Food Freedom

Trans Fat, Back and Cheaper than Ever

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One reason that restaurants started using now-vilified trans fats in the first place (other than the fact that they were once considered a healthier alternative to animal fats) is that they're cheap. And, predictably, as food prices rise, those Canadian trans fat backsliders are responding to economic pressure:

poutine

An increasing number of restaurants are finding it tough to use healthier alternatives, including canola and other vegetable oils, which have been steadily rising in cost in recent months. Some restaurants and industry associations say prices for various types of vegetable oils have risen from 10 to 50 per cent in the past few months, and expect they will continue to go up as demand increases. …

The situation reflects a larger problem that is taking shape across Canada as restaurants and other food providers struggle to cope with sharp increases in the price of cooking oil, a base ingredient in many menu items.

On the other hand, what do you expect from a country that invented poutine–fries covered in gravy and sprinkled with cheese curds? Keep fighting the good fight, my brothers and sisters in the Frozen North!

More on the grand trans fat battle here, here, and here.

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  1. Cheese curds? What the hell is that?

  2. How the fuck are people supposed to make pastries, crusts, etc. without fats that are solid at room temperature anyway?

  3. Ah yes, but poutine is the nectar of the gods Katherine — especially after a long day of skating on the canal in Ottawa, or bob-sledding down a hill somewhere 🙂

  4. I don’t know anyone could survive a Canadian winter without poutine and liquor.

  5. Curse you CSPI for killing the promise of non-fat fat. I want my Olestra.

  6. Isn’t the curd supposed to be melted?

  7. Poutine is beat out only by Molson and the lower drinking age as reasons I love to go to Montreal.

    Poutine delivery at 4 am even beats the casino.

  8. Episarch,

    Lard, butter.

    I don’t want any trans fats myself (at least not manufactured ones). But the solution to that is to cook my own food, not to say “there ought to be a law”.

  9. Zeb, of course you can use lard and butter, and they are in fact the best for taste and consistency.

    My point was that lard and butter were considered bad first, so people went to trans fats. Now trans fats are bad. So what solid-at-room-temp fats are left?

    If restaurants go back to making stuff with lard and butter because of trans-fats bans, what’s to say the nanny-fascists won’t ban them too? Then how do you make these things?

    (disclaimer: I do not eat pastries and crusts, but I do know how to make them)

  10. I look back fondly to my childhood in England when a school approved mid-morning snack was bread and dripping (yes, that is the fat that has dripped off a roast beef) and a half-pint of full fat milk!

    Bring back the fat!

  11. A guy I knew who incidentally worked for the DNC when Gore ran for Pres., responded to my disgust with the regulation of trans fat with a rejoinder to the effect of, “Hey, we need the government to do this kind of thing … I mean, what about the whole thing with DDT.”

    Cue – me smacking my forehead and shaking it in despair.

  12. By the way, Cholestrol King,

    You’ve got to love a good fry-up on Saturday morning (or afternoon, depending on how shit-faced you’ve been).

  13. No, no, no! Poutine is not the national food of Canada. That food is butter tarts. Or maybe french fries with brown gravy (not the same as poutine, thank you very much). A real treat during my misspent highschool youth in Toronto.
    On the other hand, nothing beats the look my wife gave me the time I actually ordered poutine at a truck stop in Qu?bec.

  14. The thing that is really crazy about this sort of thing is that people are expecting restaurants to do something other than what they are there for. Most restaurants server good tasting, high fat food that is not good for you if you eat it every day. You go to the restaurant if you want that kind of food. If you want to eat all good healthy food and avoid whatever the trendy bad thing of the moment is, then cook yourself or go to a restaurant that makes that kind of food.
    I almost never go to a restaurant because I can make just about anything better, with higher quality, healthier ingredients for less money.

  15. I almost never go to a restaurant because I can make just about anything better, with higher quality, healthier ingredients for less money.

    Absolutely. And when I do go out, I want something different–something I wouldn’t or couldn’t make (and there’s not much of that, so I really want to enjoy it).

  16. what’s to say the nanny-fascists won’t ban them too? Then how do you make these things?

    Duh. You don’t.

  17. You’re too pragmatic, Rhywun. We’re talking about food here. And not just any food–food that fat people like. There will be blood.

  18. Cheese curds? What the hell is that?

    Its basically an early stage of cheese, before its been formed and aged.

    Good stuff, if you like cheese. Also good for frying – deep fried cheese curds are a Wisconsin bar food classic. Puts down an awesome base for heavy drinking.

  19. Thanks, R C Dean.

    Sounds appealing. I live in Biloxi, am I going to be laughed at for asking around for curd?

  20. It’s not like TF could have large long-term costs that aren’t being figured into the equation or anything! And, it’s not like Reason is yet again expanding the definition of “libertarian” to include corporate welfare, no matter how small.

  21. One has to be very careful at late-night fast-food joints when ordering poutine… it’s all about pronounciation.

    The correct way to say it sounds like “puts-SIN”.

    The incorrect way sounds a lot like the french slang word for “hooker”.

    I learned this during a summer spent in Montreal. I unwittingly ordered a “fat whore with two forks”.

  22. I don’t want any trans fats myself (at least not manufactured ones).

    You’ll get my Crisco when you pry it from my cold, greasy, fat-bloated fingers!

  23. Being a canuck myself (although not living there now) I declare Vermont Gun Owner thread. Molson Canadian is the only thing that rivels poutine in its greatness.

    Anyone remember the skit by a The Hour Has 22 Minutes reporter during the Bush vote runoff where President Poutine of Canada endorsed Bush and Bush thanked him for his kind support ?

  24. It was Prime Minister Poutine. Not a bad description of Oncle Dishonest Jean Chretien.

    Russ R

    It is pronounced “poo – teen”.

  25. It is pronounced ‘poo-teen’ if you speak either French of France or French of American High School. In Quebec there is a process laxing high vowels in final closed syllables, and a subsequent process spreading the lax feature leftwards on adjacent high vowels. There is also a process affricating t/d before high vowels, resulting in ts/dz.
    Translation: in Quebec, native speakers of Quebec French say

    pu (as in ‘put’) tsin (as in rhymes with ‘sin’).

    Sorry, it’s rare that I get to be both a phonologist and a libertarian in the same post.
    🙂

  26. So, when will they reverse this whole thing and declare lard to be the healthiest cooking oil?

  27. I’m living in Qu?bec, and Goeff is right on the french-canadian pronunciation.

    It ever have its own underground rap song,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz89dO1F7fs

    And here’s the grand-daddy of all poutines,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUNISZkQwo0

  28. “dripping (yes, that is the fat that has dripped off a roast beef)”

    Jesus, that sounds delicious.

    /I’m 150
    //Fully clothed
    ///… And soaking wet

  29. I don’t know anyone could survive a Canadian winter without poutine and liquor

    Wait a few years. Global warming. Prohibition. Mary Poppins as Prime Minister.

  30. Hey, I’m all for trans fat. I don’t eat it, except rarely, but it could help solve the social security problem. I’m for people riding motorcycles without helmets too.

  31. You ladies ever go snowboarding in Whistler, and those fries look pretty good at lunchtime. Just sayin’

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