Aramark drops trans fat

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February 17, 2007

2:35 PM

According to an article in the Feb. 8 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Aramark, a food-service corporation based in Philadelphia that operates cafeterias on over 400 university campuses, including the College, will cut the chemically altered fat known as “trans fat” from its frying oils and other foods.

p. The artificially produced trans fats are used to improve taste, texture and shelf life. They are used in foods such as salad dressing, popcorn and waffles. Also, many fried items use trans fat oil.

p. According to the Food and Drug Administration, increased intake of trans fats has been linked to elevated cholesterol, increased risk for heart disease and liver dysfunction. One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition linked trans fat to infertility in women.

p. The College, however, is ahead of schedule. According to Phil DiBenedetto, the head of dining services at the College, dining halls on campus have been rid of trans fats for some time.

p. “In September the switch was made,” he said. Although many pre-packaged foods, such as cookies and candy bars, still contain trans fats, “there are no trans fats from our recipes.”

p. The announcement from Aramark covers most of its other colleges that still serve trans fats. “By the first quarter all Aramark [schools] will use zero grams of trans fat,” DiBenedetto said.

p. According to DiBenedetto, there has been little reaction on campus.

p. “I don’t know if anybody’s noticed,” he said, adding that he had received no comments from students about the change. He added that the College is often ahead on issues like these, citing the recent switches to fair trade coffee and biodegradable take-out containers.

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