The City of New York passed a rule this week that restaurants must cut out trans fats from the food on their menus, something similar’s happening here in Iowa. Fast food is not a synonym for health food. But the Wisconsin-based Culver’s chain has plans to improve that image.

Spokesman Chris Contino says work started more than two years ago, and by 2005 the chain had cut its use of trans fats by 25-percent. Even that will go away before long, as he says by the first of March the chain will use zero grams of trans fat. It won’t come without a cost — buying canola oil for cooking, from restaurant supplier Cargill, will cost franchise owners about 20-percent more.

Hydrogenation, the processing that makes liquid oil into more solid shortening, makes it keep better and cook at higher temps…but turns it into trans fat, which helps raise your cholesterol. There are 25 Culvers restaurants in Iowa.