Friday, May 12, 2006

Make Mine Technical Fat

Driving down the Schuylkill Expressway...in front of me is a tanker truck...now, generally I don't spend much time reading the markings on trucks while I'm driving (too busy trying not to get crushed by the behemoths) but traffic was crawling, so I couldn't help but notice these words in large red letters on the back of the tank -- "TECHNICAL ANIMAL FAT, NOT INTENDED FOR HUMAN FOOD."

Huh?

I can kinda imagine what "technical fat" is ...well, at least to the extent that it's some sort of animal by-product, evidently a liquid since it's in a tanker. (Probably with html skills, hence the "technical.")

What I don't understand is why it is necessary to emblazon the contents on the tank, and add the disclaimer that you shouldn't eat it...I mean, is there a problem with folks sashaying casually up to tanker trucks and popping in a tap for a little taste? An Atkins diet high-fat kinda thing?

And we all know how it goes in suburban households all over the country -- "Kids, how 'bout some pizza for dinner tonight?" "Mooooom, can't we just have some technical animal fat, pleeeease?!"

Okay. Maybe not. But I can dream, can't I?

In my experience, the back of a tanker usually reads something like "Highly Explosive"...(You know, just to make me ponder a fiery death as I imagine a pileup that smooshes my car into it. Note: Um, I do think that way. Which makes me an extremely annoying backseat driver.)

But I've never seen a tanker that told you not to eat its contents.

A little google search led me to this page of regulations. Evidently, the tanker was legally required to carry that message.

Why? There must be some sort of black market for inedible animal fat...that's all I can imagine. (Probably ending up as popcorn "butter flavor" at your favorite theatre.)

So if some guy in an dark alley tries to sell you a canteen of what he calls "primo extra-virgin" animal renderings, just say no -- or you could find charged with possession of technical fat.

4 Comments:

At September 27, 2007 2:20 PM, Blogger Karin said...

Awesome- I actually saw two of these trucks on the PA turnpike and managed to snap a picture of them. I had to google it and found the same regulations- and your blog comment.
good stuff!

 
At December 29, 2007 8:29 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

We just saw this for the first time on a tanker on 95 in VA. Shortly after we passed horse trailers - really made us wonder if this was a convoy! Really, when you see a tanker, you usually think it contains something for human consumption in one form or another - like milk, gasoline or fuel oil. What is the government thinking with this one? When was the last time you heard of a milk tanker being hi-jacked? I can see gas with today's prices, but give me a break! So, my next question would be, why is it only written in English? Now there is one to ponder!

 
At April 05, 2008 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! I saw one of those and took a picture! http://stevieblogs.vox.com/library/photo/6a00e398a93811000500e398e560ef0004.html

 
At April 11, 2009 2:44 AM, Blogger Lindsay and Brandon said...

I also saw one of these trucks on the PA Turnpike which prompted the Google search, which led me here.

 

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