Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.







Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!






E-mail us here.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 4, 2007 6:50 PM. The previous post in this blog was The goodbye makes the journey harder still. The next post in this blog is Long gone. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Not to be outdone

As I suggested that they do months ago, the Portland City Council is reportedly getting ready to ban trans fat in restaurants in the Rose City.

Comments (73)

If Crisco is outlawed, only outlaws will have Crisco.

Here's an intelligent discussion of the trans-fat debate...

http://www.webmd.com/content/article/72/81813.htm

Now that the city has solved all those other health risks (homelessness, access to drug treatment, prostitution, suicide, child abuse), it about time they moved on to something really important.

Damn those donuts.

Maybe the resulting increase in good cholesterol will stop the clientele of the Greek Cusina from killing each other.

Won't this mean that every chocolate covered or chocolate candy bar will have to be removed from retail shelves throughout the city?

Any fat which is solid at room temperature is likely to be a trans-fat....that means almost all chocolate candy. It also means pie.

When trans-fats are outlawed, only outlaws will have decent apple pie and Butterfingers.

I don't think they're aiming at packaged foods at all. The ordinance will probably affect only restaurants.

Goodbye flaky pie dough from your neighborhood diner. Seriously, good luck finding someone to cook a decent pie crust for $9 an hour with no Crisco. Okay, okay, graham cracker and butter works well, but still....I'm not sure our popular understanding of biochemistry is solid in either direction.

I support disclosure. I agree trans-fats seem to be a big source of health problems, along with sugars, alcohol, smoking, etc. So is a lack of exercise. I don't think it's wrong for the city to work on these issues, but I think a ban is out of proportion to what's being done on other health risks, and it does entail some genuine "sacrifices", in terms of some food that people think of as standard fare.

Certainly no one has demonstrated that eating an occasional piece of pie with dough made from Crisco is a real health risk. Gorging yourself on the stuff can't be a good idea. Is there some reasonable middle ground?

Maybe I'm just overly protective of my ability to get a good piece of pie without having to make it myself.

By the way, I just read that webmd link, that says that the body treats hydrogenated fats like saturated fats. Call me an armchair whatever, but that seems like an unsupported statement.

The chemical modification of the fat could introduce a whole other set of challenges to the body that what saturated fat poses. Presumably, we've evolved (if you believe in that sort of thing) to handle animal fat in reasonable measure. But a chemical modification introduces unknowns, in terms of our currrent understanding of biochemistry.

I know I'm seemingly arguing against my position opposing a ban, but I actually think, simultaneously, that trans-fats are scary but they should not be banned.

Maybe just a warning on the restaurant door would be enough? Or on individual menu entries? You could put a skull and crossbones or something next to the trans fat ones.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that kind of compromise on this one in Portland.

The cocoa butter that makes chocolate bars solid is a saturated fat, not a trans fat. So don't worry about losing chocolate bars if this ordinance is passed, even if it applied to all foods.

But really, why do even sensible people like Jack Bogdanski allow themselves to be panicked by phonied up health scares? Are we going to ban red meat, butter, high-fructose corn sweetener, monosodium glutamate, or anything that someone says is not perfectly good for everyone? All of those are at least as bad for you as trans fats. I actually don't eat any of those things, but I don't want to dictate my diet to everyone else.

And Portland just keeps on giving me GREAT reasons to avoid it. The problem is that eventually the state will probably start going that way too.

Hey, again, it's a free country - sure put out all the warning labels that you want but allow me to make the choices. Man I hate nanny government and Portland is the biggest nanny of all.

I like knowing what's in my food. If restaurants had to disclose that in some meaningful way, I'm not sure I'd regulate how they actually prepare the food, beyond the regulation we already have. But is meaningful disclosure possible?

And Portland just keeps on giving me GREAT reasons to avoid it. The problem is that eventually the state will probably start going that way too.

New York City and Chicago apparently have already gone. It's not a reason to stay out of the city -- unless, perhaps, you're thinking of opening a restaurant there.

On a different note, I'm sure there will be lots of cheating, at least on a small scale.

Hmmmm.

So fine to right next to the Washington County / Tigard border.

Winco. Costco.

Crisco.

Christmas cookies come but once a year.

Unless, of course, you have, kids in Afganistan or Iraq. Then Christnmas cookies come once every wo weeks.

Thanks, Portland City Council / Commission.

One more thing to remember next election.

Sure.

It's just like the warnings on cigarette packages - and no one smokes THEM anymore.

Right?

Disclosure should apply to bicycle riders, mountain climbers, boat operators, breathers, and on and on and on....

'cause without disclosure (in that time-honored, government mandated, proactive way), we'd all be lost. Civilization as we know it would end. Personal responsibility (however quaint the notion) would fail utterly as a means of sustaining the species.

Government, however, would persist, methinks.

Tomorrow, restaurants; next, packaged foods; then your ice cream parlors.

Until all that's left to eat is...

...

...

...

...

...

...Soylent Green.

it's....

it's.....

it's made of people!!!!!!!!!

but only organic people

thank God

I don't know about you, but I can taste a faint hint of the Patchouli.

Organic Soylent Green -- available now at Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and New Seasons.

New Seasons will also continue to stock conventional Soylent Green, made of people who had Kaiser Permanente.

It is funny that the linked article mentions the owner of Halibut's saying that trans fats are coequal to the flavor of his fish and chips -- last week I ate some fish and chips in Vancouver, BC which made his taste like Mrs. Pauls (made without trans fats).

I think the genuine motivation for a restaurant to use trans fats at all is one of cost: trans fats have a much longer shelf-life than fats that are not chemically manipulated.

I don't buy the shelf life argument, as it relates to restaurant cooking fat. A restaurant that uses that much of the stuff is going to go through multiple units in no meaningful time. They can just adjust their order if shelf life is really an issue.

The shelf life usually mentioned in the context of trans fats relates to packaged goods like Oreos, which can sit on the shelf forever compared to a loaf of bread or standard bakery-made cookie. The new process for Oreos, by the way, isn't using trans fats. They've retrofitted the local Oreo plant on Columbia. Nabisco or Kraft or whoever it is now. I can't keep track.

Trans fats also provide a more solid texture than regular vegetable oils, more closely approximating butter and other fats that are solid at room temp. Lard, for example.

By the way, the best lard is town is the manteca at that Mexican grocer on Alberta and like 18th. Just go in and ask for manteca. Real rendered pork fat, compared to the bleached scary Hormel stuff from the supermarket. Something like two bucks for a quart. Bring your own pan or something to put the greasy container in your car so you don't make a mess. High quality manteca is essential for really good tamales or carnitas.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that kind of compromise on this one in Portland...

Nah...when the legislature was considering the foie gras ban, we ordered some at Carafe and chef Pascal came out himself with a petition to sign.

Part of what makes Portlanders great is a streak of rebelliousness. I don't see us standing still for folks telling us what we can eat. Let us know what crap is in our food, sure. THAT'S useful information. But if I want to stuff Oreos up my nose, that's MY business. (Well, my wife Anne might find that annoying and weigh in...)

I'm no chemist, but it seems like good old fashioned lard has got to clog arteries about as well as Crisco. They're both solids at room temperature, they both taste like wax until you heat/bake them, and they both have LOTS OF SATURATED FAT.

The nutritionists that I've spoken with believe that fat, especially saturated fats, are the real enemy. These are the dry toast, non-fat milk, tofu, lemon juice salad dressing radicals that may live forever, but THEY HATE EVERY MEAL.

I'm more worried about going deaf from all the jackhammers downtown than I am worried about the trans-fats I get from restaurant meals. Why not ban jackhammers? What's wrong with good old fashioned sledge hammers and a line of convicts in leg irons. If your going to legislate us back to the 19th Century, let's not forget the good parts.

Wow, how monumentally stupid.
Im sure glad that Ruby Tuesday is in Beaverton, and Cheesecake Factory is in Tigard...

I say NO to government babysitting and P.C. fascist B.S. like this. If restaurants want to voluntarily promote the fact that their items contain no trans fat then I think that it is a great marketing strategy. Let those who fail to disclose wither in the dust.

We have so many choices if we open our eyes and take ownership over our own health. Adult human beings should have an intrinsic right to make their own choices about their personal physical well being and what goes into their own body. We have legalized the concept that a girl under the age of 18 has the right to an abortion without parental notification, but at the same time we won't let her eat a donut cooked in hydrogenated vegetable oil?

If you want to stuff your face with french fries and lard who are we as a collective to stop that? We already let you kill yourself with excessive alcohol and cigarettes...why not lard? It isn't like a heroin habit where you start knocking off liqour stores to feed your Krispy Kreme habit. BTW...I personally would never eat anything with trans fat, and I ask if I had any doubts. I hope MacDonalds, Krispy Kreme and Skippers go bankrupt. It's called personal responsibilty and self control. Spend our tax dollars taking guns off the streets so kids stop killing each other over stupid beefs. Also no trans fats in school lunches and no soda pop machines at schools. A complete ban and non-promotion are two different things.

But is meaningful disclosure possible?

It keeps evolving. Fifteen years ago it was all about banning the MSG. All my Chinese greasy spoon had to do was post "No MSG" on the door, and we all breathed a little easier. If restaurants began doing the same thing with trans fats would it make any difference? Would people refuse to eat somewhere if they knew there were trans fats in the tiramisu? Dunno.

Why the fuss? There are lots of rules about how food is prepared and what goes in it (or doesn't), that restaurants are subject to. Is this one really different from those? While a few of the comments here challenge the idea that trans fats are harmful, most express opposition to restaurant regulation. Isn't that just silly? Standards are necessary to protect public health. Some will comply on their own (Starbucks just announced that it is phasing trans fats out of its food and drink), but others need the force of law to stay on the right path.

I like the level of restaurant regulation we have now (especially the no-smoking and the no-spitting-in-the-food rules). But this would be a new level of regulation, I think.

Actually, this is all you need.

I wished this was an issue simply of choice.

Unfortunately, choice by consumers implies all consumers are aware of what may or may not be in the food they buy in a restaurant. I don't believe most people have the information necessary to make informed decisions about artificially created trans fats being used in the preparation of the food we eat "out".

Many people -particularly the working poor with children- are attracted to cheap, plentiful "fast foods" in order to feed their family on a very, very tight schedule and an even tighter budget.

Without intending to offend some of the authors of comments here, suggesting consumers "have a choice" does not reflect real life for many, many Portlanders.

Mom and/or Dad gets up at 5 am to get ready for work, she/he/they get the kids up to get them ready for school, gets them to school, gets to work, gets off of work, picks up the kids...and everyone is hungry. A stop at McDonald's is enjoyable (especially by the kids), affordable and usually on the way home.

As a result, we have pathetically high rates of juvenile diabetes, juvenile obesity, uninsured or underinsured heart disease for Mom and Dad...all because trans fats are cheaper to use than the same foods prepared in canola, soy or peanut oil.

I believe that restaurants can cook exactly the same foods we enjoy eating without preparing the food in trans fat oils that have been proven to be unnecessarily deadly to the health of children and adults.

Are there any indian reservations nearby so I can continue to get my bad stuff like crisco and 100% pure petroleum gasoline?

SEpdx.

As a result, we have pathetically high rates of juvenile diabetes, juvenile obesity, uninsured or underinsured heart disease for Mom and Dad ... all because trans fats are cheaper to use than the same foods prepared in canola, soy or peanut oil.

What next?

"We have pathetically high rates of juvenile diabetes, juvenile obesity, uninsured or underinsured heart disease for Mom and Dad ... all because ice cream tastes better than nonfat yogurt"?

To the ramparts, I say! Give me Pepperidge Farm Mint Milanos or give me death!

Are there any indian reservations nearby so I can continue to get my bad stuff like crisco and 100% pure petroleum gasoline?

Actually, under Portland city ordinances, the Crisco is now in the gasoline.

I fully support a ban of TransFat, I just wish they would ban HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) as well. The main reason people use HFCS instead of sugar is the government subsidies on corn. (The same reason that ethanol is even reasonably priced.)

I just hope that they are smart, and do similar to what NY did, don't ban TransFat as a whole, just ban man-made/chemically created TransFat. (There is natural TransFat in beef, milk, cheese, etc but from what I have read our body reacts entirely differently to it because it's molecular composition is different.)

There are two main reasons TransFat is in use today:

* Cheaper- It is way cheaper, and lasts much longer in a deep fryer. (Something like 4-5 times longer.)
* People forced a change because they thought saturated fat was bad. As it turns out TransFat is worse for us than the saturated fats they replaced.

Many people -particularly the working poor with children- are attracted to cheap, plentiful "fast foods" in order to feed their family on a very, very tight schedule and an even tighter budget.

I've raised children on a very tight budget and eating "out" has never been cheaper then eating in. McDonald's isn't only a poor choice for healthy food, it's certainly more expensive then spaghetti or chili or a dozen other healthy meals made at home.

Juvenile obesity isn't solely a matter of "trans-fats," it's also a by-product of a lazy life-style of drive-thrus, and a predatory fast-food industry that promises "happy meals."

Sure, we need better education. Let's do that. But let's educate our kids what's healthy and what's not...not marginally improve the nutrional value of french fries.

Besides, telling a chef what to use to cook his fish and chips in just seems so unnecessarily intrusive, especially when there really are higher priorities. Let's spend whatever this regulatory scheme would cost to build sidewalks where needed, and make street-crossing safe, so our kids can get back to walking to school. That's a far better bang for the buck in terms of getting our kids healthier. And it is government empowering our kids -- not playing nanny to them and their parents.

I hear you Randy, but at some point you have to draw the line on government babysitting. It's no secret that taverns and cheap cigs are abundent in Lents and St. Johns. I lost one parent to booze and the other to tabacco, but in the end I dealt with it because people have to make a choice on their own. Education and information go farther than dictatorship. Start with healthy breakfasts and lunches along with nutritional education in the schools, starting in the early grades. Give a kid a fish for a day and they eat for a day, teach a kid how to fish and they eat for a lifetime. Trite but true. Also fast food isn't really all that cheap anymore when you compare the nutritional value to dollar ratio.

. . . then on to Social Host responsibility . . . and then on to . . . a . . .

Good Neighbor Policy.

Each person shall have the right to walk into their neighbor's house, stroll over to the fridge and then dispose of all the stuff they find objectionable.

This could apply to a near infinite list of things that anyone in their subjective mind could believe fits within the Good Neighbor Policy.

Given the non-uniformity of the perspective of any two people let's then just picture any two people (rather than society as a whole), each of whom have an equal right to raid the fridge of the other, and then point a live cam at the two as they go about the business of raiding each other's fridge until they reach a point where the items in each person's fridge are not objectionable to either.

This could last for a whole season just like A Simple Life. Where the conclusion would surely be like a Jerry Springer end-of-show moment when Jerry offers a tidbit on the philosophy of life that it had nothing to do with objectionable food after all but about ___________.

The next season will be about clothes (in school, in __, and in __). And the next about ______. Then the season long series format will be converted into a one topic per episode format. And then we will create a show like The View with a select panel to set out the policy for us all, and reduce the same to public policy that is compulsory. And when the banter turns to hostility Randy can tax talk, by taking away folk's cell phones via a tax . . . and then their walkie talkies . . . and then when any two people sitting on a city bench exchange words (to be content neutral) ON ANY TOPIC AT ALL.

Meanwhile, in the voice of the narrator of some old Walt Disney flick, the producer of the show presents to the silent observers their definition, by way of the examples presented, of feeblemindedness.

I'll take the perspective of a 14 year old telling a parent and that it is they who is crazy and that the burden is on them to prove otherwise. (It . . . is . . . not . . . about . . . FOOD. Yes it is. No it isn't. __. __. . . .)

Randy

When it comes to a 'Family meal' how can the fast food pushers top something like. A bowl of rice, veggies and a small piece of meat?( or your favorite replacement?)

"Soylent Green."
Jack are you reading my mail! I just received that move today.

Charlton -- what a piece of work. Phil Hartman on SNL nailed that one.

My Kettle Brand Sea Salt & Vinegar potato chips I was munching on last night --made in Salem-- proudly declares "never any trans fats." Guess that makes it a health food? I can eat all I want? I bought them in New Seasons so they MUST be good for me!

Anybody remember when carbs were the "enemy" (lay off that bread!) but pork rinds --no carbs!-- were righteous. This food stuff can get pretty silly.

I think helping businesses who DON'T use trans-fats with a "never any transfats" city-sponsored decal or something has some educative value, and maybe gets people paying more attention. But what's next, the sodium police? Meanwhile the benzene fills our air from car emissions...

Eating excess sugars, carbs, calories, and fats (of all kinds) contributes to childhood (and adulthood) obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. A proposed ban on trans-fats in city restaurants will be meaningless if a person continues to eat the same deep fried or baked foods in excess (even if prepared without trans-fat).

Red Vines boldly proclaim "Always Fat Free"...Does that make licorice a health food? You can eat a pile of potato chips fried in Olestra, knowing that the fat molecules will "pass through" without being digested: does that make over indulgence in "reduced fat" potato chips a healthier choice than an apple, orange, or baked potato?

And what enforcement mechanism is contemplated by the CoP? When a non-compliant restaurant is discovered, what penalties would apply? I can imagine a brisk black market in transferring banned substances into "approved" containers.

Banning Trans-Fat from restaurant foods is like a City of Portland ordinance banning torture -- on Tuesdays -- within city limits. The other 6 days of the week are unconstrained; the rest of the state remains available to torturers.

Most of the prepared foods we eat (especially those in the grocery stores) were not prepared/canned/baked/processed within City Limits. There are very few people who rely on restaurants within City Limits for the majority of their caloric intake.

More Nanny Government doesn't make us healthier; it simply expands the scope and size of government.

I'm with Frank - while trans fats are certainly harmful, I worry that we're going for the quick fix solution to childhood obesity (ban the transfats!) rather than the longer systemic changes necessary (safe neighborhoods, better sidewalks, schools with - gasp - a PE program, a SUN school program in every school that provides affordable recreational opportunities for *all* kids, etc.)

And while it might feel good (and make us feel like we're doing something positive) banning transfats really won't do much to impact the health of Randy's mythical McDonald's family above - after all, they're still eating McDonald's for dinner, aren't they?

(Lest you think I'm unsympathetic, I'm not - I'm a single working parent of modest means myself who's relied on fast food for dinner before.)

"I believe that restaurants can cook exactly the same foods we enjoy eating without preparing the food in trans fat oils that have been proven to be unnecessarily deadly to the health of children and adults."

Mr Leonard, then let start addressing places like sex clubs and bathhouses where people engage in unsafe sex and start banning those also even if it is consenting adults who may also like to eat french fries also.

You seem to have this hubris that you can fix everyone's problems by passing laws after you read a book or two you agree with. The underlying tone is how you need to save stupid people from themselves and it is offensive to anyone with an IQ > 50.

Notification - yes, banning food - no.

Let us not forget that Clark Griswold in National Lampoons Vacation was a Food Preservative inventor. Randy, I fear you are trying to put him out of work. What about his wife, the kids, cousin Eddie? They all count on his income!

Doesn't the city have bigger fish to fry (regardless of what oil they choose to fry them in)?

"* People forced a change because they thought saturated fat was bad. As it turns out TransFat is worse for us than the saturated fats they replaced."

yes, and i will bet dollars to trans-fat free donuts that within 20 years it will be discovered that trans-fats are really good for us and prevent alzheimers (or something).

Randy,
What are your plans for enforcement? Are we going to have to set up a bureaucracy to inspect restaurants and a lab to test their cooking fat?

"As I suggested that they do months ago" -- Jack, as you know, Bureaucracy takes time.

I'm totally with Randy on this. It's a public health issue. The arguments on the other side are mostly recycled seat belt arguments: misguided libertarianism. With a sprinkling of "I know it's bad for me, but I want it anyway." Public health, folks. Manufactured trans fats are, from what we seem to know, poison. And, as Jack hilariously points out, we need the Crisco for our gasoline.

Randy,
What are your plans for enforcement? Are we going to have to set up a bureaucracy to inspect restaurants and a lab to test their cooking fat?

Dave, the next step is Randy will be over to inspect the contents of your 'fridge.

This city government is unreal...with all the problems here, trans-fats are at the top of the "fix-it" list?

Unfortunately, choice by consumers implies all consumers are aware of what may or may not be in the food they buy in a restaurant.

Randy, its called caveat emptor. Seriously, today if people dont know, its because they havent looked it up, or they just dont care.

I think you just arent happy that you havent run all the "unhealthy" businesses out of the city yet.

I mean c'mon...why the hell is it YOUR BUSINESS what I eat?


Jon,
The only thing Randy will find in my fridge is a pack of ball park franks and a bottle of Lauder's Scotch. I like it chilled.

Hey Randy,

If you really have the noble, paternalistic motivation for this ban that you claim, why not ban alcoholic beverages and cigarettes? Simply employ the same logic and get far more bang for the buck in terms of public health (or will it be tens or hundreds of thousands of bucks)? Why are trans-fats at the top of your list? I think you folks (council & Potter) pick around the edges just to play to your constituents and to distract public attention from the larger, tougher issues which make up the basis of the need for city government - and which ours regularly neglects. It's feel-good noise which erodes confidence in city government on the part of its responsible citizens and further increases government dependence in those whose attitudes toward self-reliance (I hope that's still a noble goal) are, as yet, unformed or ill-formed.

How many more city employees will creation, administration and enforcement of this ban require? Where's the scientific cost/benefit analysis? Where's the economic impact statement?

Oh wait, you "...believe that restaurants can cook exactly the same foods we enjoy eating without preparing the food in trans fat..." - well OK, then - as long as you believe.

Frank, Betsy, Steve...

Amen!

and, Randy, why do you have such a low opinion of poor folks abilities and judgement.

Class-ist!

"The only thing Randy will find in my fridge is a pack of ball park franks and a bottle of Lauder's Scotch."

Dave-
Now that the world knows what is in your fridge, I hope the burglars and assassins that have stalking you lately don't like hot dogs with a scotch chaser.

Tram's fat is OK, but trans-fat must be banned?

I have a cousin who's trans. She's skinny.

I'd really like to hear Randy respond to the philosophical issue: When is government prohibition justified, and when is it not?

Cigarettes are unquestionably bad for you, yet there has been no effort by City Council to ban them (yet). What makes cigarettes different from trans fats?

Randy also says the problem with the low-income family eating at McDonald's is that they "don't have the information necessary to make informed decisions." But if the problem is one of information, prohibition is a radical step. Why not start with the least intrusive regulation -- require disclosure in all restaurants -- and see if that has the desired effect? Packaged food makers are voluntarily eliminating trans fats now that they have to disclose them. . .there's no reason to think restaurants won't do the same.

I think most liberal Portlanders like myself will balk at this type of governmental intrusion. It smacks of Big Brother.

Miles,

Amen from the other end of the political spectrum. I think the end of Randy's rainbow holds a pot of trouble for all of us.

Hypocrisy, hype and hubris have no political affiliation.

Regulation vs. disclosure is an interesting topic. Alcohol and cigarettes are regulated, but not prohibited. They are of course also subject to some disclosure requirements. Other drugs are also regulated, and some prohibited, ostensibly for public health reasons. On the same basis, prohibition of cigarettes might make sense, although our experience generally with prohibitions on use (as opposed to regulation of the manner of distribution) isn't all that encouraging. Think Eighteenth Amendment, or the "War on Drugs"). The trans-fat-in-restaurant-cooking problem doesn't lend itself very well to disclosure as a remedy. It's not that hard to tell if you're smoking a cigar, but trans fat just tastes like food. Realistically, due diligence (I mean, beyond smelling the cork and all) just isn't part of the ordinary dining experience.

We know what you really need
We'll save you from big business' greed
There's no need to worry
Relax, try the curry
There's tofu and sesame seed

If there's anything else we can do
To help save yourself from you
Just drop us a line
We'll intrude just in time
To be sure that you've got the right view

If it seems that we're trying to be
The conscience best left to thee
We know just what's best
And throw out the rest
Including your right to be free

Trans-fat is the nose of the camel
Your rights they will readily trammel
When given the chance
They'll steal your pants
And tax you for being a mammal.

The lesson is not hard to know
Just listen to blowhards that blow
The gas they emit
Oft smelleth of (you know what)
Their motives thereby they will show.

the end

There once was a Fireman named Randy
Who banned store-bought cookies and candy
When asked about fries
He'd just patronize
That was his modus operandi

Cigarettes are unquestionably bad for you, yet there has been no effort by City Council to ban them (yet). What makes cigarettes different from trans fats?

The main difference is that it is really hard to avoid eating TransFat. It is very easy, for me, to not smoke a cigarette. In fact, cigarettes are controlled, and minors aren't supposed to be able to buy them because of how bad they are.

Maybe the city should put an age restriction on TransFat, you have to be over 18 to buy and/or consume it. Then pretty much only bars could use/serve it. (I can't imagine a store that would want to, or could, keep track of what items had TransFat in them and ask for ID when someone attempted to purchase one.)

Would that work for you? I would prefer that even bars didn't use TransFat, but I think it would be a step in the correct direction.(Of course, with no restaurant being able to use it, it might go away, and then even bars couldn't use it.)

I think eating trans fat-laden fish and chips in a restaurant is a form of speech, and under the Oregon Constitution, it simply cannot be restricted.

Michael,

The main difference is that it is really hard to avoid eating TransFat. It is very easy, for me, to not smoke. (emphasis mine) a cigarette.

What else (I tremble to ask) is really hard for you to avoid without city government's help and guidance...

...other than splitting infinitives, that is?

rr,

You are right I don't think the city government should be dealing with TransFat, I think the FDA, or some national body of government should deal with it for everyone, but failing them taking action, I think cities should step up to the plate.

The only other thing that I am currently aware of that I have a hard time avoiding, is HFCS. (High Fructose Corn Syrup) Both TransFat and HFCS is put into just about every food product you can buy. (Even plain old normal bread.)

Some companies even try to pass them off as organic, or all natural. While you can make either from an organic base, neither are 'all natural', and I would say that the chemical manipulation that they do to convert the base product would strip it of being organic.

Michael,

I think you're right about HFCS. There are several studies indicating a link between the increased use of HFCS and several of the maladies mentioned above. The emphasis (perhaps misplaced) has been on fats and that has left HFCS in the shadows when it may be a far worse culprit.

Basic research at the federal level should be stepped up and strong consideration given to some restrictions, or, at least, warnings until hard data are in.

The same is true for trans-fats.

The trouble arises when they quantify the real dangers of both substances. What is the role of government then? Ban, restrict, warning labels, etc.

I'm on the side of "less is more" in the area of regulation - simply because I think it helps foster more self-reliance and responsibility. Government has aboslutely no business saving us from ourselves. That's just substituting government for God in the social evolution debate. I think that one's almost settled.

Please, however...

...let's keep city government out of the loop.

It's just not their job.

If eating trans-fat laden fish is a form of speech (or religious worhsip), surely blowing smoke qualifies as well.

to paraphrase a recent president...

It all depends on the orifice from which the smoke blows.

The Portland City Council keeps the eternal blue flame alive...

First the came for the trans fats, and I didn't care because I didn't eat them.

Then they came for the HCFS, and that didn't matter to me either.

But then they came after the foie gras, and that started to hit closer to home.

And then it was the Kettle Chips with their too high sodium content.

Next the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups with their hydrogenated fats.

They banned red wine full of sulfites.

Outlawed raw oysters.

No more moldy blue cheese.

Hamburgers? Forget it.

Lamb? You jest.

White bread? Eat your whole grains!

Butter? No more cow exploitation!

Bacon? I don't think so.

French fries? Are you mad? It's Freedom Fries now...from potato-substitute tofu cultivated from organic soybeans grown in native-planted swales, fried in 100% post-consumer recyled bio-diesel fuel.

Yum...

Randy: after you ban trans-fat, can you ban the use of salad greens that have any brown/decaying spots? I know it probably won't kill me, but it pisses me off to pay $6 dollars for week old salad.

And I've experienced this problem from nicer restaurants (like Jakes or Manzana) to fast food. The most reliable fresh salads are found at Wendys or Elephant's Deli.

Mayonnaise should be banned next: it's the most common source of food poisoning in restaurants and it's 80% fat.

Lisa Naito and Jeff Cogen sound like they are going to beat Randy to the trans-fat free punch, from today's O:

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1168057521231500.xml&coll=7

Makes me kind of regret voting for Jeff.

Get used to it. Little Big Pipe will give you lots to wonder about.

I already have to go to Vancouver for my cold medicine, now this.

Randy -
If your 'low income' family is going to McDonalds, then someone needs to show them how expensive it is to feed a family of four at McDonalds versus cooking it at home. Again, we don't need a ban and we don't need the nanny government meddling in our lives more than it already does. Do something useful like help Sam fix the roads, quit wasting money and time on nonsense like this.


Sponsors


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 324
At this date last year: 176
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


Clicky Web Analytics