Madison Trans Fat Reduction Project

The Problem

The Madison Trans Fat Reduction Project is an organized effort by the University of Wisconsin-Madison student organization Informed Consumers Equal Improved Health to reduce the amount of trans fat in Madison, WI area restaurants through the creation of a two-tier award system designed to promote restaurants that either do not cook in partially hydrogenated oil (trans fat) or do not use any trans fat in their establishment as a whole.

Plan of Action

Awards will be based upon survey results from every restaurant in the Madison area on the use of partially hydrogenated cooking oil and overall trans fat content. We have created a website, http://www.transfreemadison.com, that details all of our efforts thus far and our project goals for the near and distant future. We have already completed the arduous task of surveying every restaurant in Madison in person on the use of partially hydrogenated cooking oils. Furthermore, for the establishments that do not use such oils, we have created and recently sent by mail a second, more detailed survey requesting a full inventory assessment of items that contain partially hydrogenated oil. We have already received several responses and await many more. Based on these secondary results, establishments that have a sufficiently low level of trans fats throughout their menu will be awarded a "Gold Award"; establishments that do not meet this criteria but do not cook with partially hydrogenated cooking oil will receive a "Silver Award." Each of these awards will require the owner/manager to sign a pledge to continue to uphold the status given by their award.

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