Recycling Done Wrong – Chinese Turn Sewer Sludge into Cooking Oil

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According to foodies, traditional cuisine is among the best things China has to offer. The Chinese food prepared and sold on the streets is not only delicious, but it’s also a big part of the cityscape. The problem is that some street vendors and even restaurants have taken recycling too far by using gutter oil – yes, gutter oil - as cooking oil. This practice  has nothing to do with being eco-friendly, but rather with the Chinese food black market, where gutter oil is presented as a cost-friendly solution for small businesses.

Why is it called “gutter oil”, you ask? Well, sadly enough, the name is not a metaphor, but it merely describes the source of the oil used illegally in the food market. The process of turning sewer sludge into cooking oil is quite simple and disgusting: after draining sewers, trash bins, gutters and anything that may contain cooking oil and animal parts, the content is boiled and then filtered. As expected, the final product is not only unhealthy (and gross!), but it can be fatal in some cases, as it contains carcinogens and other dangerous toxins. Recycling oil is not a novelty in the food industry, where cooking oil is re-used after refining  and purifying it, but in most cases the origin of the oil is clearly not the gutter.

gutter-oil

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Kiviaq – Probably The World’s Most Disgusting Meat Dish

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Kiviaq – the name sounds exotic, but wait till you hear how it is prepared. I guarantee you’ll lose your appetite completely. Imagine a dish so pungent and smelly that people eat it outside the house, so it doesn’t stink up the place for weeks. Before I actually get down to telling you what it is, I must warn those of you with a rather delicate disposition – Kiviaq is NOT for you.

The dish is a winter specialty and has been consumed by Inuits in the far north of Greenland for centuries. The preparation of Kiviaq actually involves an ingenious method of food storage that came into being due to the severe shortage of food in the cold months. As clever and important as the practice is, a dish made from fermented sea birds is pretty hard to stomach for those who aren’t used to it. Yes, you read right, fermented sea birds are pretty much the essence of the dish. And get this – they’re eaten raw. Kind of like cheese, but not quite. The preparation goes something like this: a seal is skinned,removing all the meat until only a thick layer of fat remains on the skin. It is then sewn into the shape of a bag and stuffed to the brim with about 300 to 500 small auk birds. When the bag is completely filled, it is sewn shut, and fat is again smeared all over the seams to keep the flies away. The bird-filled seal skin bag is then left to ferment under a pile of rocks for a minimum of 3 months, and sometimes, even as long as 18 months.

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Artist Makes Stomach Turning Art Out of Marzipan

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In an attempt to show the world things can look unattractive on the outside but be sweet on the inside, artist Helga Petrau-Heinzel has created a series of disgusting sculptures out of delicious marzipan.

It all began when the artist saw a picture of Dame Barbara Cartland, a romantic fiction author, and was fascinated by this bizarre old lady dressed in pink. It felt like she just had to create a sculpture of her, and because she looked so “artificially sugary”, she used marzipan as a medium. “It seemed to prove that sweet material cannot only create ‘cute’ things. On the contrary – the bitter sweet side tempted me,” says Helga.

Satisfied with her first marzipan artwork, Helga started making even more repulsive sculptures, like animal organs and rotting pig heads. She admits her creations look so real she herself is sometimes disgusted by them.

Marzipan was one of my favorite sweets, but after seeing what it can be molded into, I think it’s time to go on a little diet…

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