By Jason Thomas

According to an article in the Washington Post, if you’ve eaten street food in China, there’s a pretty good chance that the food was prepared with something called “gutter oil.” In the video above, you can see a Chinese woman pulling off a manhole cover and using a giant ladle to scoop out a bunch of sewage into a barrel that she’ll take to be processed into cooking oil. Now, let’s be clear. We waste a massive amount of food here in the U.S. and I’m all for being more efficient, nose to tail eating, using the entire animal, etc., but gutter oil seems to be taking things to a whole other universe. A universe that we should probably avoid because it’s full of carcinogens and toxins that can make you sick and/or kill you. This practice is illegal, not all street vendors use this oil, and the government is trying to crack down on it, but a quick buck in exchange for something that will probably be ok to eat is a temptation that’s too great for many. Just something to keep in mind on your next trip to China.


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