The Danger in Our Plates:
We are eating a slice of danger each time we consume a meal in a restaurant. Or a cafe or a bakery. We are not talking about how hygienic the kitchen is or how many unnecessary calories we are consuming. When we say a slice of danger, we mean the oil used in our food. It may be adulterated used cooking oil which is unsuitable for human consumption.
Oil in Numbers:
With the Indian crowd starting to eat out more often and our natural inclination towards calorie-filled and deep-fried meals, cooking oil consumption has soared exponentially in the past few years. We Indians consume about 27 million MT of cooking oil annually. And 70% of our consumption is imported which currently makes us the largest importer of cooking oil in the world.
The Vicious Circle of Life
Once cooking oil is used up to the recommended 2 or 3 times, where does it go? Well, it is supposed to make its way to biodiesel manufacturing. But the truth is, the biodiesel sector receives less than 1% of used cooking oil. That indicates that almost all of it is reused as cooking oil.
Used cooking oil either adulterates fresh oil and is passed off as refined cooking oil or is reused in smaller restaurants and roadside food stalls.
Used cooking oil is basically inedible cooking oil with an unpleasant taste and smell. Consumption of it causes serious health risks including Alzheimer’s and cancer. It puts public health in a dangerous position without us realizing it.
The Indian Government’s Step In:
27 million MT of cooking oil consumption has the potential to produce 1.4 million MT of used cooking oil from bulk consumers such as restaurants, canteens and hotels. This, in turn, has the potential to produce 1.1 million MT of biodiesel every year.
The Indian Government has stepped in and made it mandatory for used cooking oil to be used in biodiesel manufacturing. Doing this effectively will progress our development in 3 different sectors simultaneously:
1. Used cooking oil will no longer be adulterated with cooking oil or be reused. This will improve the quality of the food we eat and preserve our health conditions. We will be less exposed to the risks of Alzheimer’s, cancer, cardiac arrest, hypertension, among others.
2. The biodiesel sector of India will thrive. It will accelerate the government’s aim to blend 5% biodiesel with diesel by 2030. Collectively, India will become cleaner, greener and better energy secured.
3. Using used cooking oil in the production of biodiesel also eliminates the need to dispose of it which is unsafe if done improperly. This ensures better waste management of used cooking oil.
Let’s Initiate Community-Driven Change:
The power of community is magnificent. And we have found a way to use the power of our community towards eradicating adulteration of used cooking oil. We have the system set up and we need your help.
Our green fuel online marketplace is set to collect used cooking oil and hand it over to biodiesel manufacturers in the country. We need you to initiate conversations around the subject and educate those around you. Your favourite restaurant’s manager or cafe’s owner or snacks’ manufacturer may not be aware of the implications of used cooking oil adulteration or its biodiesel potential.
Visit Buyofuel’s website, search for the name of your favourite eatery, check if they have registered to supply used cooking oil on our portal or prompt them to take a step forward in preserving our public health. Once registered, you can also check their frequency and quantity of used cooking oil contribution and decide if you feel safe enough to dine there the next time.
For a healthier us and healthier future generations, let’s drive the change together, starting today.