27 January 2009
Dr. Payne / End 104-001
Trans Fat Frenzy
“In a competitive market, consumers can make their own choices, and live with the consequences.” (Chapman) This quote presents a clear point Steve Chapman, a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune, makes in his article “Extra Crispy Chicken, Deep-Fried with Panic”. Chapman talks about the possible dangers and over-exaggerated panic about Kentucky Fried Chicken’s (KFC) use of cooking oil with trans fat in it. While discussing these issues, Steve Chapman attempts to reveal whether or not the Center for Science of Public Interest (CSPI) is just in filing a lawsuit against KFC, and trying “to decide what’s best” for all KFC customers and consumers. Although Americans typically are aware of the risks associated with trans fat, this knowledge does not necessarily stop them from eating foods containing this substance. In a modern society, mothers often have trouble getting their own children to obey. Who says the CSPI can ultimately decide what we eat?
Chapman’s article was initially published in 2006 during a CSPI lawsuit against KFC for using cooking oil containing trans fat. At the time, CSPI thought that if fast-food chains and food companies didn’t stop using this fat in their products voluntarily, then someone needed enforce the termination of the usage of this fat in foods.
Chapman points out that trans fat isn’t the best component for your diet and healthy lifestyle due to the fact that it “raises levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol [in the body], which is believed to increase the risk of heart disease.” He then goes on to point out that even though there are risks associated with this fat, doesn’t mean the risks are great enough to rule this fat out of the fast-food industry completely. Chapman then proceeds to give an example from 1988. In this example, CSPI was harassing McDonald’s about using “beef tallow to cook French fries”, which includes trans fat. The...