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Kona Blue Water Farms offers Kona Kampachi™, a delicious Hawaiian yellowtail fish that’s fast becoming a favorite with top chefs nationwide.

Sustainably raised in the pristine waters of the Kona Coast, Kona Kampachi™ is healthy, pure and rich in omega-3 fatty acids with no detectable mercury. Its rich, buttery flavor and 30 percent fat content make it prized as raw sushi or sashimi. When cooked, Kona Kampachi™ becomes moist, meaty fillets that are perfectly complemented by zesty Pacific Rim fusion sauces.

Kona Blue, the nation’s leader in eco-friendly aquaculture, is the first company in the United States to sustainably grow fish in the open ocean from an integrated hatchery. For more information, please call 808-331-1188 or visit www.kona-kampachi.com.

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I understanding that you can run a diesel car on used cooking oil. Why would I want to do that and how would I convert such a vehicle to do so? -- Benjamin Crouch, Boston, MA

The use of vegetable oil for diesel fuel has grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to both high fuel prices and ecological concerns. Analysts estimate that some 5,000 North Americans have converted their diesel cars or trucks to run on vegetable oil in the last few years alone. Those who do so usually make a deal with a local eatery willing to hand over its used cooking oil at the close of the business day.

The idea isn't new. The first diesel engines built in the 1890s were created to run on peanut oil to be used in developing countries where oil reserves didn't exist. And many of the older diesel cars and trucks still on the road today can use straight vegetable oil, especially in warmer climates where it won't congeal as easily as in the cold. Many modern diesel engines, though, leave the factory requiring true diesel fuel to run well, as straight vegetable oil can muck up intricately engineered fuel pumps and injectors.

But drivers willing to spend between $400 and $1,000 on a conversion kit from one of two leading vendors, Missouri-based Golden Fuel Systems and Massachusetts-based Greasecar Vegetable Fuel Systems, can make the switch. And fryer-friendly restaurants are just about the only economical fuel source right now. Buying cooking oils at the supermarket would be costly, and consumers shouldn't expect to find filling stations pumping vegetable oil anytime soon.

The benefits of a conversion are more than economic. Vegetable oil is a renewable resource derived from plants, which by nature absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) during photosynthesis. Vegetable oil is thus “carbon neutral”--burning it merely releases stored CO2 back into the atmosphere and therefore contributes no new greenhouse gases to the environment. By contrast, burning gasoline in a traditional engine releases CO2 that had been stored underground in oil, and thus contributes to global warming. Vegetable oil also burns cleaner than regular diesel, spewing no sulfur and much less particulate and carbon monoxide.

The conversion kits are only for diesel vehicles, as gasoline engines do not tolerate vegetable oil as a fuel. Since a conversion entails replacing and moving hoses and leads, as well as adding a separate fuel tank for the vegetable oil, it is best handled by a trained mechanic. Drivers should know that a converted vehicle does need a small amount of regular diesel fuel to get started, because at normal or cold temperatures vegetable oil is too thick to properly ignite. But the vehicle can switch over to vegetable oil once it is warmed up and the heat inside the engine loosens its thickness so it can run through efficiently.

Another way to use vegetable oil in a diesel engine is to blend it with regular diesel fuel. This blend has become known as biodiesel, and works fine in regular diesel engines with no conversion required. Biodiesel vendors have set up pumping stations across North America, although they tend to be few and far between. Canadians can locate biodiesel stations at the website of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association; Americans can consult the website of the National Biodiesel Board.

Golden Fuel Systems, www.goldenfuelsystems.com;
Greasecar Vegetable Fuel Systems, www.greasecar.com;
Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, www.greenfuels.org/biodiesel/suppliers.htm; National Biodiesel Board, www.biodiesel.org/buyingbiodiesel/retailfuelingsites.


Kettle offers a delicious tasting new chip for people who know the difference. It will be on the shelf at your favorite store in the Spring.

REMEMBER, Many people with food allergies fly and travel without incident.


People with food allergies are always at risk of being accidentally exposed to the foods for which they are allergic – always carry epinephrine (EpiPen or Twinject) and Benedryl.

Talk to your physician before traveling for specific instructions pertaining to handling your allergies. Check that your medications are up-to-date. Bring additional EpiPens to have as a back-up.


No Airline can guarantee a peanut-free flight (they cannot control what passengers may have brought on board).

Communicate your health needs directly to booking agent. Book flight directly with airline (not online). If booking agent doesn’t understand your concerns, speak with a supervisor.

Understand the airline’s snack policy when booking your flight. For example: “no peanut snacks served”; provide a “peanut buffer zone” (2 rows in front and 2 rows in back of passenger with food allergies are peanut-free).


Bring and consume your own food to be certain it doesn’t contain allergens. HAVE A LETTER FROM YOUR PHYSICIAN STATING YOUR FOOD ALLERGIES AVAILABLE FOR SECURITY CHECK POINTS.


Have handy wipe-type product to clean tray tables and seats before settling on plane. Look at floor for peanut residue from previous flights.

Prepare for the unexpected – follow instructions given by physician and notify flight crew immediately in the event of an allergic reaction.



Call hotel restaurants and off-property restaurants and speak with managers:

Restaurants should be specially trained in dealing with food allergies and gladly help honor your specific requests.

Respect the individual with food allergies – this may be an embarrassing topic. Discuss individual needs in a confidential manner ahead of time

  • Communicate with managers and wait staff. Make sure they understand and will help you manage food allergies to your satisfaction
  • Clearly state specific food allergies
  • Request specific foods and meals be prepared – doing this early gives the chef’s time to arrange for and order key ingredients
  • Arrange for an introduction upon arrival – a face to face introduction is helpful in planning for nuances in your culinary preferences and makes for a more positive experience
  • Remember to ask about ingredients in foods such as dinner rolls – you may not want them brought to the table at all if all family members cannot share them
  • Don’t forget dessert! Ask if safe, delicious desserts can be freshly made or made available.
  • Be expected! When making dining reservations, try ordering the meal for your guest with food allergies. Review your specific requests. Often extra time is necessary when making allergy-safe meals. This will help to have all diners’ meals ready at the same time
  • Bring your own food and special ingredients for the chef if necessary

Call various destinations and understand the “food situations”.

  • Hotel concierges can be helpful in locating various venues and restaurants and providing phone numbers.
  • All hotel and restaurant tips apply in this category as well.

© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved