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Trans Fats: not welcome at culinary schools

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I read this today about how culinary schools are moving away from trans fats: Cooking schools latest to ban trans fats - Diet and nutrition - MSNBC.com

How do you avoid them in cake decorating without breaking the budget? :confused:
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post #2 of 16
I'm okay with this sort of thing, more or less. But when New York banned trans fats back in 2006, I'm staunchly opposed to that.

I feel that cooks and restaurant owners have a right to cook however they please, so long as it's not outright toxic or improperly handled. So current studies indicate that trans fats are worse for you than saturated fats. Okay, but any fat is still bad for you, and if you eat anything out of moderation it's going to have adverse health conditions. If you eat too many strawberries you'll get hives. If you drink too much water it's possible to go into a coma and die of water intoxication.

So long as a product is safe for consumption, it's the responsibility of the consumer to ensure that they eat a healthy diet. But, apparently the city of New York feels that it's their business to come into our kitchens and tell us how we can and can't cook.

I feel much the same about the smoking ban in public places in New York. I'm not a smoker myself, and I don't care to eat with smokers, it interferes with my enjoyment of my food. But if a restaurant owner wants to cater to smokers, it's the owner's choice to do so. If the owner wants to ban smoking in his establishment, well that's his choice too, and he's likely to be the one who gets my business as a result. But, again, I don't feel that the government has any place stepping in and telling private business owners how to run their businesses.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
The original focus of this question is a practical one: how can a pastry chef maintain the quality of his/her work and cake decorating if s/he can't use solid shortening? That was the original intent of this thread.

But....

I'm sure we've covered this ground before. At the risk of opening a can of worms, I feel trans fats and smoking are public health issues. Lung disease and the fallout from thoughtless behavior affect us all- whether we realize it or not. Health care costs go up, and it affects ALL of us when the care is paid for by medicare and other federal or state health care programs.

Another example is this one: I had a student who drank and used drugs. It's her choice, you might say. Well, she wandered out in front of a car when she was 14 (floating between house parties on a Saturday night) and ended up badly brain damaged, needing special education. Her education cost five times that of a typical student.

That's why I think things like this go beyond "personal behavior".
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post #4 of 16
Check with your suppliers, most of the margerine /fats guys have a non-hydrogenated and non-trans-fat version of their stuff as well.

Margerine was produced commercially in the early 1900's, so if they could make that dreck back then with fats and oils available, there's no reason why modern producers can't now.


Running Duck: You can do what ever you want, but ultimately you're giving the customer what they want. When they demand non-transfat/non hydrogenated schtuff you have the choice to supply it--at a premium-- or tell them to like or lump what you serve them
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post #5 of 16
Appologies for derailing the topic. As an answer to the original question, shortenings made from coconut oil are free of trans-fats. And are usually organically grown to boot. Which is always nice when you can swing it. It's a little pricier than your standard shortening, but not too bad. And, in lots of things like cookies or pie crusts, good old fashioned lard makes baked goods even more tender and flavorful than shortening, and is also trans-fat free and, if memory serves, cheaper to boot.
post #6 of 16
I'd say use coconut oil shortening for decorations and things which won't be baked - which is a little more expensive. But by using lard for anything that's going to be baked in place of shortening, hopefully the cheaper lard will offset the cost of the more expensive coconut oil and balance will be maintained.

Just a thought.
post #7 of 16
Well... If you are decorating dummy cakes-hunks of styrofoam, I'd go with the lard. But then for any baked goods, anything that might be consumed I'd tend to shy away from lard because of religious issues. Both Coconut and palm kernal oils/fats have a reputation for saturated fats, so it'll only be a matter of time before that gets banned too.

I dunno, what about exploring other options, selling some wholsesale stuff to close contacts and using that money for real butter and the more expensive P.C. fats?
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post #8 of 16
I will interject in this post so I can pump a little food science here:

All <natural> foods that contain fats have a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fats.

Saturated fat is a chemical that is <saturated> with hydrogen atoms meaning it is chemically stable and does not react easily like in the case of becoming rancid. At room temperature, these fats are solid.

Unsaturated fats, as the name says, are unsaturated with hydrogen atoms meaning they have reactive sections and can be reacted with hydrogen (hydrogenation) to make a partially hydrogenated (still unsaturated) or a fully saturated fat.

Transfats are created when unsaturated fat is only partially hydrogenated using a chemical process. This process creates a different unsaturated fat configuration called trans fat. It is rarely found in nature and we do not have the mechanism to metabolize this type of unsaturated fat.

The basic problem of trans fats is when fats are partially hydrogenated using a chemical means. Coming soon are hydrogenated fats using enzymes extracted from bacteria that do not create transfats. This new generation of fats are called inter-esterified. Already some studies are showing it may be as bad as transfats but policies will take decades before it catches up with reality. I knew transfats were bad 35 years ago in my first course of biochemistry in University.

An alternative is to blend hard high saturated fats with softer fats (palm or coconut oil with soya for example) to obtain a desired <hardness> but it will go rancid over time. Or use (fully) Hydrogenated fats mixed with soft fats... unfortunately <hydrogenated> is now synonymous to trans fats hence a bad word.



Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #9 of 16
I will interject in this post so I can pump a little food science here:

All <natural> foods that contain fats have a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fats.

Saturated fat is a chemical that is <saturated> with hydrogen atoms meaning it is chemically stable and does not react easily like in the case of becoming rancid. At room temperature, these fats are solid.

Unsaturated fats, as the name says, are unsaturated with hydrogen atoms meaning they have reactive sections and can be reacted with hydrogen (hydrogenation) to make a partially hydrogenated (still unsaturated) or a fully saturated fat.

Transfats are created when unsaturated fat is only partially hydrogenated using a chemical process. This process creates a different unsaturated fat configuration called trans fat. It is rarely found in nature and we do not have the mechanism to metabolize this type of unsaturated fat.

The basic problem of trans fats is when fats are partially hydrogenated using a chemical means. Coming soon are hydrogenated fats using enzymes extracted from bacteria that do not create transfats. This new generation of fats are called inter-esterified. Already some studies are showing it may be as bad as transfats but policies will take decades before it catches up with reality. I knew transfats were bad 35 years ago in my first course of biochemistry in University.

An alternative is to blend hard high saturated fats with softer fats (palm or coconut oil with soya for example) to obtain a desired <hardness> but it will go rancid over time. Or use (fully) Hydrogenated fats mixed with soft fats... unfortunately <hydrogenated> is now synonymous to trans fats hence a bad word.



Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #10 of 16
Does anyone have recipes that use red palm oil? I bought some online for health from Rainforestredpalmoil, and they have some recipes, but I'd like more!
post #11 of 16
I have had organic African red palm oil from Rainforest on the shelf not refrigerated in the jar for three years, and it has NOT gone bad! Same with coconut oil from same source - rainforestredpalmoil.com and rainforestcoconutoil.com
post #12 of 16
I got a lot of useful info about non-trans fat red palm oil, and recipes at
Red Palm Oil Health from Rainforest, Organic Red Palm Oil, African Red Palm Oil
post #13 of 16
good

why use trans fats when u have

gee
butter
coconut oil
palm oil
avocado oil
lard
duck/goose fat
suet
marrow fat


all these are solid or soft at room temp fats right?

what about vegetable shortening?
post #14 of 16
they might ber saturated fats but they are healthy especially when balanced with other nut oils, avocado oil and oilive and fish oils
post #15 of 16
:thumb::peace:I`m standing on my chair, applauding your post!!! It`s about someone else said this! next is urgery soft drinks, then it will be cafine! The media propagates this stuff and the public just buys it "hook-line-and-sinker". The government needs to back up, stop playing the "saftey *****" and simply let citizens decide if they want their steak rare or cooked into pot roast!!
post #16 of 16
I agree, what could be a more personal choice than what one eats? A person's body belongs to them and as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others, it is entirely up to the individual what they will eat.
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