Marion Nestle
Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, NYU
01:45

The Trans-Fat and Foie Gras Bans: Do you agree?

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Trans-fats are a problem, but they're not the biggest problem, Nestle says.

Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle is a consumer activist, nutritionist, and academic who specializes in the politics of food and dietary choice. Nestle received her BA, PhD, and MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1988, Nestle was appointed Chair of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. She held that position until 2004, when she became the Paulette Goddard Professor in the same department.

Nestle is the author of numerous books, including "Food Politics," which explored the way corporations influence our nutritional choices, and "What to Eat," an survey of how to navigate the modern American supermarket. Aside from her books and teaching, Nestle writes a popular blog for the Atlantic Food Channel. 

 

Transcript

Marion Nestle: I have mixed feelings about both of them actually.  The trans fat ban I actually commented on in an Op Ed piece in the New York Times, so I’m on record in saying that the way it was explained to me by people in the health department is that they were doing this because they could do it.  I don’t think the trans fats are the biggest problem in the American food supply, but they are not very good to eat.  They’re not helpful, and they can easily be gotten rid of.  Easily be gotten rid of. They don’t have a taste.  They don’t have a flavor.  They can be replaced.  There are ways to replace them.  It’s not even very expensive to replace them.  There’s no reason for them to be in the food supply at all.  So in that sense I’m not opposed to the trans fat ban.  The foie gras one is much more complicated, because if you’re going to eat animals, in general they’re all going to be killed.  Any animal that you eat is going to be killed.  And so the question is, then, how do you kill them?  And in the case of foie gras and feeding ducks, the ducks don’t look very tortured to me.  Or the geese don’t look very tortured.  They really don’t.  I think I’m much more concerned about the way mammalian animals are raised if I’m going to be concerned about these things – having seen pregnant sows in sow crates, that would be the place where I would start.


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