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May 28, 2013

"Big Yogurt" Is Destroying Everything In Its Path....

And yet this administration does nothing:

Your Greek yogurt just might be harming the planet, according to a story at Modern Farmer (which you should all be reading). So, Greek yogurt. You see it everywhere, and you probably even eat it, too. It’s healthy and tastes enough like nothing that you can make it taste good. But to make it healthy-enough, there’s a menacing byproduct called “acid whey.” As Justin Elliott writes:
For every three or four ounces of milk, Chobani and other companies can produce only one ounce of creamy Greek yogurt. The rest becomes acid whey. It’s a thin, runny waste product that can’t simply be dumped. Not only would that be illegal, but whey decomposition is toxic to the natural environment, robbing oxygen from streams and rivers. That could turn a waterway into what one expert calls a “dead sea,” destroying aquatic life over potentially large areas. Spills of cheese whey, a cousin of Greek yogurt whey, have killed tens of thousands of fish around the country in recent years.

This would maybe be OK—or still terrible, just on a tiny scale—if Greek yogurt wasn’t now Big Business.

The scale of the problem—or opportunity, depending on who you ask—is daunting. The $2 billion Greek yogurt market has become one of the biggest success stories in food over the past few years and total yogurt production in New York nearly tripled between 2007 and 2013. New plants continue to open all over the country. The Northeast alone, led by New York, produced more than 150 million gallons of acid whey last year, according to one estimate.

Greek yogurt companies are paying farmers to take some of the acid whey off their hands, and the farmers will feed it to cows or mix it in with fertilizer—but they can only do so much. A Cornell scientist also believes that it could be used in baby formula, but the scalability of that, too, is unclear. Others at the University of Wisconsin are working on ways to turn the acid into fructose. And one farmer is converting the acid into methane to then be used for energy, but he’s lost over a million dollars in the process.

Now go read the whole story. It’s great and contains the phrases “Yogurt Summit” and “the yogurt industry is highly secretive and competitive.”

We just want to know: where is The Lightworker on this important news story? First we find out that "green" energy is responsible for the slaughter of a half million innocent birds every year and now this!

Kind of hard to heal the oceans with the Gaia raping back-to-nature set wreaking havoc on the environment 24/7/365.

Posted by Cassandra at May 28, 2013 05:26 AM

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Well, acids are a component of batteries. Maybe Obama can send the acid whey to be used in his "Green" battery "investments".

I mean, they could hardly do worse.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 28, 2013 04:52 PM

If allowed to play out, the free market will generate a solution-
- extract whey (good source of protein for people or stock), and mix left over acid w/ soda ash (natural alkali / base) from coal fired power plants
- both sea shells & limestone dissolve quite nicely by exposure to acid; and that process yields both Calcium & carbonate; not at all sure whey acid would be suitable or economical for the process.

fyi, the acid in 'acid whey' is not suitable for batteries

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at May 29, 2013 01:02 AM

Well, apparently the batteries weren't suitable for batteries either so it'd fit right in.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 29, 2013 08:43 AM

I don't know whether to be happy or sad here....
On the one hand, in Greek yogurt I have finally found a yogurt that I actually like! However, on the otter heiny....eeewww, otter heiny!
I guess it's like being a woman and finding grey facial hair -- sure it's facial hair, but, hey, it's grey, so it's harder for anyone to see!

Posted by: DL Sly at May 29, 2013 01:28 PM

I am fairly agnostic on the whole Greek yogurt thing :p

My husband buys it. I like the regular stuff just fine and am not sure the Greek is worth the extra money. But if he likes it, I'm good! I don't eat a lot of yogurt anyway.

Posted by: Cass at May 29, 2013 03:07 PM

I've tried yogurt so many times over the course of the last two years in hopes of reaping it's gastrointestinal and dietary benefits, but just. couldn't. stand. the. taste.
And probiotic pills just weren't up to the task.
Then a stranger in our new home town pointed me in the direction of Zoi Greek yogurt, and it was love at first taste -- particularly the peach. (Yes, Grim, there will always be a bit of a Southern heart residing in the Rockies. 0>;~})
And you've seen the end result.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 29, 2013 03:15 PM

Ain't no problem that booze can't solve - or make worse. Ferment the danged stuff to 80 proof, flavor it with some kiwi, bacon, and habanero peppers, slap on a picture of Lil' Ms. Muffet's Tuffet on a funky bottle and sell it to the hipsters for way too much. Call it "Born This Whey."

Posted by: spd rdr at May 29, 2013 04:51 PM

*groan* :)

Posted by: Cass at May 29, 2013 05:18 PM

If you've ever made cheese, you'll have discovered that for every small hunk of cheese you get a large volume of thin whey. (Makes you realize what a concentrated source of calories cheese is, just like butter.) If Greek yogurt makers are experiencing the same issue, they've got to be a drop in the bucket of the cheese industry.

I guess people like Greek yogurt because it's thicker, which accounts for all the left-over whey. I make 1-1/2 quarts of yogurt every week, but I use the whole milk product, no discarded whey. I love it, and never adulterate it with sugar or anything else. But then I like all soured milk products: buttermilk, cottage cheese, sour cream, keffir, you name it.

Ricotta is made (traditionally) by cooking the whey and removing the little bit of solids left in the whey. The cast-off from ricotta must be whey squared. Animals drink this stuff up, by the way. People used to, too, though it's out of fashion now.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 29, 2013 07:37 PM

You should try to make kumis, Tex. Let me know what you think of it; it's one of the few such things I've not had, though I suppose I'll have mare's milk if my young lady horse should conceive.

Posted by: Grim at May 29, 2013 07:48 PM

My favorite Chobani story comes from my daughter, who overheard two ladies talking about the sad state of affairs with Chobani.

One of the ladies said to the other, with a sniff, "I like Chobani, and I used to buy Chobani when it was just a struggling start-up, but I can't support them anymore because they've become BIG BUSINESS!"

True story, from Ithaca, New York (aka Boulder East).

Posted by: Rex at May 30, 2013 11:51 AM

And I thought it was only bands that start to suck when they "sell out" and "go commercial".

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 30, 2013 01:55 PM

[Don LaFontain]In a world where Yogurt has evolved sentience, it's time for payback![/Don LaFontain]

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 30, 2013 02:49 PM

Actually, the best use that I've found for yogurt is to tenderize meat. Tandoori style chicken or lamb on the grill? Yum, baaaaaaby! It can also come in handy as a grout substitute or for filling cracks in your driveway.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 31, 2013 09:42 AM

Can it be used for filling wisecracks on this page?

Posted by: DL Sly at May 31, 2013 01:11 PM

The Chobani story reminds me of Yogi Berra: "No one goes there any more. It's too crowded."

Posted by: Texan99 at May 31, 2013 02:27 PM

I had a gut feeling.

Fage used to be made in Greece, and then the raw food police just couldn't stand that. Now it is made here.

It is totally decadent. Made with cream, and it tastes like Daisy sour cream.

It is quite good on crusty bread, with a drizzle of honey. Reminds me of German quark.

Yes, there are two obscure Star Trek references here.

I think MathMom knows more about the acid being neutralized by enzymatic activity in the gut, so I don't know why liberals are bellyaching.

Posted by: MeanOne at June 2, 2013 10:22 PM

We need to Moove On.

Posted by: Bad Punster. at June 4, 2013 12:21 PM

Exactly. Don't have a cow, man :p

Posted by: Bart Simpson at June 4, 2013 12:34 PM