TGI trans fats?

I’m about a day behind on things here because of my lack of Internet at home. Only a few more days of this to go. Things should be back to normal on Monday or Tuesday so bear with me.

Busy day at work yesterday.

On the moving front, I did a few more change of addresses, and some more packing last night. In particular, I got the telescope boxed up and the back room closet all packed up. Tonight is going to be a big night. Another bulk trash night, to say nothing of a whole bunch of stuff getting done around the house in preparation for the move on Saturday.

On the wedding front, called our travel agent today and paid the balance of our honeymoon trip. I owe Mom a list of people for the rehearsal dinner, and I owe he11o_sunshine information for the “info sheet” that is going into the invitations. There simply hasn’t been enough time in the day, but I’ll do my best to get it taken care of today.

Received the September issue of ASIMOV’S in the mail today. Kelly got the checks we ordered in her mail. vickyandnorm would like them: they are Disney checks.

Dad and I went for a walk around Greenbelt lake after work, and then after that, we headed over to TGI Friday’s for dinner. We had a nice dinner, and when it came time to order dessert, I glanced through the menu and immediately decided on their Oreo Chocolate Cake, which I’ve had before, and which I find delicious.

“I’ll have the Oreo Chocolate Cake,” I said to our waiter.

“We don’t serve that any more,” she said.

I was devastated. “Why not?”

“Because of trans-fats.” She didn’t really seem to grasp what this meant.

“Maybe you guys should remove it from the menu.”

“Yeah,” she said.

Dad ordered a Brownie Obsession. When our waiter returned with it, I asked her if I could speak to the manager. I told her it wasn’t about her, I was just fascinated by this trans-fats thing.

The manager came by a few minutes later, and as he described it, “This is a silly corporate thing. They are trying to make us [TGI Fridays] perceived to be health conscious, so we are removing all trans-fat products from our menus. Personally, I love the Oreo Chocolate Cake and think this whole thing is silly.”

“Why don’t they just have a section for low fat desserts and section for regular desserts?”

“I don’t know,” he said.

Later he came back and placed an amusing sticker over the Oreo Chocolate Cake on the menu: “Forced into early retirement”.

Nevertheless, the fact that a restaurant is making this kind of decision on my behalf bothers me. It bothers me for the same reason that soda machines being removed from schools bothers me. It presumes an unalterable lack of self-control on the general public. And it takes the decision out of the hands of a person that has self-control. What right does a restaurant have to determine what I can and can’t eat? What right do they have to determine what is and is not healthy for me? This seems to be a determination for me and my doctor; the restaurant should stay out of the equation.

Restaurants will always have limited menus, and therefore, narrow down our options for us. That’s understandable. But this is the first time I’ve heard of a narrowing down of options because of perception. While I understand that there are health concerns with some of these foods, but like anything, they should be treated with moderation, not banned. I think we have to question this, else what are we to expect next? People abuse alcohol in the same way they abuse food. Alcohol has been shown to have health risks when abused. Should restaurants start banning that too?