CHELSEA (CBS) – Wafting through the streets below the towering Tobin Bridge is the sweet smell of Mario’s Bakery, where the turnovers and classic Colombian pandebono are not quite as delicious as the irony of a man armed with a pastry bag fighting a war on heart disease.
Bakery owner Octavio Restrapo is ready for January 1st, the day the strictest trans fat ban in the country goes into effect in Chelsea.
Other bans in other cities allow some artificial trans fat, but not in Chelsea.
Ron Fishman from Healthy Chelsea says the ban was necessary because 29% of his city’s adults and 54% of its children are obese.
Fishman’s group is teaming up with Mass General Hospital to help businesses transition to new ingredients like a “trans fat free” puff pastry. He says local businesses all seem to be on board with the ban.
“When they were able to understand what trans fat does,” he said, “they quickly understand this is the right thing to do.”
Fishman concedes that the ban isn’t likely to completely fix the issue. He says it’s part of a bigger equation.
“This is really a long term project,” he said.
For bakeries, where trans fat equals flakier crusts, the ban will be challenge. Keeping flavor is important, but defying the ban will result in fines.
At Mario’s, they think they’re ready to serve one tasty and very legal strawberry turnover.