The Louisville Metro Board of Health held the first of two public forums on artificial trans fat Tuesday night. The Metro Council asked the department to study trans fat and make a recommendation on how best to counter the ill health effects associated with the substance, which is found in some processed foods and cooking oils.
The meeting began with a presentation on how other cities have tackled the same issue. Culinary Arts student James Mitchell says he supports an outright ban like those imposed in New York City and California.
“I see pretty much nothing but good coming out of it,” he says. “I couldn’t think of any negatives in keeping trans fats around.”
Kingfish restaurant CEO Kyle Noltemeyer uses trans-fat-free oils in his restaurants, but opposes a ban on the local level because the healthier oils are more often expensive and do not last as long.
“The cost is double once you’ve taken the fact that we’re using it and we’re losing more frequently, that’s where the double cost comes in,” he says.
Noltemeyer says he might favor a national ban, which would likely increase demand and lower costs. The board of health will hold another meeting Thursday. The comments will be weighed against input from restaurateurs and doctors and an opinion will be given to the Metro Council in late December.