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Louisa B. Johnson, Ulen, Minn., Published December 08 2013

Article seemed to tilt toward opponents of a trans fat ban

I read the article about trans fat in the Monday, Dec. 2, Forum with interest. I’m not a professional baker; however, I’ve learned over the years that butter and lard give you the best and tastiest baked goods. If you use lard to oil your baking pans, they won’t have a buildup on them. In fact, the pans will start to brighten as you use them. Lard used in cakes that don’t call for butter will be light and fluffy. I think lard has been given a bad rap over the years. It is an amazing natural shortening.

OK, back to the article. The first baker, Karen Wills, seems to share my enthusiasm for butter and lard. She sees no problem with a ban on trans fats since she is already using natural shortenings. But your article seems to slant toward Pete Fendt’s critical view. And my logical mind is trying to figure out his problem with this ban.

He states that in the 1980s, he tried to cut down on butter and lard in his recipes because he thought it would be healthier for his customers. He started to use trans fat shortenings and margarine that do not have the flavor of a natural shortening. Then his customers revolted against his healthy baked goods, and he reverted back to his old recipes. I assume he meant using butter and lard again. If that is the case, his statement that if the FDA gets its way, he might not have an option for his baked goods. If he’s baking with butter and lard, he doesn’t have to worry about the FDA’s shortening squad descending on his bakery and confiscating his baked goods. Butter and lard are natural fats and contain zero trans fats.

Trans fats are manmade fats. Crisco is on the chopping block. So is the margarine I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Don’t believe the label on I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter or Crisco. If you read the labels, they state 0 trans fats per serving. That just means in their serving size there is less than 1 gram of trans fats. All margarines and vegetable-based solid shortenings have trans fats.

As Dr. Sheldon Cooper said on the “The Big Bang Theory” TV show: “I have no problem believing you’re not butter!”


Johnson lives in Ulen, Minn.