No more trans fats at New York City restaurants. Will biodiesel be affected?

New York City has banned restaurants from serving foods with trans fats, a rule that may someday affect eateries in the rest of the country. Oils containing trans fats are/were used to deep-fry all sorts of goodies and are/were also present in baked goods. Restaurants in the city have until July 2008 to replace all trans fats in their foods. Since about a third of the caloric intake in NYC comes from eating out, the Board of Health said, "The public health concern addressed by this amendment is the presence of trans fat in foods served in restaurants, which represents a dangerous and entirely preventable health risk to restaurant goers. Yet New York City restaurant patrons currently have no practical way to avoid this harmful substance."
It's not entirely clear how this change might affect the green car community members who interact the most with restaurant oil: biodiesel homebrewers. We can take a guess, though, by reading the Sept/Oct issue of U.S. Canola Digest, the official publication of the U.S. Canola Association and Northern Canola Growers Association. The magazine has a good article on high-stability canola oil, which contains no trans fats. For us, the important thing to take away from the article is that this healthier, trans fat free oil has a longer frying life (see chart after the jump) and therefore will not be replaced as often. As Katie Hagen writes, the oil's extended fry life is more than twice that of traditional canola oil. This means that restaurants managers who decide to switch will be able to offer less waste oil for homebrewers. You can download the magazine in PDF format by clicking here. The article starts on page 14.

[Source: Katie Hagen for U.S. Canola Digest, Charisse Jones and Nanci Hellmich for USA Today]

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