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Freedom and Foodswings Flout the Fat Law

For Brooklyn vegan fast-food joint Foodswings, “it’s a lot more than the Tofutti.” Owner Freedom estimates that about half the food at Foodswings is made with partially or wholly hydrogenated soybean oil, including most of the faux meats he orders from Asia. I guess they really mean it when they say Vegan Heart Attack.

Freedom didn’t know about the long reach of the trans fat ban’s second wave that goes into effect next summer. Not like he cared. “We’re not gonna stop. It’s either that or we close,” he said. “It would just be too expensive” to change. But don’t fret yet, Billyburg vegans: Freedom and Foodswings are “not gonna go down without a fight.” Famous last words?

If you’re into the trans fats, check out Foodswings’ 3rd Anniversary Party on March 31 at 5pm, with the celebration continuing later on at the Pub at 312 Grand Street. Hey, speaking of anniversary parties

This is part seven of SuperVegan’s “No more trans fats? But how will I go on?” series on the ban as it affects vegans in New York City (and beyond!). Catch up here.

8 Comments

  1. Comment by

    Patrick Kwan

    on #

    Just to be clear, “wholly” or fully hydrogenated oils do NOT contain trans fat. From the folks at BanTransFats.com:

    Is fully hydrogenated oil worse than partially hydrogenated oil?

    No. In fact just the opposite is true. Fully hydrogenated oil does not contain trans fat! Partial hydrogenation is a process that rids an oil of its highly unsaturated fatty acid content and changes anywhere from 5-10 percent to 55 percent or more of the original fatty acids to trans fatty acids and a number of other unnatural fatty acids. Hydrogenation, when carried out in its totality, produces only saturated fatty acids; and a totally saturated oil has the consistency of a wax and is not appropriate for use in food except in very small amounts added with emulsifiers to food products such as peanut butter.

  2. Comment by

    Beatyourheartout

    on #

    Oh thats just disgusting! I am sorry. No wonder everytime I left foodswings, I feel a bit upset. It’s disgusting that they are proud to be responsible for future heart problems!
    DISGUSTING! Even Mcdonnals is abiding the law.

  3. Comment by

    btorbert

    on #

    A very informative website on trans fat is
    cuttransfat.org. In addition to providing useful information on transfats and links to other articles, the website is trying to compile a national list of restaurants and other businesses in the food distribution industry committed to reducing or eliminating trans fat.

  4. Comment by

    Freedom

    on #

    As of of today Foodswings has only 1 item that contains Trans-fat. It will also be replaced soon. However, we have a lot of items that contain hydrogented oil. Hydrogenated oil does not always equal Trans-fat. As of yet this has not effected prices all too much. I would like to state that Foodswings does not support this ban at all. Although we agree that Trans-fats are bad for you. We do not feel that legislators have the right to decide what anyone eats without a public discourse. What’s next? Soy? White bread?

  5. Comment by

    susie

    on #

    Freedom, Foodswings’ Tofutti cheese and Klein’s vegan ice cream both contain trans fats. Assuming things have changed in the last three weeks and everything else on the menu is trans-fat-free, those are still two big components right there.

  6. Comment by

    champurrado

    on #

    Wow, I’m really excited to hear that Foodswings is phasing out trans-fat. Now I can go back in good conscience. I’ve been freaked out ever since I learned that the food was so trans-fat laden. I mean, let’s face it, you can’t claim to be cruelty free if you’re killing off all the funloving New York vegans with your heart-attack inducing trans-fat.

  7. Comment by

    Freedom

    on #

    tofutti now has new packaging & under trans fat it reads zero. and kleins does not have trans fat.

  8. Comment by

    Patrick Kwan

    on #

    This may sound strange, but Susie and Freedom are actually both right.

    Federal law only requires labeling of trans fat content when the serving size exceeds a half gram or more. Any product that contains partially hydrogenated oils (OR animal fat) contains some trans fat. Though Tofutti cheeses and Klein’s vegan ice cream contain partially hydrogenated oils, a serving of any of these products does not exceed a half gram, thus, by law, the labels on Tofutti cheeses and Klein’s vegan ice cream may read “zero trans fat” or simply don’t list trans fat.

    The good news for Foodswings, Klein’s, and Tofutti cheese aficionados is that the trans fat ban exempts products that contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.

    For more info, please check out the NYC Dept of Health’s site on trans fat and this New York Times article.

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