I eat at a lot of restaurants that I trust to feed me food that’s healthy if eaten in moderation. When I eat at restaurants that I’m less familiar with, I’m willing to accept the fact that I’m almost certainly eating a certain amount of food that I would ideally avoid. I eat indiscriminately when I visit a new restaurant. If I like something and expect to eat it regularly, I’ll try to find out whether it contains hydrogenated oils. If it does, I’ll stop eating it.
This is particularly difficult with bakeries. Almost all bakeries use liberal amounts of hydrogenated oils in their baked goods. It’s cheap, easy to source, increases shelf life and supposedly has a good “mouth feel.” I’d like to find some bakeries, particularly some donut shops, that cook without it.
I’d also love to see Ohio follow the example of New York City and ban the use of hydrogenated oils in restaurants. According to the FDA, the appropriate amount of artificial trans fats in a healthy diet is none. I shouldn’t have to ask every restaurant whether they use partially hydrogenated oils any more than I should have to ask them whether or not they use melamine.
I’ve started to pay more attention. What’s far more depressing than finding a bakery that uses hydrogenated oil, is finding a cook or an owner who looks at me like an alien when I ask. Of course, the worst is when someone quickly and confidently claims to use pure vegetable oil. Great. Is it partially hydrogenated vegetable oil? Good luck finding out.
Here follows a few scraps of info that I’ve collected. Despite the frustration, I hope to continue collecting and posting updates. Feel free to add any info you have or find. I can use all the help that I can get.
- Lax & Mandel uses hydrogenated oils in most of their products – everything that has any fat.
- Amy Joy doesn’t know what hydrogenated oil is. Doesn’t seem interested in finding out. Uses a commercial mix – too many different mixes to bother reading all the ingredients.
- Great Scott’s bakery used to have good donuts. When I went there recently, I was told their supplier closed its nearby location so Great Scott’s no longer has donuts. Great Scott’s seems to use un-hydrogenated oils in most recipes that call for oil and butter in most places where you would expect butter. Their supplier was Spudnuts which still operates at least one location. The person who answered the phone didn’t know what hydrogenated oil was but someone else checked. They fry in hydrogenated oil.
- Dunkin Donuts’ recently got a lot of news coverage for reformulating their donuts to be “0 grams trans fat.” The ingredients still include a blend of oils with some partially hydrogenated but the amount of trans fats in the final product is lower than .5 grams and consequently, Dunkin can label their products “0 grams trans fat.”
- Becker’s donuts:”Yes, we use regular vegetable oil.” Where regular=hydrogenated.
- Apparently, the only donut in the area that can be trusted is from Lucy’s Sweet Surrender.
- Unger’s has been advertising that they’re now trans fat free. Are they trans fat free like Dunkin Donuts? Or have they completely done away with partially hydrogenated oils? Do they have donuts? Are they worth eating?