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eliminating trans fats

Eliminating Trans Fats – What This Means For Beef Producers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week announced a preliminary ban on trans fats. I don’t have an opinion on how much of a health risk, if any, that trans fats represent. But it’s enlightening to note that, since the attack on trans fats began, consumption has fallen by approximately 80%. 

The marketplace has done a great job of reducing the use of trans fats, largely because of government action. For example, New York City made news by banning trans fat use in restaurants. Americans now consume less than 1 gram of trans fats daily compared to 4.6 grams/day in 2003. 


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Still, many food products still contain trans fats, including things like margarine, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza and coffee creamer. That is a significant portion of my diet. I get that the FDA commissioner called it poison, and many are calling for USDA to institute an absolute ban in school lunch programs. I just hope this isn’t like the elimination of animal fats in the oil McDonald’s used to cook its French fries; I’m not sure I can even remember how much better tasting those fries were than what they have today.

The activists have been all over this issue, and because nutrition has become so politicized it is difficult to determine what is “real” science and what promotes specific agendas. What we do know is that the anti-beef crowd has strong ties to the nutritional activists and we better do our homework, because eventually it won’t just be trans fats and large sodas that are on the hit list of foods they want to ban.


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