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When frying food, 'simple' changes can make a big impact

July 11, 2014

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By Dave Booher

It may not seem obvious, but simple choices, like selecting the right oil for your fryer and how much of that oil you use, can affect the impact your restaurant makes on the environment.

And with 58 percent of consumers reporting they’re likely to make a restaurant choice based on its environmental sustainability efforts,1 those kinds of choices will collectively add up.

For example, Ken Toong, executive director of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst Auxiliary Enterprises, was one of the first foodservice customers for Omega-9 Canola Oil. This oil has up to 50 percent longer fry life, resulting in fewer oil changes and lower oil use, less packaging waste, and lower supply cost. As an added benefit, research also found Omega-9 Oils is a more healthful option than other fry oil.

UMass demonstrated that a simple change could have a big sustainability impact. “With one change, UMass improved the quality and health profile of the fried foods it serves while reducing oil use, associated packaging waste, and supply costs.”

Environmental sustainability has been integral to the culture at UMass. For example, UMass also recycles its fryer oil to produce renewable energy. In addition, UMass purchases compostable to-go containers, cups, plates, and bowls as well as paper bags and recycled napkins for their foodservice operations. In addition, they are sensitive to buying food from local suppliers, and their seafood is certified sustainably sourced using Seafood WATCH guidelines.

Because of Toong’s efforts and the university’s high standards, UMass received the 2014 Gold Award for Sustainability in Procurement Practices from the National Association of College and Universities Food Services. “We’re honored to be recognized by our peers for our sustainability efforts,” he said.  “We work closely with our students to try to make our campus and world a healthier, ‘greener’ place to be.”

1 2014 National Restaurant Association’s Pocket Factbook


Video: Want to learn more good practices to extend your oil life when frying food?
Check out the Conserve and Omega-9 Oils' fry cooking video.


This information brought to you by Omega-9 Oils from Dow AgroSciences.


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