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First and foremost, if you are purchasing certified Organic products then raising organic kids and avoiding trans fat is not going to be an issue.  There are minimal trace amounts of naturally occurring trans fat in beef, lamb and full-fat dairy products ( but not enough to be of concern to even the most health conscious consumer.  Naturally occurring trans fat is not believed to have the same harmful effects as added trans fat.   There are tricks to avoiding trans fat in many non-organic products and as we all know finding organic products for all your needs is not always an option and makes raising organic kids difficult.

So, what is trans fat?

Trans fat or trans fatty acids are the product of “hydrogenating” oil by adding hydrogen to liquid oils.  This is done for a number of reasons including shelf life, low cost, texture, solidity and fry life.  Basically, it is a process that takes perfectly good oil and makes it more solid and bad for you and your organic kids.

What to avoid and look for in products?

First off, stay away from fast food and most fried foods in restaurants.  I have years of experience as a chef, a caterer and a sales manager for a major food service distributor, and more often than not, the deep fryer has a trans fat based oil in it.

Second, read labels.  This is the key to raising organic kids, READ THE LABELS!  The FDA is not on your side, they are not interested in guaranteeing food is safe (only “reasonably safe”).  Look for the words “hydrogenated”, “partially hydrogenated”, and “shortening” on the ingredients label.  This is the only way to guarantee you will be getting a trans fat free product (unless you are buying organic, which I recommend).

Labels can be deceiving…

“Zero grams trans fat per serving”, “no trans fat”, and ‘trans fat free” are a sampling of the deceiving and down right criminal practice of lying about trans fat.  According to the FDA, there is an allowable amount of trans fat in food, to be exact .5 grams per serving.  So, in the eyes of the FDA, a box of cereal could have 28 grams of trans fat but so long as the serving size only has .5 grams of trans fat it is considered trans fat free and can be labeled accordingly.  Apparently .5+.5=0.  Raising Organic Kids is not mathematically challenging.

Read the Labels and buy organic when available.

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