The revelations about toxic nature of trans fats have turned me into one of those picky people. I ask before I eat.
In Australia, the news is invariably good these days. Doing a large investigative earlier this year, I discovered that the cooking oil companies have been helping their clients move to trans fat-free oils and large supermarkets, particularly Woolworths, have been demanding of their suppliers that all baked goods come in under the safety level for trans fats.
In America it is a different story.
The people are continuing to consume trans fats in blissful ignorance.
Oh yes, they have product labelling in the supermarkets so that those of us looking to avoid trans fats can do so. But it means not eating a lot of things - for instance, my favourite Shaws muffins.
I've also had to stop my rare, but adored indulgence in Dunkin' Donuts' Crullers. Dunkin' Donuts products are loaded in trans fats - which does not omen well for the heart function of US policemen who are reputedly hooked on them.
I also adore dining at a wonderful restaurant chain called Smokey Bones where, the big treat, is to finish the meal with one of the best a la mode apple pies in the world. But, when I asked, I was told, no, the apple pies are not trans fat-free.
At least Smokey Bones is honest. And we have stopped having their divine apple pies. Sigh.
McDonalds has said it is planning to abandon partially hydrogenated oils - but not until 2008. Why the wait? They have pretty much done it in Australia - before any legislation was made.
New York has issued an edict to eliminate trans fats from the restaurant world. Philadelphia has followed suit. California is making noises. But why is this country so reluctant?
There is a strong Ban Trans Fats lobby, working very hard at putting pressure on the food industry.
But eating out in the US is still like a lottery - and shopping for baked goods is a label-reading ordeal.
The businesses which have assured me that they are rid of trans fats now are my haunts - Panera Bread and Starbucks. No, I won't hear a word against the much-maligned Starbucks! They are my friends, a place where I can safely have the pleasure of a cake with a coffee.