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.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.