Slick Business: The Life Cycle of Frying Oil in Restaurants

Fried chicken, donuts, French fries, onion rings, and corn dogs. These are only some of many food products that are best when deep-fried in oil because it brings out the crunchiness and juiciness that people crave. Little do they know how much their cravings are affecting the environment.

Consumers only care about how freshly fried and crispy their food is, but not about what happens to the oil that made that crispiness possible. Most people don’t concern themselves with what happens to the frying oil as long as they get to enjoy their hot and crunchy food in the process.

That’s normal for everyday consumers, especially because restaurants don’t actually publicize how they manage their wastes or how often they replace their oils in deep fryers for fear of raising sanitation issues. Behind closed doors, grease collection and pickup companies put in the work for proper disposal.

You see, traditionally, used oil is disposed of by being poured down the drains that lead to the sewer management facilities. This is called “grease dumping,” which is an illegal and improper way of disposing of oil because it can cause damage to the sewer system.

Fortunately, there are initiatives such as environmental franchises that have started developing filtration systems that can recycle oil for both cooking and automotive purposes. This innovation can eradicate the problem of clogging up sewer systems which can have serious repercussions on the environment and public infrastructures.

Recycle Filtered Oil in Kitchens

Compared to transferring used oil into containers and contacting grease collectors to pick them up, dumping grease through the drains can seem much easier. But because water and oil have different properties, the oil can solidify and instead, clog the sewer lines which can cause more problems later on.

This can happen to restaurants that use gallons upon gallons of frying oil every day. Since frying oil has a high smoking point, it can quickly darken because of the food sediments and be rendered unusable. When this occurs, most managers often choose to dispose of the used oil and refill their fryers with newer oil to continue their operations.

However, there is a more eco-friendly and sustainable approach to this common problem: filtering and recycling oil. In fact, there are micro-filtration systems that can refine used oil so that it can be reused for frying in commercial kitchens. And after the filtered oil has served its purpose, it can then be sent off to fulfill another purpose.

By recycling used cooking oil, restaurant owners can save money because they won’t have to spend on buying more oil or repairing damages to their sewer lines because of clogging. Choosing to recycle instead of improperly dumping used oil through the drains is also more environmentally responsible because it won’t contribute to the negative impacts of human activity on the earth.

oil in pan

Turn Used Oil into Biodiesel

Used oil that is dumped through the drains can not only clog sewer systems but can also cut the life cycle of frying oil short. This is because once oil is combined with wastewater, it leaves no room to be anything else. In short, grease dumping can cause damages to sewer lines as well as the environment.

But if more professionals are aware of the potential that used oil has, they might be more inclined to go the extra mile in helping the environment. Some facilities can turn used oil into biodiesel, which can then be used to fuel diesel engines in both vehicles and machines.

This greener alternative to fossil fuels can help reduce pollution while using clean and recycled energy for engines. For so many years, the environment has taken the bulk of human activity, which is why the alarming rate of global warming and climate change is at an all-time high.

There’s no reason why people should continue doing acts that can contribute to the carbon emissions that are damaging the environment, especially if there are cleaner alternatives that can reduce the negative effects of humanity’s carbon footprints. One of the biggest contributors to this global issue is the burning of fossil fuels in transportation and manufacturing.

However, since innovators have discovered a way to create clean fuel from used cooking oil, which are the by-products of the food industry, carbon emissions from vehicles and industries can be significantly reduced. Although turning used oil into biodiesel may not reverse the effects of global warming, it will still be less harmful to the environment as opposed to fossil fuels.

When both everyday consumers and business owners are enlightened about the possible repercussions of their actions, they will become more socially responsible inhabitants of the earth. This is because every single decision that people make can start a ripple of events, even something as simple as buying fried chicken at their favorite restaurant.

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