Want To See How Gutter Oil Is Made? Of Course You Do

This video, produced by Radio Free Asia, was posted in May, but it just got a big spotlight thanks to Washington Post and Foodspin, so, thanks, guys, for showing us all how low the lowest low in food production can get.

Max Fisher of the WaPo points out that “food in China is delicious, and gutter oil typically is used just in some street food stalls or cheap, hole-in-the-wall dives,” so it’s not as if you should starve yourself here. But, man. If you’re a poor student in a second-tier city bumming by on 10-kuai gaifans for the past month, maybe you shouldn’t watch the above.

For my fellow Beijingers: it’s inconceivable, isn’t it, that any neighborhood dive or greasy spoon would cook with this shit within, say, Fourth Ring Road. Am I in denial? Do I deserve all the food poisoning I’m in for? Careful about your answer. Karma frowns on arrogance.

    3 Responses to “Want To See How Gutter Oil Is Made? Of Course You Do”

    1. Greg

      簋街 is absolutely full of this, at least that’s what the word on the street is. Anything that’s super oil intensive probably has the gutter oil: 烤鱼,麻辣香锅,and especially火锅 etc. are all apparently heavy on the gutter oil. You can either a) cook in, which is really not that hard for any of the above dishes or b) take your chances. If you’re living in China, then your probably already down for option b) all the way.

      Anyways, winter is coming and that means hot pot season. I’m sticking to the 老北京涮肉 since at least that’s oil free. But yea, I live near 簋街 and have definitely seen people collecting the gutter oil there and in other places within the fourth ring road. Like everything else in this country, you really do get what you pay for, so if you’re like dead set on having some 重庆 style hotpot then I’d go somewhere upscale like 海底捞 if you want to avoid eating that slop.

    2. Cindy

      “All we can do is accept it. In our current society, everybody tries to swindle everybody else. There’s nothing we can do about it.”
      From what I’ve heard among relatives and international students, this sadly seems to be the general attitude in China. The fact that they believe they can’t solve any of China’s problems = perpetuation of a shit behaviour.

    3. hehe

      The small gutter oil collection trucks are still around. No reason why the oil shouldn’t be. As the other poster said, eat in Guijie = take your chances. Gutter oil is the main source of 拉肚子


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