On October 1st of this year, Denmark became the first country in the world to impose a fat tax on foods containing natural saturated fats. From this date, foods above 2.3% saturated fat (by weight) will be taxed at the rate of 16 Danish Kroner per kilogram of saturated fat. It’s a sadly regressive move by a country that blazed a different trail just eight years ago, when it became the first to introduce laws restricting the use of dangerous trans fats in food production.
This fat tax should give pause to anyone who’s interested in pursuing a paleo diet.
In its report on the story late last week, Time Magazine provided examples of what this new law will mean in practice for Danish shoppers:
The average price of a half-pound package of butter increased by 2.5 krone (or 45 U.S. cents). A pound of cheese rose from 34.5 krone ($6) to 36 krone ($6.50). And don’t even think about lard. In a single day, the cost of a half-pound block of pork fat skyrocketed from 12 krone ($2.15) to 16 krone ($2.85) — a 35% increase. Thanks to a new fat tax, Danes are paying more for just about anything they might want to slather on a piece of bread.
That last sentence is a reminder that the tragedy of this decision is twofold.
Firstly, the new law in no way discourages the Danish from buying the foodstuffs that enlightened nutritional science – not to mention ancestral wisdom – has shown to be the real causes of degenerative disease and obesity (namely, refined carbohydrates, industrially-processed seed oils, and chemical additives); and to add insult to injury, Danish citizens are now being actively penalised for eating one of nature’s most nourishing and essential macronutrients.
You can read more about the multiplicity of health benefits conferred by natural saturated fats in this article by reknowned lipid researcher, Dr. Mary Enig. Far from being the causes of obesity and illness the Danish government seems to believe, they are in fact essential for human health. This misguided decision by Danish politicians has put the consumption of these health-giving fats under serious threat.
In fact, it’s likely that all fats will fall foul of their edict, since it’s possibly going to be difficult for the average consumer to figure out which foods contain more than 2.3% saturated fat.
Here are just a few of the items that will be taxed:
- Oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, rich in the omega 3 fats most of the Western population are woefully deficient in;
- Eggs, one of nature’s true superfoods – particularly for vegetarians – abundant in essential vitamins and minerals and the cholesterol our bodies need to heal injury and inflammation;
- Grass-fed meats, laden with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, not to mention essential minerals such as iron, in the forms and quantities most easily assimilated by the human body;
- Real nourishing fats such as butter, coconut oil, and olive oil, and those (such as lard) which are the most stable and therefore safest to cook with;
- Most nuts and seeds…
In fact, it appears that the only real foods to escape these draconian measures are vegetables and fruits.
The “foods” that will not be taxed, and that the Danish are therefore being explicitly and implicitly encouraged to buy and eat, include:
- Fake factory-produced foods sporting “low in saturated fat” labels, but nonetheless laden with toxic oils, refined carbohydrates, and a host of chemical colourings, flavourings and preservatives;
- Table sugar, one of the most insidious contributors to disease in human history;
- Skimmed milk products, divested of their essential fat soluble vitamins and known to contribute to sugar cravings and obesity;
- Lean meats which – when consumed without their accompanying natural fats – will ensure that consumers are eating a too-high ratio of protein to fat, thus putting undue pressure on their livers;
- Fake margarine-style spreads likely to contain unsavoury fillers and fragile vegetable oils which have been damaged in the processing.
It is indeed a sad and worrying state of affairs. Here we see – in the name of “health” – a government penalising its citizens for eating real food, and encouraging them to increase their consumption of toxic fake-fat alternatives and fattening carbohydrates.
It’s clear that this sadly misguided fat tax is a body blow to anyone wishing to pursue a paleo diet in Denmark. Talk about an own goal.
Have something to say about this new situation in Denmark? Make your mark here! Also please share and like this article with your friends so that they may know what lunacy may be coming to the shore of the US soon.
Brian Cormack Carr is a life and career coach, charity CEO, writer, and advocate of a real foods diet.
His home on the web is www.cormackcarr.com where you will find more articles, his free Lifecrafting Newsletter, and information about his online career-creation programme www.vitalvocation.com.
You can follow Brian on Twitter: @cormackcarr