Skip the side salad and head straight for those french fries. New research says that molecules from burning fat could counteract global warming —if only in a small way.

Researchers at the University of Reading in the UK have discovered that the fatty acids released into the air from deep frying may contribute to the formation of clouds that help cool the planet.

The study’s purpose is to attain a better understanding of the impact aerosols have on global temperatures, so that proper regulations can be created.

Research has shown that molecules sent airborne during the frying process, turn into 3-D droplets in the atmosphere. These droplets persist for longer than normal water droplets and can see the formation of clouds, which, in turn, help to cool the planet. Clouds created in this way reportedly reflect about a quarter of the Sun’s radiation back into space.

“We found these drops could form these self-assembled phases which means these molecules can stay much longer in the atmosphere,” lead author Dr. Christian Pfrang, from the University of Reading, told BBC News.

“These self-assembled structures are highly viscous so instead of having a water droplet you have something that behaves much more like honey, so processes inside the droplet will slow down.”

Scientists are resistant to recommend that cooking fats alone can combat climate change, but it is clear that the fatty acid molecules escaping into the air during this process are, at the very least, not bad for the environment, and could possibly have a tiny impact on reversing rising temperature patterns.

(h/t BBC News)

Also see, why you should be burning soy candles.  


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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.