An oil hydrogenator in action.
A cover story in the Dining section of The New York Times today takes on the city’s trans fat ban and its effects on the food industry far and wide (if you can’t find the article, look under the giant gory meat porn). People are, perhaps for the first time, taking notice of the naturally occurring trans fats that are in all animal products, and whittling them away from old recipes. “It’s causing problems for every big baker in the country,” wholesale baker Matthew Reich told the Times. “I didn’t even know where to find trans-free margarine.” (Earth Balance! Come on!)
But as always, this is a double-edged sword. If restaurants and food manufacturers want to be completely trans-fat-free, they’ll have to get rid of both trans-fatty animal products and hydrogenated oils. But that doesn’t mean they’ll make those products vegan. Take the Anna’s cookie situation, for example: vegan partially-hydrogenated margarine was replaced with non-hydrogenated margarine containing whey. Trans-fat-free, and not vegan. Unless you’re Kathy Freston.
This is part six 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.