‘Gutter oil’ Sold to China’s Restaurants, Supermarkets20 September, 2011 at 21:37 | Posted in Body & Mind, China, Environmental issues, Food | Leave a comment
Tags: Body & Mind, China, Food, health
Cooking oil made from restaurant waste and the scrapings of gutters and sewers is being mass-produced in China and could end up anywhere, according to Chinese media reports. It’s called “gutter oil.”
Southern Metropolitan Daily on Sept. 7 reported the story of an anonymous man who works in oil collection business. He spoke at length about the underground business of using restaurant waste for oil in southern China’s Guangzhou and Dongguan areas, hoping to bring an end to the toxic practice.
Called “shaoshui oil” in Chinese, it’s produced by processing the solid and liquid leftovers from restaurants.
According to the Southern Metropolitan Daily’s source, the restaurants sell restaurant waste to pig farms. There, it is boiled. The floating oil at the top is sold to small oil collectors and the solid residue used as pig feed.
The small oil collectors sell the waste oil to large oil collectors, who then sell it to refineries. Refineries process the oil product and peddle it to restaurants and supermarkets.
The man revealed that most of the roadside food vendors use this sort of oil.
“The price of shaoshui oil from the pig farms is 2.15 yuan per pound,” the man told the Daily.
“My boss pays 800 yuan for a bucket of 400 pounds, and sells it for a profit of up to 100 yuan a bucket. We sell 100 to 300 buckets per day. Most of the shaoshui oil is sold to oil refineries to produce refined oil. Many places have these refineries,” he said.
Refining oil from restaurant waste has been reported around China, because of the high profits involved.
According to an Oriental Daily report of June 30, a large oil production and sales network was exposed in Beijing. Thousands work in the industry and ship waste from restaurants in Beijing to Tianjin and Hebei Province for refining; the processed oil is then sold on to cities in the Northeast. Daily production reaches up to 100 tons.
An underground factory in Beijing claimed that they can package the refined oil from the waste oil into any brand of cooking oil. They have all kinds of containers and counterfeit labels for any brand. They send around 10 tons of this kind of “cooking oil” to the supermarkets and shops in Beijing.
Two experts from Hengyang City, in central China’s Hunan Province, published an investigative report on an official website showing how restaurant waste in Hengyang City is processed into ‘cooking oil’ by underground refineries.
There are around 3,000 restaurants in Hengyang with an annual output of 40-50 thousand tons of waste. Some businessmen collect the waste, use the underground refineries to produce “cooking oil,” and sell it to the street-side food vendors, family-run small restaurants, fried food stores, and rural markets, as stated by the report.
According to the industry estimates, around 2-3 thousand tons of waste oil produced “cooking oil” is sold every year in Hengyang.