OK, I tried to be good. I really did. I read this story in the paper this morning. I bitched to Maggie, and then I tried to leave it at that.
But I can’t.
What am I bitching about? No, not the impending ban on trans fat. I pretty much regard that as a good thing. My complaint is about this quote from Dr. Junaid Khan, the director of cardiovascular services at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center:
The trend (against trans fat) was clearly there. I’m just glad the FDA got on it. You try to educate people, but education is only one part. Forcing industry to stop putting poison in people’s food is an obvious option.
Excuse me, but “poison”? No, Dr. Khan, trans fats are not poison. Not unless you’re also going to class salt, caffeine, and alcohol as a poisons. After all, assuming you weigh 175 pounds, the caffeine in 111 cups of brewed coffee (or 60 bottles of 5 Hour Energy) will kill you at least as quickly as the trans fat in your diet today. Ditto for 265 grams of table salt (that’s 44 teaspoons) or 20 shots of 80 proof booze.
Trans fats may be unhealthy, but they’re not poison.
Look, Doc, I understand you’re making a point, but this kind of hyperbole isn’t helping. You’ve already won the battle: trans fats are being banned from foods. Can you drop the scare tactics? Thanks!
Fat lover! People like you shouldn’t be allowed to use the internet!
Oh, by the way, where did you get those dosages? Is that stuff actually out there? I was particularly intrigued by the “20 shot” figure. My relationship with alcohol hasn’t been the same since I finally realized that alcohol is- yes- toxic, and that intoxication (inTOXICation) is no more or less than our bodies trying to deal with the ingestion of a toxic substance.
Food, and drink, for thought. Thanks, as always, running dog apologist for profit driven baby poisoners.
Voof! Running pooch, that’s me! (snicker)
All of the dosages are based on the relevant LD50s, so there’s a definite YMMV there.
The 20 shot figure came from an article on the danger of drinking games (http://hubpages.com/hub/Drinking-Games-How-Many-Shots-Would-it-Take-to-Kill-You-Find-Out-Here).
The numbers for salt came from “More LD50 examples” (http://www.freya.u-net.com/risk/ld_frame.html) and a nutritional ranking from the USDA (https://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12354500/Data/SR25/nutrlist/sr25w307.pdf).
The caffeine numbers came from one of my favorite non-nutritional sites, “Death by Caffeine” (http://www.energyfiend.com/death-by-caffeine).
As I mentioned, all of the numbers are based on a weight of 175 pounds. Lethal dosages will be lower for lighter people…
I don’t have any hard data, but my suspicion is that trans fats in normal food dosages are less dangerous for babies than salt, alcohol, or caffeine. Doesn’t mean I’m going to start feeding french fries to rugrats, but geeze, why can’t people maintain some sense of proportion?
PS: I’m going to throw a can of Coke (high fructose corn syrup AND caffeine!) at the first person to start talking about soda taxes…
Agreed. Tho sad to say I’ve heard wheat called a poison so many times over the past several months that hearing trans fat called a poison scarcely registers on my stupidOmeter.
Oh yes, the “gluten is murder” meme. Argh!
I’d like to take this opportunity to invite both camps to sit down with a nice cup of hemlock tea. All natural, guaranteed to be free of both trans fats and gluten, and highly traditional for settling arguments.
Now that’s a poison.