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You probably wouldn’t think it pragmatic to stick a Hershey’s bar into your fuel tank. But scientists are doing it with telling results. Recently, a British team from the Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Center built a partially biodegradable Formula 3 racing car made out of tubers, potatoes, and flax fiber that runs on a somewhat unique biodiesel: chocolate. (Cadbury supplied the chocolate “factory duds” that were converted into energy for this special project.)

In case you are surprised that chocolate is one of many food sources being considered as potential energy, remember: anything with fat in it (lipids) can be used as an alternative fuel source. A group of international pranksters that satirize government policy and corporate greed, the Yes Men, suggested using people as fuel to a horrified audience in the documentary “The Yes Men Fix the World.”

Chocolate, as all women will begrudgingly admit under duress, has quite a bit of fat in it. Which makes it a prime potential fuel source to study as scientists and researchers the world over scramble to come up with a replacement for conventional petroleum-based gasoline.

In 2007, an experienced team of two (a desert traveler and an investigative journalist) led a chocolate-fueled expedition from the UK to Timbuktu as part of a larger quest to test the limits of various alternative fuels and report their findings. Driving a Ford cargo truck sold only in Europe across the desert, Andy Pag and John Grimshaw turned 8,800 pounds of waste chocolate into usable automotive fuel, averaging about 11.2 miles per gallon during the long 4,473-mile trip. The voyage was not without some hiccups, but it wasn’t always a rocky road. And chocolate eggs and bunnies did all the heavy lifting.

Of course, some larger questions loom as we get closer and closer to overhauling the current fossil-fuel infrastructure with petrochemicals derived from various foodstuffs. Will a reliance upon food as an alternative transportation fuel raise the price of it at the grocery store? How soon can we expect these various biodiesels to be hitting the marketplace?