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The Possible Ban on Fast Foods

Started by Deagonx, July 25, 2011, 12:49:10 PM

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Note: This thread works under the assumption that fast food is under attack by the legal system. If you entirely disagree with this, I would prefer you not post about it because thats not what I want to argue about.

Recently I have heard some disturbing news that I think may lead to an ultimate ban on fast food.

A law has recently been released in New Jersey (Or was it New York?) that, although not targetted towards McDonalds in its own right, illegalized the selling of Happy Meals. (It was a trans-fat law)

Now, if you look at the evolution of the "seatbelt" law, one might think that they are not going to stop releasing these laws little by little. In the 1960s being caught without a seatbelt you would get little more than a pat on the nose, now you get a 200 dollar ticket.

Now, as stated I do not want to argue about whether or not this is actually going to happen, but if you agree that it SHOULD happen.

I personally think that this is completely unfair, and that the government should not be watching over our shoulders to keep us from eating unhealthy things such as McDonalds.

Your Thoughts?
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What does the law forbid? Sale? Production? Purchase? Consumption? Foods cannot be banned; only actions concerning them can. Please elaborate to the best of your knowledge, lest you be presumed to be uninformed about a law you oppose.


Yes, I apologize, I should have done more research.

In New York City, not only did they ban artifical trans-fats. They illegalized the sale of toys in happy meals. San Fransisco also suffered this same law involving artificial trans-fats and now Happy Meals cannot be sold in either NYC or San Fransisco.
I believe in evolution. How else would Charmander become Charizard?


Do you know what their grounds were for banning the sale of toys in Happy Meals?
Might McDonald's be able to remove trans fat from their Happy Meal in the face of this decision by the legislature?
Do you believe that foods with trans fat in them taste better than those without?

Please understand that these questions are non-judgemental, and only seek to further the discussion. That is, I won't think any less or more of you (nor ought you care if I did) in a way that depends upon your answer.


I would recommend you take a look at this link:

I guess their grounds on banning it are simply "Its unhealthy, they shouldn't be allowed to sell it."
(EDIT: I see you were talking about the toys. In that case, no I am not that sure about that.)

And, honestly I have no notion as to what the other 2 are.
I believe in evolution. How else would Charmander become Charizard?


Okay. I shall rephrase my latter two questions.

Might McDonald's, being a large business, and having a very large profit margin, be able to spend a little bit of money in order to get rid of the trans fat in their foods? I don't think it would hurt their enormous profit margin to do that.


Do you think that foods with trans fat taste better than foods that don't have it?

Again, please don't take these questions as judgemental, nor the highlighting of key phrases as condescending. I merely seek to make sure you have a notion this time.

I read the article. It says that the grounds for banning trans fat are that:

  • Americans are now more conscious about trans fat than they used to be.
  • Trans fat quantities are now marked on packaged foods.
  • However, Americans are now eating out more (possibly because they see trans fats in packaged foods than they used to) at restaurants.
  • Restaurants aren't required to tell you how much trans fat is in their food. How could that work?
  • Instead, so as to limit health problems resulting from trans fat, and let Americans know exactly how much trans fat is in their food (exactly 0g), trans fat ought to be banned

Please note that I express neither support nor denial of these claims and argument.


Its not trans-fats, its artificial trans-fats. Really, though, Im not a business man and I have no idea how much it would be to use... "real" trans-fats.

Do I think foods taste better with trans-fats? I have no idea. I have no care for my eating habits so I don't know whether or not a food has a trans-fat.

But, I know you want more than that. So, I googled "Why does McDonalds use artificial trans-fats"

Well, I didnt get an answer but I did get something else. A news report saying that immediately when the law was passed McDonalds complied and took out their trans-fats.

As to your notion about spending a little bit of money. Its not about the trans-fat, according to this article which states....

"McDonald's says there aren't yet good substitutes for trans fat and that switching may compromise the taste of its food. Using trans-fat frying oils also allows fast-food chains to trim costs, since the same oil can be used for weeks."

As Well As

" [McDonalds] has said in the past that the company's priority is to meet taste and quality expectations of customers. It originally pledged to get rid of trans fat in its restaurants by 2003. But so far, it says, it hasn't been able to find an adequate substitute. "

Note that I do not know if they are being honest. I mean, there are some companies that SAY (once again, its their word we are relying on) that they removed trans-fats without compromising tastes. But really, how would we know?

I hope that answers all your questions.

I believe in evolution. How else would Charmander become Charizard?


Alas, there are more.

Where was the law concerning the ban on artificial trans fats passed such that McDonald's removed trans fats from their foods?
Does this not imply that McDonalds does have an effective substitute?
Or does McDonald's claim that the taste is compromised? Do you know of any entity other than McDonald's that concurs that the removal of trans fats would compromise the taste of the foods McDonald's provides?

Is McDonald's concerned more with their profit margin, or with human health?


Q1: The laws were passed in New York (Entire State) and San Fransisco (A city in california)

Q2: I would assume so.

Q3: No I do not.

Q4: Idk.
I believe in evolution. How else would Charmander become Charizard?


Thanks. I think I'm running out of questions.

So, from what you've said (and I think I can answer the last one for you):

  • McDonald's has managed to remove trans fats from their food in some places.
  • They most likely have an effective substitute.
  • No one else is complaining about a taste difference in New York and San Francisco.
  • McDonald's raised complaints about costs and taste, but we both know that they make large amounts of money as a company, and, as you said, you don't know about anyone that's complained about a taste difference.
  • Trans fats tend to have an overall health detriment.
  • McDonald's would, therefore, appear to be insisting on continuing to use trans fats because of the costliness of alternatives despite the fact that human health is generally negatively affected by their use in foods.
  • You, particularly, haven't noticed any taste difference due to the presence or absence of trans fats.

It kind of looks like McDonald's is being a bit greedy here, and hanging on to an argument about taste that no one else verifies (honestly, I've noticed that I feel better after eating non-trans-fat foods that those with it -- that could just be me), and finally the legislature decided to do something about it. Small businesses worried about rising prices of production after a trans fat ban should really look into buying cooking oils in greater bulk, and I'm sure that with a greater number of restaurants using non-trans-fat cooking oils, the costs of production of the oils will go down, and there will be no more problem. Even if it does cost a bit more if / when trans fat is banned, wouldn't the satisfaction of knowing that you'll have less of a chance of heart failure and death when you're older be worth it?

I still don't know anything about the toys-in-happy-meals ban; I'll look into that.


I can't remember if this has been brought up or not. But many restaurants have stated they use artificial trans-fats because it lasts long. And you can use the same oil for almost a week without any ill consequences. Where as "healthy" alternatives only last a day. (Not to mention compromising taste (supposedly))
I believe in evolution. How else would Charmander become Charizard?


Yeah, it is a bummer that preservatives and non-perishable cooking supplies tend to be unhealthy. On the other hand, think about it; Do you really want to be eating stuff that was fried in week-old cooking oils? Sure, a lack of ill consequences is professed, but I still can't say I like the idea very much.

I guess the matter comes down to whether you think it's worthwhile to increase the financial burden on restaurants somewhat in order to ensure public health.

Now, a couple more questions:

Do you think oil costs make up a very significant portion of total operating costs of a restaurant?
Are you skeptical of the health benefits of cooking without trans fats (I notice that you put quotation marks around "healthy")? If you were, that would be completely reasonable; there's a lot of possible bias around this subject.


Q1: I would say a good 15-20 percent, if I had to guess.

Q2: I am, really. I mean plenty of healthy, well-to-do people eat at McDonalds frequently.

Side Notes: Honestly, I take the approach of "This isn't Burger King, you don't get it YOU'RE way, you take it OUR way, or you can gtfo."
I believe in evolution. How else would Charmander become Charizard?


Quote from: Deagonx on July 28, 2011, 05:13:24 PM
Q2: I am, really. I mean plenty of healthy, well-to-do people eat at McDonalds frequently.
It would help your point if you could give some names or references. Just saying.


I don't understand why anyone thinks the government should be involved in this.  McDonalds isn't secretly poisoning people to earn profits.  Everyone knows that trans-fats aren't healthy and they shouldn't be consumed on a regular basis.  A nutrition chart is available at every fast food chain if you ask for it, so they clearly aren't putting anything in their food that the consumers don't know about.  Instead of big brother government choosing what we can eat, individuals should make their own responsible choices.  When I exercise regularly, why should I have to pay more for a less tasty burger during my once a week trip to McDonalds?  Consumers like me and McD stockholders/employees shouldn't be punished, because some people make bad decisions in their eating habits.  Also, no body if forcing you go to McDonalds.  If you don't want high levels of transfat, then go to Subway (condiments have all the fat there).

I understand that the toys in happy meals are met to entice children, yet no body is forcing that children to buy a happy meal.  When I was a kid, I got some lego toy in my happy meal.  Later in the week, I ask my parents to go back, so I could get another.  Do you know what I didn't get another happy meal or another the toy?  My parents was responsible enough to say "No". Because government got involved, even kids with responsible parents won't get toys in their happy meals.

It is trans-fat today, but what is it tomorrow?  Butter?  Salt?  Chocolate?