Deep Lard Horizon: 250,000 gallons of beef fat spill in Houston Ship Channel


Over at "Early Tuesday evening, approximately 250,000 gallons of beef fat spilled out of a shore-based storage tank owned by Jacob Stern & Sons, an agri-products company specializing in the resale of 'value-added oleochemicals.' Fifteen thousand gallons of the fat then found its way into the Houston Ship Channel through a storm drain."


  1. They need to beef up their safety precautions. Whoever is responsible needs to be hit with a fat fine. I’m sure there are more possible puns. I’m just skimming the surface here.

  2. And by the way, here comes the math:

    Average cattle in the US carries 157 pounds of fat.

    At a specific density of 0.911, beef fat is 7.6 pounds per gallon.

    So we’re looking at 1.9 million pounds of beef fat. Divide by 157.

    12,113 cows worth of fat.

    I’m stopping right there because there’s leftover pot roast in the fridge and if I keep thinking about this I will never eat it.

  3. Curious what the effect will be on the ecosystem. Not the same as a toxic chemical spill, I assume. I’m thinking of bacteria and mico-organisms from the fat…. will certain sea creatures feast on this and grow disproportionately large?

  4. Hmmm. Close to being (not exactly the right ingredients) the world’s record for the largest beef bouillon?

  5. If the aquatic life in the canal is anything like my cat, they’ll have it cleaned up in no time.
    Then they can have a contest to catch the highest cholesterol carp in history.

  6. Xeni:

    We’re there like 10,000 white trash pick-up trucks lined up on the shore of the channel trying to get some of that Lard?? My goodness, that would have fried so many catfish and hush puppies for the locals they would have had to build extra church pews just to hold the extra white fat butts created by this lard-o-polloza..!!!

  7. Great. I just hand lunch, and now I’m already hungry again.

    That said, I was disappointed that the linked article wasn’t a bit meatier. They have the marrow of the story, but not much else to chew on.

  8. This is just the tri tip of the tallow berg. The tank cowed under pressure. I hope O’Cleo anGus the cow weren’t HERE FORd this cow tipping event.

  9. Skim that up and you have some beef fat with Omega-3 fatty acids. Delicious and nutritious! (tastes nothing like chicken)

  10. The link to the Coast Guard site doesn’t seem to be working, and searches on their site for “beef fat” or “houston ship channel” aren’t returning anything useful.

  11. If the fish ate the fat, then caught and rolled in some rice and seaweed they would be MOOSHI.
    I cower to think of the cowleries

  12. I live in Houston and strangely this has not come upon my radar- but then I avoid television so- meh. A spill of this size of anything into Houston’s ship channel doesn’t surprise me in the least. This city’s idea of environmentalism is a joke in comparison to the efforts of other states- which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t like to tout themselves as a “green” city. Incidentally they also like to think of themselves as “metropolitan” if that tells you anything. They might be- but only about as metropolitan as Chicago in the 1890s.

  13. You know someone’s gonna get suet.

    (People, honestly, no one else thought of this? Tsk.)

  14. Ah, there’s the BoingBoing sense of humor, after reading the comments on the cigarette flicking story I was afraid it had been destroyed.

  15. damn those CSO’s if they had a proper wastewater management system this would have never been a problem!!

  16. Highly biodegradable.
    Won’t last as long as it takes the government to figure out how to spend millions cleaning it up!

  17. SUEEEEeeet. This isn’t calf bad although all the puns are udderly ridiculous and rendered off the charts. We’ve just skimmed the surface and I’m not sure if we’ve milked it for all its worth. Have we gotten to the meat of it? Better beef it up…..OK I’m done

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