Davenport dumping trans fat oils

Posted March 2, 2007
Emmah Obradovich
Starting next week the kitchen in Davenport will stop using oils containing trans fats for frying. Davenport already uses olive and canola oils for cooking or French fries and fried foods, however, hydrogenated or transfatty oils are still used. Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. Using unsaturated fats can lower rates of heart attacks and strokes

Sodexho Campus Services has recently adopted a policy requiring all of its dining services to use trans fat-fee oils.

Davenport already uses mostly trans fat-free oils, except in frying.

At the moment, olive oil and canola oil are used for cooking and creamy liquid fry shortening is used for frying.

According to Davenport’s new executive chef, Justin McGruder, the switch to trans fat-free oil for frying will happen next week.

Consumer and health concerns prompted the switch.

“I think it’s good because people shouldn’t constantly eat processed foods because there’s no nutritional value in it,” said sophomore psychology major Annie Parker.

Freshman international business major Nataly Escobar said that she will probably have to adjust to the change in flavor.

Trans fatty acid is a saturated fat formed when hydrogen atoms are added to vegetable oils to produce margarine.

These fatty acids can be found in margarine and cooking fats, and are considered unhealthy because they raise cholesterol levels.

McGruder suggested that prices could increase because healthier foods generally cost more.

“The fatter, greasier stuff sells,” sophomore Brianna Gonzales said.
“They might suffer a little bit.”

Customer reaction will become clearer once the change takes place.

Although the reaction is still unknown, Aaron Neilson, general manager of Sodexho Campus Services and McGruder are hoping that the students will appreciate that they are trying to prepare healthier food.

“Taste isn’t everything,” Parker said. “Just because something tastes good doesn’t mean it’s good for you.”

“The next step is healthy eating,” McGruder said.

The Sodexho policy comes on the heels of a New York City measure that will require the elimination of artificial trans-fatty acids from restaurant kitchens by July 2008.

New York City is being made the example city by being the first city to require restaurants to make the food healthier.

Taco Bell, McDonald’s and KFC are among the chains already working on eliminating trans fat oils from their restaurants nationwide.

The first city to actually ban the use of trans fat oils was Tiburon in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Eighteen restaurants in the city are using the trans fat-free oils such as canola oil and low linolenic soybean oil.

“I think that sounds good,” said sophomore Brianna Gonzales. “I don’t think fast food is the healthiest choice to begin with.”

“It’s good because they are trying to make it a healthier resource,” Escobar said.

However, not everyone approves of the ban. Freshman Kim Rampaul believes that the ban is unnecessary.

“I guess it’s really bad for you and I understand that, but they shouldn’t ban it,” Rampaul said.

He believes that the ban will cause people to be more afraid of eating fast food than they should to be.

Rampaul does not like the studies that tell people what they should and should not be afraid of.

“Soon, they’re going to come up with studies that everything is bad for you in some kind of way,” he added.

Neilson is not sure of how healthy the hydrogenated oils are.

He says there is a possibility that health risks may arise because the body is not used to eating hydrogenated oils.

Most restaurants participating in the ban will have the trans-fatty acid free products available sometime this spring.

Luckily, students at this University will start seeing healthier options very soon.

Sher Porter can be reached at sporter4@ulv.edu.

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