In 2009 there was a lot of buzz around trans-fat free foods when places like New York City passed regulations that pushed the use of healthier oils. It may be hard to imagine, but that decision affected farmers like John Buck, who farms in Ohio in the small town of New Bloomington. Although trans-fat foods may be the rage in big cities, it is on farms that the healthier products start.
John grows soybeans. In fact, he grows all low-linolenic soybeans on about 700 acres. Low-linolenic (known by some as low-lin) soybeans were bred to be lower in linolenic acid that naturally occurs in soybeans. By lowering the level of that acid, the oil produced by the beans is more stable which is important for frying foods. This stability means it can be used without being hydrogenated, which causes trans fats. These trans fats, as you probably know, can increase the risk of heart disease.
But consumers don’t have to think about all of that as they order some kinds of/brands of fried chicken. They just know that their low-lin oil-fried food is trans-fat free.
John has a sense of pride knowing he is making healthier food available. He likes getting the tractor out and working on the farm. But when you talk with John, you realize he has a real passion around connecting consumers to their food. He told me recently he takes the chance to do just that while grocery shopping by talking with consumers about where the food they are buying comes from – farms like his.