Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grease Trap vs Bacon-Maple Muffin

Grease Interceptors, aka grease traps (this next blurb is taken from Wikipedia):
are plumbing devices designed to intercept most greases and solids before they enter a wastewater disposal system. Common wastewater contains small amounts of oils which enter intoseptic tanks and treatment facilities to form a floating scum layer. This scum layer is very slowly digested and broken down by microorganisms in the anaerobic digestion process. However, very large amounts of oil from food production in kitchens and restaurants can overwhelm the septic tank or treatment facility, causing a release of untreated sewage into the environment. Also, high viscosity fats and cooking greases such as lardsolidify when cooled, and can combine with other disposed solids to form blockages in drain pipes.
Grease traps have been used since the Victorian days, although Nathaniel Whiting obtained the first patent for a modern day grease trap in the late 1800s. They are used to reduce the amount of fats, oils and greases (FOGs) that enter the main sewers. Effectively they are boxes within the drain run that flows between the sinks in a kitchen to the sewer system. They only have kitchen waste water flowing through them and are not served by any other drainage system such as toilets. They can be made from a number of different materials; e.g. stainless steel, plastics, concrete & cast iron. They range from 35 litre capacity to 45,000 litres and above capacity. They can be located above ground, below ground, inside the kitchen or outside the building.

Well, it makes a lot of sense for food establishments that cook up a lot of grease. However, that is not us. The only product that would produce grease is our Two Strips and a Short Stack Muffin (bacon and maple). Even then, the grease from the cooked bacon is poured into the trash, not into drains. (I had been told that this is the best way to discard the grease from cooking meat and now I have a very thorough explanation as to why!) Anyway, the bacon-maple muffin is our only product that produced grease. So we asked ourselves if spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to install a grease intercepter was worth keeping the sweet and savory muffin on our menu. It would be a massive project that would involve ripping up an already existing patio, amongst other logistical challenges because of the location of the sewer system.

We know how much our customers and loved ones have enjoyed the bacon-maple muffin, and perhaps we will find some way to put it back on our menu in the future (options include purchasing pre-cooked bacon or using a vegan bacon substitute). But for now, we will be putting that recipe on the shelf. It was a bittersweet decision and we hope you'll understand. We feel confident that the remaining muffins and cookies that we will offer will more than make up for the absence of our Two Strips and a Short Stack muffin.

Call it progress, evolution, or just plain practicality! We are learning constantly through this process.


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