"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-14-2006, 02:10 PM   #1
Senior Cook
 
Hopz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Utah, near Park City
Posts: 272
Bio-Degradeability of Olive Oil ?

The other night Alton Brown was doing a show on deep frying a turkey. After the cooknig was done he said you could just pour the peanut oil in your yard- after all, he said, it is biodegradeable.

I was wondering if olive oil- being also a vevetable product is also biodegradeable.
I have a very large jar of artichokes in oil which I am just finishing. I do not want to put the oilve oil in the septic system. What do you think about pouring it in the yard- or better- my neighbors yard?

__________________

__________________
Favorite Quote: "Time Flies Like an Arrow - Fruit Flies Like a Banana"
Groucho Marx
Hopz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2006, 02:19 PM   #2
Cook
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: ukiah, ca
Posts: 59
for the birds?

I don't like oil in my septic system, either. I mix leftover oils w/ corn meal or bread crumbs and feed the birds. The image of sneaking over to a neighbor's pad to dump a gallon of oil is hiliarious! Sorry, don't know if it's bio-d. Sure seems like it ought to be.
__________________

__________________
devora is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2006, 02:27 PM   #3
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,393
I think it's safe to assume any vegetable oil is biodegradable. Otherwise, there'd be huge pools of vegetable oil underground that we'd all be drilling for.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2006, 02:55 PM   #4
Executive Chef
 
boufa06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Volos, Greece
Posts: 3,467
Hopz, I suppose you do eat olive oil at least occasionally. Now if it doesn't come out of your body as olive oil somehow, this should quality it as biodegradeable, shouldn't it? If you are convinced that some very large bugs degrade it, why shouldn't small bugs as well? After all bugs do exist that will consume almost anything.

Apart from jokes, olive oil is indeed biodegradeable as are all vegetable oils and other oils (eg. petroleum products) as well. However, most oils do persist for awhile until bugs will eat them completely. For example, an oil stain on a concrete floor will probably take quite awhile before it vanishes. Poured on the ground they will also persist for awhile and probably kill some grass in the process as well. For this reason, pouring used oil on to the ground should be restricted strictly to your neighbour's yard only and hopefully to a spot that he is not likely to notice right away. Perhaps pouring it at night and preferably during a rainstorm might work out best.
__________________
The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
boufa06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2006, 05:36 PM   #5
Sous Chef
 
cliveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Posts: 655
All vegetable oils are biodegradable, although I couldn't give you any idea on how long it takes for a litre of olive oil to be absorbed by Mother Earth.
If you use as much oil as Alton Brown, I'd only hope you have a very large back garden!
__________________
cliveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2006, 06:08 PM   #6
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 298
Alton Brown was wrong.

It ruins soil.

Think about it. One of the big no-nos for composting is adding anything with grease/oil. Ruins the composting process and soil.

It smothers the biology of the soil, blocks roots and will enter ground water long before it bio-degrades. Oil in water further pollutes the water, kills the animals and spreads the pollution.

Don't do it.

thymeless
__________________
thymeless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2006, 07:51 PM   #7
Senior Cook
 
Hopz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Utah, near Park City
Posts: 272
The idea seems a little sketchy to me too, but Alton has never let me down.

Maybe I'll just pour it into a jar and let the sanitation department deal with it.
__________________
Favorite Quote: "Time Flies Like an Arrow - Fruit Flies Like a Banana"
Groucho Marx
Hopz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2006, 07:57 PM   #8
Head Chef
 
ronjohn55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,080
Technically, EVERYTHING is biodegradable...

It's just a question of what its half-life is!


Olive oil will break down, but I'm in the camp that thinks it probably would mess up the soil first.

John
__________________

ronjohn55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2006, 04:12 AM   #9
Executive Chef
 
boufa06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Volos, Greece
Posts: 3,467
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronjohn55
Technically, EVERYTHING is biodegradable...

It's just a question of what its half-life is!


Olive oil will break down, but I'm in the camp that thinks it probably would mess up the soil first.

John
You are essentially right. That's why one must choose carefully which (or whose) land to dump it on.

The 'messing up' of the soil is nothing serious in my opinion for as long as you do not continue dumping bottle after bottle. You could conceivably use it as a way to control weeds where others might spray herbicides to do the same. For such a use, a one-time application (or disposal, if you prefer) will persist for at least a couple of months. Personally I have not tried it but I was tempted more than once to do it to control the weeds that grow in the areas between patches or rows of vegetables in my garden. Probably I should do it now and report my findings here but I must wait till next summer because it is only then that the weeds become a problem.

As for the biodegradability, what edible substance could possibly be non-biodegradable and still be used as food by humans?
__________________

__________________
The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
boufa06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.