Has the napkin move worked? Does Sharples use partially hydrogenated oils?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

At the beginning of this year, the paper napkins in Sharples were moved from the silverware area to the tables in the hopes that it would reduce waste. The switch has been successful: Linda McDougall, Director of Dining Services, estimates that napkin use has gone down by 30%.

We have good news for the environment, but bad news for health nuts- Sharples products do contain partially hydrogenated oils. These oils contain trans fatty acids. Why is this important? According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, consumption of trans fat… raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels that increase the risk of coronary heart disease.” Unfortunately, “most processed products do include these oils,” says McDougall, and as a result, so do many of the foods at Sharples.

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