Tuesday, June 26, 2007


New York has placed itself at the controversial forefront of public health by banning transfats. It's Australia though, land of fish n' chips and the meat pie, which has one of the lowest transfat consumption rates of the modern world. According a radio interview with a public health official, Australians are already well below the recommended daily consumption rates. In fact, I think we might have been the only western industrialized nation to be below the recommended amounts. Indeed, margarines (way more popular than butter here) and deep fried foods are often made with olive oil, and are pretty much transfat free (many fish n' chip shops are owned by Greek and Lebanese families, which may have some connection with the use of olive oil.)

As an American, I also find it strange that corn syrup is basically nonexistent in foods here. Even packaged cookies, which in America would be jam-packed with corn syrup and partially hydrogenated fats, are corn-syrup and trans-fat free. Syrups, jams, canned foods also are without corn syrup as that hidden second ingredient. Of course, this doesn't stop Australia from being the third most obese nation in the world (after the US and the UK, of course), and I don't really know if heart disease and diabetes rates are lower than in the US. But at least I know that I'm not unknowingly killing my arteries or giving myself diabetes.

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