People love to eat to their heart’s content, especially when it’s fried or any cooking that uses oil. Even if we are on a diet, we will find a way to sneak in some fried foods in our meals. Fried foods are usually associated with health problems, such as high cholesterol levels, obesity, and heart disease. More than that, you should also take note of proper cooking oil disposal to lessen the risk of health issues.
Should we recycle cooking oil?
Most people are guilty of reusing cooking oil. For one thing, most of us think throwing away cooking oil that has only been used once is wasteful. That is why there are a lot of people – which may include you – who tend to reuse and maximize cooking oil until it becomes already dark.
On the one hand, reusing it may be for financial reasons. However, it may pose potential health issues depending on the type of oil you use. In case you don’t know yet, oil has a so-called smoke point. It refers to that time wherein the oil starts to emit smoke and odor at a specific temperature.
The more frequently the cooking oil is used, the worse odor it will emit. At the same time, it may release substances that may be unhealthy not only into the air but also into the food that is being cooked.
On the contrary, reusing cooking oil is not necessarily bad. Singapore’s Health Promotion Board says that cooking oil should only be reused up to two times. More than that, and it may increase the risk of exposure to free radicals and cell damage. That said, it’s up to you to reuse cooking oil as a recommendation by experts or use new cooking oil instead.
When to know if it’s time to change the cooking oil
Here are some things to look for to see if it’s time to use new cooking oil.
- It has become black or darker than its original color (cooking oils are usually golden yellow when new).
- It has turned sticky and thick.
- The oil smells unpleasant that you would think twice to use it on frying food.
- The oil looks cloudy or foamy.
When you have to reuse cooking oil, you should remove the crumbs from it by using a cheesecloth or strainer. Let the cooking oil cool first before storing it in a container. It is also better to store it in the refrigerator for better sealed-in freshness as possible.
When disposing of used cooking oil, do not pour it down the sink. Instead, you can use an old tin can or any unused container and then throw it into the bin. Some companies like GF Commodities offer services where cooking oil is filtered and recycled so it can be used like new again.
It is also essential to choose the right oil depending on what kind of food you are preparing. For example, olive oil may be the healthiest option out there but is not recommended for frying. Canola oil may be the best choice for frying food because it has a lot of unsaturated fats and a higher smoke point and is more affordable than olive oil.
Fried food isn’t all that bad. It’s all about how to use cooking oils without compromising your health. You can also opt for healthier alternatives, such as air frying or roasting your food. You can experiment with various cooking methods that you and your family will love.