Sunday, February 15, 2009

SALE! Heart disease for only $2.99!

I'm starting a new research essay for my advanced technical writing class. Since the emphasis of the class is for elementary ed majors, my previous assignments were focused on education topics, ones which I couldn't care less about. But this one, our final essay, we are permitted to write about a topic specific to our majors. Excellent. But with the broad range of medical topics, I realized that zeroing in on one narrow subject, and one that I'm interested in, wasn't going to be easy. Yet through taking some time to research, I realized sooner than later what I wanted to talk about. And to I'm sure everyone's sincere interest, I am researching trans fats. A few weeks ago, my anatomy prof, Bro. Shaw, gave an FYI about the process of making trans fats (TFs) as we learned about the molecules of life. 
For you chemists:
Unsaturated fats (canola or olive oils) are made up a single chain of carbon atoms with more single, but one or more double covalent bonds. To make trans fats, companies take these cheap oils and add intense heats and pressures, along with a nickel catalyst to promote hydrogenation, to break those double bonds. This makes the lipid a solid at room temperature, which promotes freshness and texture to foods such as crackers, cookies, and dough. 
For you who aren't chemists:
Trans fats are also called hydrogenated oils. Although your packet of Ritz says it has 0grams of trans fat, that percent is per serving; and we all know NO one actually eats one serving of Ritz. Scroll down the list of ingredients and if you read something along the lines of "partially hydrogenated", or simply, "hydrogenated", you've got trans fat. The American Heart Association (AHA) warns that more than 2 grams of trans fat per day is unhealthy. That statement in and of itself basically shouts don't even touch it! 
For you who still aren't getting it:
Trans fats are basically rancid, bacteria riddled oil that has been steamed, but not anti-bacterialized, bleached white, stuffed with artificial flavorings and sold in super markets as margarine or shortening. What does it do? No seriously, what it literally DOES as a JOB?: It causes cardiovascular disease, increases bad cholesterol (LDL), and type 2 diabetes. Why: Because it is a man-made fat, your body has a tough time breaking it down and so it stays in your body for a long period of time. 
Why am I writing about this? Because it honestly disgusts me. European countries have banned the production of foods with trans fats, but our's hasn't because it would mean using more healthy, and therefore expensive fats, such as butter, to make every little pastry and crunch we so glutinously enjoy. 
Your country is corrupt enough to withhold educating citizens of the man-made heart cloggers they're selling on the market so companies can continue to take cheap oil, ship it out as poison, and sell it for way more than it's worth. How can I prove I'm right? The fact that food companies go out of their way to fool buyers into thinking there's no trans fat in their snacks by saying so per serving, and then using its formal, chemical name as hydrogenated oils in the list of ingredients to disguise its true identity verifies that they know it's dangerous, but will go to all extremes to cover it up. Why also won't the government educate us? Because a decrease in heart disease and diabetes=a decrease in sick patients=less money into the pockets of the medical world. 
To all my wonderful family and friends, if you have anything with trans fat or hydrogenated oils, throw it out. Check your pantries today, even right now. Most things that come in boxes or wrappers have hydrogenated oils to preserve its freshness and if your closet is full of boxed-up goodies, something tells me your family is consuming more than 2gs of TF every day. 

So, the next time you make cookies full of shortening, or slather a spoonful of margarine onto your child's toast, think about what you're doing--directly causing heart disease and diabetes. 

Really, America? Really?
 Try: Obese-Middle-Aged-Man-Causing Margarine

1 comment:

Aaron and Ailinh Harris said...

...But trans fat is so yummy! ;) You are a good arguer. I could feel my arteries clog up already reading your post. haha oops... I guess thats gotta tell me something!