A spirited high five to California (with a special mention to Assemblyman Tony Mendoza of Los Angeles) for being thisclose to banning trans fats throughout the entire state.
Not surprisingly, "restaurant groups have offered a lukewarm response."
Some further details:
"Mendoza's bill would require restaurants, hospitals and facilities with food-preparation areas to remove oils, shortenings and margarines with trans fats by Jan. 1, 2010."
Bakers get an extra year so as to have sufficient time to find suitable substitutes for pastries, breads, and other goods.
I particularly love this caveat: "The bill exempts public school cafeterias, which must be trans-fat free under a law that takes effect January 1."
Some legislators are clutching at their pearlstrings and attempting to make the feeble argument that this law takes away consumers' freedom.
How, exactly? Trans-fat-free baked goods taste exactly the same as those containing trans fats.
It's not as if muffins, bagels, and donuts will cease to exist.
Besides, let's remember that partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) are a relatively new invention. They were not in the food supply in the 1940s, yet baked goods were produced on a daily basis.
Although the elimination of trans fats is progress, remember that a trans-fat-free donut has just as many calories and sugar as one with trans fats.
This is by no means a green light to consume baked goods in higher quantities.