Will NYC go trans fat free?

Ashley Milne-Tyte Dec 5, 2006


BOB MOON: Many food-makers have stopped using trans fats on their own. This morning, there’s a chance New York City’s Board of Health will force the issue. In a few hours, it’ll meet to decide whether to ban the artery-clogging oils from all the city’s 26,000 restaurants and takeout joints. Fat chance? Well, Ashley Milne-Tyte reports the city’s world-famous eateries are awaiting the outcome with trepidation.

ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: If the Board of Health backs the trans fat ban, restaurants in the five boroughs will scramble to find a healthier oil that doesn’t offend customers’ taste buds.

Charles Hunt of the New York State Restaurant Association says that’s not as easy as it sounds.

CHARLES HUNT:“These products, you just don’t make them overnight.”

Tasty alternatives exist, Hunt says, but not on a large scale. He’s concerned that if New York orders an oil change, other parts of the country will follow suit and soon it’ll be a case of ‘order while supplies last.’

HUNT: “We’re fearful that because of the shortage of product it will probably drive the prices very, very high and particularly for the smaller restaurants it’s going to impose a considerable expense.”

One he says they’ll have to pass on to customers, who may increasingly opt to stay home.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.