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French Fries

Olestra, revisited -- and are french fries immoral?


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Olestra, revisited -- and are french fries immoral?

John Tracey | Mar 2, 2001 12:35 PM

The New Yorker has a piece this week arguing that french fries are killing us with bad fats. (Shocking!) But it also asks at one point whether fast-food companies have an obligation to change the way they are cooked -- perhaps, the author suggests, by cooking with with a new hybrid beef-tallow-and-olestra-based cooking fat that would "would deliver every nuance of the old buttery, meaty tallow at a fraction of the calories."

Interestingly, the piece also suggests that olestra's oft-reported side effects -- gastrointestinal in nature -- may be exaggerated. Because "nearly a third of adults suffer at least one episode [of diarrhea] each month ... even FDA regulators now appear to be convinced that ... in many of the complaints ... Olestra was unfairly blamed."

The article is available at The New Yorker's new Web site at the link below -- but after a few days I think it will link to a new article and you may have to go hunting for it.



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