Cooking Oil Recycled From Sewers—It’s as Gross as It Sounds and More Common Than You’d Think
Cooking Oil Recycled From Sewers—It’s as Gross as It Sounds and More Common Than You’d Think

China has a gutter oil problem, and it is not going away.  The market for gutter oil—cooking oil made from restaurant waste and the scrapings of gutters and sewers that  is being mass-produced in China—is thriving. 

The disgusting recycling process is intricate. Restaurants sell their waste to pig farms. There, it is boiled. The floating oil at the top is sold to small oil collectors and the solid residue is 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 back to restaurants and supermarkets. 

Gutter oil is prevalent across many industries and tiers of society in China. Not only small restaurants and roadside food stands use it, gutter oil has been found also in Chinese government cafeterias and in products of a major pharmaceutical company in China. 

Considering the fact that China has captured over 90 percent of the vitamin C market in the United States, this is an alarming fact. 

Radio Free Asia followed the process of making gutter oil. Watch the video. Share this article with your friends. 


  • Cougar90210

    TMI! Some things are better left unsaid.

  • Cynthia W.

    Oh, I feel a bit queasy now. I wonder if most people in China know what is being done to them.

    • m12345

      recycled oil is used all the time in fast food places in your country. How are you not aware of this?

      You like exporting all your jobs and value to a third world country then
      complain when they invade and bring all their trades with them.

      I am not saying they are getting it from sewers, but I bet you they have in places. There are other ways to recycle oil.

      All asian fast food places are illegally operated, they just know how to
      abuse the system, Cardboard mixed into your burger patties, ooo yup,
      illegal fish catches, illegal back of the truck drops, out of date
      produce, mislabelled products, you name it, you’ve eaten it.

      • Gin1234

        Most of us here, are smart enough not to frequent fast food restaurants, especially because of what is in the food.

  • Canukistani

    Eeewww! I have to wonder if this is more widespread than we know. But if so, I kinda hope I never find out.

  • geezer 56

    That’s just…it’s…uh…urp…wow. Usually articles about food make me hungry. This one, not so much. Sewer and gutter scrapings. My God.

  • Winky Cat

    I think I’ll just mosey over to the 21 Strangest, Weirdest……Animals in the World story from here. I hadn’t planned on eating this afternoon anyway!

  • TapestryMood

    A major pharma company….Vitamins, too? Oh, no!
    I just looked at my supplements and it said they were …*marketed by*…so, have no idea where they were produced..augh!! Will look at the inside info sheets next time!!

  • Gin1234

    I want labeling on all of our products about where they come from. Why do we not have a right to know that, and why is that not being mandated by our government? I already don’t buy cooking supplies like skillets, and even dishes that are made in China with fear of what is in the material used to make them, and glaze them. I avoid other things, as well as much as I can, but I should have the right to know where the food I eat comes from.

    • GidonBelmaker

      I don’t think that people who do these kind of things will have problem manipulating labels. The only way to really know what it is your food is to grow it, or at least make it from the most basic materials. Even if you make bread from scratch, they add all kind of stuff to flour now a days.

      • Gin1234

        That is true. I do have a garden but what you can grow is limited. It just makes me mad that we are kept from knowing what we are eating because it might limit someone’s ability to make money. If the people were actually in charge and had any power, they wouldn’t be able to do this, but those days are long gone. We can still make it miserable for them, though, while they are doing it.

    • peter3dogs

      I have worked for 5 different Chinese employers,-[Nj & Calif.],some are so cheap & disgusting that they reuse rice that came back on plates .The dishwashers were told to save it.
      Most Chinese restaurants employ only illegal aliens & are forced to work 72 hrs per week.They are paid less than $200 some weeks.The owners are some of the most dishonest despicable people in business here.They feed off the hardest working lowest paid employees to buy expensive homes.

  • OneOtherPerson

    Fortunately gutter oil in the US is used as auto/truck fuel
    Thank you TET for another diet plan. Though I’m really not overweight.

    • chezmoi

      “…gutter oil in the US is used as auto/truck fuel ”
      Yes, that’s what they say, isn’t it?

  • rg9rts


    • OneOtherPerson

      this is a real slippery slope, ain’t it?

  • chezmoi

    Whew, it’s in China. My first thought was “KFC*.

    • Gin1234

      Could be both!

      • chezmoi


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