Running on Freedom Fries….Our Adventures in Veggie Oil

Grease not Gas…….photo:greenwood

With all the talk about oil slicks and spills and the price of gas and carbon foot prints and all that it seems perfect timing to turn the classic american summer road trip into a grease not gas endeavor. We’re halfway across the country and a wee bit south, deep in the heart and heat of Texas to be exact and we’ve used about a tank and a half of diesel. The rest of the journey has been spend puttering away on veggie oil and searching for that liquid gold. The things I’m learning on this trip…

Greeny with the liquid gold, veggie tank and a Satellite to boot….coveralls courtesy of some random named Tano…

Allow me to explain, my business partner, Jeff Greenwood, has a nice diesel van that he converted into a diesel/veggie van so that it can run on both hard fought for and drilled for diesel and sometimes tricky to find reused fry oil minus the french fries, chicken wings and corn dogs. So instead of filling up at the regular Truckstop of America or the Flying Jay or what have you, we troll the strip malls of America looking for Chinese restaurants and other fried food havens seeking quality fry oil.

Coveralls are extra handy for this part…

Once we find it and Greeny deems it worthy, we scoop out the oil, funnel it into cubes and then filter out all the crumbs and grossness so it’s clean enough to run on. Since we’re on the road, we’re using a “sock” filter and Greeny the master of on the go gadgetry has rigged up a make shift mobile filtration system that does the trick…..slowly.

Our roadside filtration system and photographic evidence that I’m doing my part and attempting to keep clean at the same time. ick.

So yeah, we’re those random people who pull up in a sketchy white van road weary and disheveled lifting up lids to dumpsters and 50 gallon barrels behind restaurants. I wish being green didn’t have to be so dirty, I mean come on, as if I didn’t already embrace the homeless look, now I need to be sniffing around in back alleys sifting through trash bins and whatnot…I really am a garbage pail kid.  There are those people who love to get there hands dirty and for as much of a dirt bag as I can be, I am not that girl. I’m that girl who goes on a hike and hates getting her shoes dirty, same goes for this new endeavor, the process is slow and even slower when I’m tip toeing around the oil bins and carefully lifting lids with only my thumb and pointer finger, pinky outstretched. Anyway, not oil is created equal and so it’s a bit of a wild goose chase and a messy one at that. Luckily for us, Greeny has his home town restaurants on lock so we came most of the way on that supply and a few calls around SLC(thanks Pat Moore and Baade) pointed us in the right direction of quality oil but from here on our we’re on our own. One would think that being in the south where fried vegetables are considered health food we should be able to have our pick of the litter but I’m pretty sure we’re gonna spend the rest of today moseying around back alleys and parking lots in the sweltering humidity on the hunt for used freedom fries…and so it goes. Any leads from Texas to Jersey and back to Oregon would be much appreciated…..xoxo t

One thought on “Running on Freedom Fries….Our Adventures in Veggie Oil

  1. Sorry hun but growing up in the south I know one thing. They reuse their grease haha! I remember the “bacon” “fish” and “other” grease collections on my grandmothers ( and everyone elses grandmothers ) counter top. I bet once they toss any out its probably pretty low grade. Good luck though!

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