Starbucks Begins Move Away from Trans Fats

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Starbucks is going trans-fat free. The coffee chain is eliminating trans fat from pastries in one-third of its stores, with a plan to eventually do the same nationwide.


The nation's top coffee shop chain is also changing the way it does business. Starbucks is eliminating trans fat from the baked goods in about a third of its coffeehouses today. As long as they keep the caffeine. Here's NPR's Scott Horsley.

SCOTT HORSLEY: Starbucks says it's been working about two years to create muffins, cookies and coffee cakes without artery-clogging trans fat. The new products go on sale today in ten big cities, including New York, where a ban on trans fat starts to take effect next summer.

Spokeswoman Valerie O'Neil says eventually, Starbucks plans to change its recipes nationwide.

Ms. VALERIE O'NEIL (Spokeswoman, Starbucks): Our goal is to have all of our U.S. stores to be zero-gram trans fat by the end of the year for our food items.

HORSLEY: Michael Jacobson, who heads the Center for Science and the Public Interest, says the switch is good news for Starbucks customers. The chain's original cranberry-orange scone, for example, has about seven grams of trans fat, nearly as much as a large order of McDonalds french fries. Jacobson notes the fast food chain Wendy's already has dropped trans fat, and KFC is not far behind.

Mr. MICHAEL JACOBSON (Head, Center for Science and the Public Interest): Trans fat is on its way out, and it'll be interesting to see which is the last restaurant, the last food manufacturer that removes the trans fat.

HORSLEY: Jacobson cautions that even without cholesterol-raising trans fat, Starbucks' high calorie pumpkin scone could still be a diet buster, especially if it's washed down with a venti caramel frappuccino.

Scott Horsley, NPR News.

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