FDA Finally Does Something Good

A.K.A. Trans-Fatty Acid Phase-Out

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t talk about my real job on Silver Spork News. I like to think that it instills a sense of mystery about my activities. With any luck it brings up important questions like “Is he actually an alien transmitting wisdom from space?” or “Is he actually Dread Pirate Roberts?” or “Where can I find this man of my dreams?” Despite all this I understand that the most likely question people probably ask is “Why should I pay attention to this stupid asshole?”

I’m considered a professional working in the healthcare industry, so trust me when I say that the US eliminating trans-fat from the food supply is a big fucking deal.

Our country has long suffered under a repressive regime of the food industry. And this is hardly a secret. Just last year the award-winning documentary Fed Up tackled this very issue and likened the current food industry to the once powerful tobacco industry. The big players in the food industry have stifled progress and they have crippled the American people. Change has been impossible as lobbyists for the food industry have kept politicians under their thumbs for decades. You wouldn’t let your child hang out with Camel Joe, so why would you let them spend the day with Count Chocula? Come on. He doesn’t even have canines, so we all know he’s not a real vampire. Who knows what he’s hiding? The dude’s a creep.

Scumbag Count Chocula

But from underneath this control, the US Food and Drug Administration has declared that they will eliminate almost all of the partially hydrogenated oils from the food supply by 2018. This comes following the hefty scientific evidence that partially hydrogenated oils contribute to heart disease. It’s no secret that coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death. And this declaration, like tobacco’s link to lung cancer, could be the pebble that starts an avalanche.

Let’s talk about trans-fat for a second. It sounds like a bad thing, so why do we use it? Trans-fat entered the industry in the 1950s and was immediately popularized. In a way, the great American food isn’t burgers or hotdogs or apple pies. It’s trans-fat. Though it does occur in nature, it has been heavily manufactured to be used in snacks and fried food.

Partially hydrogenated oils also affect cholesterol. Simply put it raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol. Imagine standing in front of a wall. You start digging straight down and piling all the dirt on top of the wall. It makes climbing over that obstacle that much harder.

trans_fats_

What does this mean for both the food and healthcare industry? Money. The food industry is going to have to fork out (haha) additional costs to start feeding the American people real food. But here are the real numbers you should be paying attention to:

  1. Over 80 million people in America have cardiovascular disease.
  2. It is estimated that the direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular disease amount to approximately $305 billion annually.
  3. If we can reduce the amount of heart disease by 10% America would save $30 billion per year.

And that’s just 10%. Imagine what we could do if we continue educating people, fighting the lobbyists, and applying this change to other frightening aspects of the food industry. We shouldn’t be sacrificed for cheap manufactured goods. Everyone deserves to live a healthy life, but unfortunately it’s just not an option for many in our country. The food industry is a dangerous enemy of this nation, but one decree at a time we can put regulations in place that will tear down their kingdom.

Post by Ian Sims. Food photo from Factual Health. Count Chocula photo from Your Nightmares.

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