarabeth's on the upper West Side.

Indeed, butter and other dairy products include trace amounts of natural trans fat. The tests cannot determine whether the trans fat found was man-made - like margarine - or natural.

Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said the agency focus is on artificial trans-fat, but he noted, "Just because something doesn't have artificial trans-fat doesn't mean it's a health food. It means it doesn't have an artificial product in it that is going to make you more likely to have a heart attack."

Of course worrying about losing your livelihood because some city inspector grandly decrees your iconic products artificially violates city law does make it more likely you're going to have a heart attack.  And not savoring your favorite food because a city commissioner, rather than mother, knows best will also increase your chances of having a heart attack. 

But

officials will not punish bakeries if they find more than .5 grams of trans fat, as long as it is natural trans fat, from sources such as butter.

Hey, thanks.  Bon appetit in any language. 
Especially enjoying  all the freedoms of this fine country over the July 4th week end were all the immigrants and their descendants as they celebrated with glorious food from their ancestral homelands.  And in New York City, with people from around the world, that could mean cannoli, cheesecake and croissants to name a few ethnic reats.  Heaven, in other words, for me.  But in over-bureaucratized, big brother New York City, a new insensitivity to the cultural  food diversity of its citizens means that the local government is deciding that (grand)ma's recipes have too much trans fat so they're going to take it away from you. 

For your own good of course.

"How can that be when there is only butter in it [the croissant]?" asked Sarabeth Levine, owner of Sarabeth's on the upper West Side.

Indeed, butter and other dairy products include trace amounts of natural trans fat. The tests cannot determine whether the trans fat found was man-made - like margarine - or natural.

Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said the agency focus is on artificial trans-fat, but he noted, "Just because something doesn't have artificial trans-fat doesn't mean it's a health food. It means it doesn't have an artificial product in it that is going to make you more likely to have a heart attack."

Of course worrying about losing your livelihood because some city inspector grandly decrees your iconic products artificially violates city law does make it more likely you're going to have a heart attack.  And not savoring your favorite food because a city commissioner, rather than mother, knows best will also increase your chances of having a heart attack. 

But

officials will not punish bakeries if they find more than .5 grams of trans fat, as long as it is natural trans fat, from sources such as butter.

Hey, thanks.  Bon appetit in any language.