Indie lit magazine N+1 may seem an unlikely outlet for a piece on the trans fats hysteria–but here it is. The author, David Schleifer, appears (after some googling) to be an NYU sociology grad student studying “science, food, and sexuality.” It’s a pretty thorough history of the beleagured molecules, which, he observes, “ironically . . .  served as a model for how the food industry can cash in on fear: for twenty years, partially hydrogenated oils served as the perfect solution to the fear of saturated fat.”

His kicker hits home: “Maybe this all sounds nefarious—food and oil companies making us afraid in order to sell us products that are hopefully healthier. And maybe we’ll find out, like we did with saturated fat, that the cure is worse than the disease. But consider for a moment where we might be now if power plants and oil companies (as in petroleum) invested in cleaner fuels with the same zeal that Nabisco pushes its trans-free Oreos. What might the world look like if the Toyota Prius were less of a niche product, and more like a Dorito?”