One of our readers works with a company that converts used vegetable oils to biodiesel fuel. He read the potato chip article in the January 20 newsletter. His inside information will make you want to avoid potato chips even more.

"After speaking with potato chip manufacturers, I would like to comment on potato chips, and I hope this is a working email for you.

My company is researching the production of biodiesel from used vegetable oil, and has contacted manufacturers which we suspected would produce the most waste oil. What comes to mind? Well, greasy potato chips (just look at your fingers after you eat them!) and donuts came to mind, after contacting the obvious home-run hitters, McDonald's and KFC.

Contrary to what you might think, it seems the worst abusers of vegetable oils were not McDonald's, but potato chip and donut manufacturers.

One manufacturer replied to my offer to purchase their used oil with the explanation that they hardly have any used oil left-over after the process. Tens of thousands of gallons come in, barely hundreds come out.

The reason? This manufacturer recycles the oil until it is entirely absorbed by the food. All that dirty oil eventually ends up in the potato chips themselves.

One problem that occurs after re-using vegetable oils is that FFA's (free fatty acids) concentrate. The manufacturer volunteered this fact and noted that their solution is to chemically treat the oil to reduce the FFA's, after which it is sent back to produce more potato chips. Mmmm -- re-used vegetable oil treated with chemicals to reduce free fatty acids!

It turns out that these oils are so bad that biodiesel manufacturers shun them! In other words, they are difficult to catalyze into methyl-esters (biodiesel) and producers are reluctant to use them for engine fuel, yet people still eat the potato chips!

That brings us to the last time I ate a donut, those nicely-colored sweet confections. If you only saw the waste products. My offer to pick up one donut shop's used oil for free was met by much enthusiasm by the management, and they told me that I could pick up a 55-gallon drum once every 6 months.

Did you ever go inside the donut shop and look at how much oil they have in those vats? Now consider that they only dispose of 55 gallons every 6 months! They would have given me more if they had it because I offered to pick it up for free, while they have to pay a renderer over $ 200 / month for disposal.

One closed-down shop asked me to pick up their barrel of used vegetable oil from their parking lot because it was leaking and causing ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE. I tried to drain the oil out, but it was so thick and sludgy that it clogged my pump. I was considering using a heavy-duty sewage pump to drain it, but decided not to, because the thick, smelly contents of that barrel were not usable as an ingredient for fuel, and refining it would be too expensive.

The material had an uncanny resemblance to sewage. The only reason I knew it wasn't, was that it had a sweet, donut-like smell to it, but entirely unpleasant.

Scientific facts like knowing the carcinogen content of these "foods" is interesting, but if you want real motivation to avoid junk foods, go to the back of the "restaurant" were they dispose of their environmentally-harmful by-product and take a look. Also, you can ask them why they have to keep the stuff in barrels and wait for an expensive disposal service instead of just sending it down the drain?

The reason: the Environmental Protection Agency does not allow it?

The utility companies know that one of the reasons that raw sewage leaks out of the sewers and into our public water supply is that restaurants still illegally dump their used oil down their sinks, causing build-up and clogs to occur. I saw a picture of the clog once -- it looked like a blocked artery.

Go ahead, have another potato chip -- you are doing our environment a favor by "disposing" of that garbage with your own internal garbage disposal system. Your sink's garbage disposal system will wear out every five years and can be replaced for about $80, but how will you replace your stomach, liver and kidneys and arteries?"


Dennis Meizys
Maryland Green Power Co.

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Now that you have read Dennis' comment, I hope you will agree with me that there just simply isn't ever any excuse to be eating potato chips. Simple as that. Don't ever eat this food as it is clearly, along with soda, one of the worst "foods" you could possibly put in your body.

Additionally, most of the major manufacturers are simply outright legally lying to you regarding the trans fat issue, as I mentioned in my recent video.

This is because most commercial chips are high in trans fat, and the high temperatures used to cook the chips will potentially cause the formation of carcinogenic substances like acrylamide. That risk remains even if the trans fat is removed.

However, the trans fat is NOT removed. It is still there but the serving size is reduced enough so that it now has less than 500 mg of trans fat so they can use their manipulation of the legal system to qualify as no or zero trans fat.

If you are like most people and "just can't stop eating them" because they are loaded with MSG, which continues the addiction, then it is not at all hard to get up to 10 servings at one sitting. This converts to 5 full grams of trans fat, which is toxic in anyone's book.

Hopefully, Dennis' letter will bring more people around to realizing the truth about potato chips. On Vital Votes, reader Mary from Cabool, Missouri says:

"I have been trying to get my husband to give up his potato chips. This just might be the information that can do it. Thanks Dennis and Dr. Mercola."

Other responses to this article can be viewed at Vital Votes, and you can add your own thoughts or vote on comments by first registering at Vital Votes.