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California Trans Fat Ban Takes Effect Jan. 1, 2010

California Restaurants Free of Trans Fats Beginning Friday

With a new year come healthy new resolutions — and one key state is hoping to give its residents a jumpstart. This Friday, Jan. 1, a new California state law takes effect; it mandates that all restaurants in the state must be free of trans fats. Despite their connection to coronary heart disease, trans fats, or solidified fats that contain added hydrogen, have been favored in many establishments that claim they add flavor and have a longer shelf life than other oils. While select cities like New York have passed ordinances against trans fats, California will become the first state in history to do so. The bill, which was passed in July 2008, bans restaurant oils, margarines, and shortenings containing more than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. This will be enforced by local health departments, who could fine establishments up to $1,000. The one exception? Bakeries, which have until Jan. 1, 2011 to comply.

While I'm generally happy to hear about the health improvement, I can't help but wonder how different restaurant food will taste. Do you foresee other states soon following suit?

Image Source: Getty
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Monique-Marie427757 Monique-Marie427757 6 years
The government is ashamed of how big Americans are, so the only solution they see is by forcing rules and regualtions because I feel in general, people do not want to change. This reminds me of the no smoking rule in Ohio. It is illegal to smoke indoors and at times, you cannot even smoke outdoors either. Do I agree with what the government is doing? No..but I also feel that other states will follow, people will complain about it but nothing will get done and eventually our children or grandchildren won't even think twice about it.
Spectra Spectra 6 years
@burotukunam--butter wouldn't be banned because it's not a transfat. Shortening, margarine, etc. are going to be banned because of the transfat content. I think it's overkill. Government shouldn't butt into the private sector like it's doing...if a restaurant wants to use transfats, it should be allowed to. It doesn't mean you have to eat there. Looks like all the bakeries over there are going to have to start using lard and butter and cut out the shortening. @Beth--I'm curious as to what you use in your bakery as a substitute for transfats. Can't you still use a buttercream icing? Or do you typically use a shortening-based one?
Spectra Spectra 6 years
@burotukunam--butter wouldn't be banned because it's not a transfat. Shortening, margarine, etc. are going to be banned because of the transfat content. I think it's overkill. Government shouldn't butt into the private sector like it's doing...if a restaurant wants to use transfats, it should be allowed to. It doesn't mean you have to eat there. Looks like all the bakeries over there are going to have to start using lard and butter and cut out the shortening. @Beth--I'm curious as to what you use in your bakery as a substitute for transfats. Can't you still use a buttercream icing? Or do you typically use a shortening-based one?
kulikuli kulikuli 6 years
I hope not! I love my butter, and forcing restaurants and bakeries to change their recipes is crap. I don't think its the government's responsibility to regulate what we can and cannot eat now. I should be allowed to go into a bakery and choose if i want the low fat product or a piece of pound cake made with real butter. i keep myself in shape, why do i get punished. And i get the artificial trans fat argument, however, this also includes natural trans fat meaning, butter, cheese, ground beef, milk, i mean really?
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