Papas Fritas writes:
One gallon of beer yields on average about a pound of spent grain, the malted barley husks leftover after mashing and the sweet liquid is drained. It's a food grade product and for years, smaller craft brewers have donated or sold on the cheap their spent grain to farmers to feed cows and other livestock. Now The Oregonian reports that the FDA, charged with tightening the country's food safety network, has proposed a rule that strikes financial fear into the hearts of brewers and distillers nationwide which could cost the industry millions and increase the price of beer and spirits. The proposal would classify companies that distribute spent grain to farms as animal feed manufacturers, possibly forcing them to dry and package the material before distribution. The equipment and set up to do that would cost about $13 million per facility, says Scott Mennen, vice president of brewery operations at Widmer. "That would be cost prohibitive," Mennen said. "Most brewers would have to put this material in a landfill."
The FDA rule would also require brewers and distillers to keep extensive records to allow for traceability in the event of a problem, and to adopt new safety procedures, for example by storing and shipping spent grain in closed sanitized containers. "Beer prices would go up for everybody to cover the cost of the equipment and installation," says James Emmerson, executive brewmaster of Full Sail Brewing Co. The proposal has sparked an outpouring from opponents, with hundreds of comments pouring into the FDA. "This is the kind of stuff that makes government look bad," says Rep. Peter DeFazio. "It would mark a huge setback adding tons of waste to our landfills."
The FDA does nothing about the holistic / homeopathic "medicines" being sold in every supermarket.
> The FDA does nothing about the holistic / homeopathic "medicines" being sold in every supermarket.
You want them to regulate plain water? [scoop.co.nz]
Try some Melatonin and tell me it's just water while you sleep.
At least the FDA does give guidance for this one. They classified it as a dietary supplement, but appears to match the benefit it gives shift workers. Unfortunately the FDA is pretty silent on many homeopathic products making medical claims that appear to be filling more and more shelves at my local grocery store. I've done my best to avoid shopping at Whole Foods because of it, but they really do have the best pieces of meat in my area.
When did a chemical related to serotonin,with a pretty specific usage, became considered as homeopathic or holistic
Stupidity like this makes it hard to try to read what such piece of news is supposedly actually about. If you can't sell your shit as feed, you could e.g. shove it into a fermentor and get biogas out of it for example. Whether this is a good idea vs. using it as feed is another question. But we need a reasonable discussion and weighing different options out instead of stupid ultimatums and false dichotomies.
So much drama, so very USA...
The really fun part is that it's my understanding that spent grains are given or sold very cheaply to farms in Europe, and have been for at least many hundreds of years. It's one of the best feeds available.
They should sell it as-is as breakfast cereal. It's quite tasty.
http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/02/05/hop-it- [takepart.com] brewer-generates-its-own-power-beer-mash [takepart.com]
http://thefullpint.com/beer-cast/shorts-brewing-re [thefullpint.com] purposes-high-strength-waste-water-electricity-gen eration/ [thefullpint.com]
Apologies for the lazy c/p of my other lazy post. [soylentnews.org] Not sure what broke it and was too lazy to preview. Doing this sort of thing could turn out to be more profitable version of waste management for them.
http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/02/05/hop-it- brewer-generates-its-own-power-beer-mash [takepart.com]
http://thefullpint.com/beer-cast/shorts-brewing-re purposes-high-strength-waste-water-electricity-gen eration/ [thefullpint.com]
Lots of others easily found by search.
The first article is in Alaska where the logistics and costs are different. The second is about waste water. They also give the spent grain away as feed for livestock.
It sounded like they weren't talking about SELLING the grain, but rather DONATING it.
So this is a law that will in effect prevent them from donating. Nice.
Yup. I worked at a brewery and we were grateful that we could donate it to a local farm. Otherwise, dumping it would only add an extra cost. The owners were very environmental, so it made more sense to donate it. I also remember many a summer day shoveling spent grain into the farmer's truck. It really smelled good!
Whether this is a good idea vs. using it as feed is another question.
Whether this is a good idea vs. using it as feed is another question.
That question is a question for the Department of Agriculture, not the FDA. The FDA is overstepping its bounds here. They are welcome to regulate the beef or milk that comes from these farms but not what goes into the farms.
They have no authority to regulate the bales of hay and the grass in the pasture, or sacks of grain, or any other animal feed stock.
This practice has been going on EVERYWHERE in the world since beer was invented. My guess is this gets laughed off the table before it gets a serious hearing.
Why should beer prices rise because of this? Shouldn't it be the feed price rising instead.
And this is the usual "I've become used to making extra profit from selling my waste, and now I won't make as much from it."
You'll notice the articles don't mention how much the breweries make from selling this waste as feed, so you can't actually make a reasonable comparison.
But this is telling:
â€œItâ€™s a premium product,â€ Rosa said. â€œI pay virtually nothing. But itâ€™s like putting honey on your cereal. It makes the cows want to eat more and we notice it in their production.â€
The reason the articles don't mention how much breweries make from selling spent grain as feed is because they typically make NOTHING. Do a little research and you'll find that many breweries give it away, and the big ones sell it for just pocket change (i.e. $30 per TON).
Brewers will be faced with a decision: invest in infrastructure to comply with regulations, and try to get more money for the spent grain as feed, or just pay someone to take it away because that's cheaper. The added overhead on what used to be a mutually beneficial exchange means both industries are affected: beer prices will go up, and cattle feed prices (and thus cattle product prices) will ALSO go up. It's lose-lose for the consumer.
If they get so little for the stuff, then it won't significantly cost them to just dump it in the landfill.
Or, if it's still worthwhile, they could sell the stuff to somebody else, who is willing to invest in the processing equipment and tracking the product and then selling the product to farmers, who will have to pay more.
And that's the cost of a safer food supply. Because there is ALWAYS an insane outcry after something goes wrong, where somebody sells something that's just a little contaminated hoping that it won't cause any real problems down the line, and it's "why didn't the FDA put a stop to this exemption earlier".
It actually could cost quite a bit. This stuff is produced some places by the TON. That's generally why they give it away to farms for free -- because the farms actually have incentive to haul the crap away, therefore the breweries don't have to pay for disposal.
It's not quite as simple as just tossing it out on the curb...
More like an agency justifying its continued existence and next year's budget by finding yet more long-established practices that somehow are newly in need of regulation.
This would raise the cost of livestock feed (including pet food) proportionately as well, hence the cost of food at retail will also go up.
...you could e.g. shove it into a fermentor and get biogas out of it for example.
I believe this is one of many techniques New Belgium employs to claim near 100% energy-efficiency.
Remember that little ol' article [soylentnews.org] we all talked about a while back regarding the fate of the nation? Somethings start to make sense when looked through that prism.
On the surface this looks like a bone-headed decision based on this act:
The proposed rule is one of seven pillars of the Food Safety Modernization Act, signed by President Obama in 2011 to stem food poisoning, which sickens 48 million people a year in the United States and kills 3,000.
As one who is still recovering from food poisoning (truly sucks) I can applaud the initiative, but what's the disconnect here? The slurry is going to cows and livestock, not people. Knowing what cows eat, food poisoning is not one of the issues. So what then. I appreciate the concern of my government over my health (cough cough), but this next statement makes no sense either for it mixes apples and oranges, food for animals and food for humans directly:
â€œWe donâ€™t know of any problems,â€ McChesney said. â€œBut weâ€™re trying to get to a preventative mode.â€No one ever considered roasted peanuts a high risk food until the 2009 salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 700 and killed nine. That outbreak was caused by a company that ignored positive test results.
â€œWe donâ€™t know of any problems,â€ McChesney said. â€œBut weâ€™re trying to get to a preventative mode.â€
No one ever considered roasted peanuts a high risk food until the 2009 salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 700 and killed nine. That outbreak was caused by a company that ignored positive test results.
If it is not a concern over direct food poisoning then what could it be?
The hint is in the word "Free". Many of these farms are getting this product either free or pay a very low cost for the product. The companies that lose? Feed manufacturers. From Cargill to Monsanto these companies gain by putting this practice out of business. As we know, money now talks and I figure it is talking loudly to the FDA. To bad this story will get buried, but in 2015, watch as the rule gets implemented, despite overwhelming opposition publically. Representatives writing letters today will be singing a different tune come next year. All hail our new Kings and Queens.
(dang sn logged me out and didn't notice). Replying to self to say this was from bucc5062.
I could've cite a source, but I recall a Monsanto executive stating that it was their goal to control the entire food supply.
Not one person has ever gotten sick due to this practice. Yet here we are, punishing them for no reason and passing the cost off on consumers.
Oh for mod points!
The oddest part about the peanut story is that it suggests that in that case, regulation failed to prevent the problem. It was thought to be a low risk (yet a test was done?) but they ignored the positive result (so the testing didn't change anything).
Uh, no. Distillers dried grains are widely used by those same feed manufacturers as well. If this cheap byproduct goes away, they'll need to find a more-expensive replacement... most likely the replacement will be soybean meal, which last I looked was at $400/ton. So the price on their bagged and bulk feeds goes up, sales go down, everybody loses.
I've homebrewed beer. There is quite a bit of vegetable-like waste. We toss it in the nearest compost pile, no problem. Of course there is a substantial difference in scale between adding another 1% mass to an existing hot balanced compost pile, vs millions of pounds of nothing but grain.
The problem with a centrally controlled economy like ours is incompetent central control. A lot of transfer related problems can be avoided by vertically integrating the livestock raising company with the brewery to make one legal entity. Forcing breweries and industrial livestock farms to be owned by the same company is stupid and expensive, yet seemingly inevitable.
Likely this will be the death of commercial microbrews. Wonder how much the big brewers had to pay to get this enacted.
How is this killing microbreweries if right now they're giving away this stuff for free? Surely, throwing this nicely biodegradable stuff away, while not completely free, can't be that expensive.I bet small farmers will be hit far harder.
Ah that's a good question. We're not talking about ratios of waste to product like a packet of Kool Aid vs 2 quarts, from memory and estimation the grains bag and all that is maybe 5% of the total mass/volume of the final product. WAY outside the range of "just toss a trash bag full into the dumpster", unless you're talking 5 gallon homebrewer size. Its an uncomfortable situation to be in, too much waste to be just a boring typical garbage collection, but not enough waste to develop an entire vertical industry around the waste stream. Logistically it'll be the little brother of the product distribution system.
So the microbrews will get to pay to landfill, which can be kinda expensive, but the megabrewers on an economy of scale business will either have cheaper disposal rates (like multiple rail hopper carloads or unit trains?) or will be able to afford the cost of paperwork compliance when distributed across 10K tank cars full.
Those are two interesting articles, but fin the first, this point stuck out
Many brewers sell of their spent grain as animal feed, but that gets expensive in Alaska, which doesnâ€™t have much in the way of a livestock industry, and apparently paying to have your heavy, waterlogged grain shipped all the way down to the lower 48 is pricey.
So they went the more efficient route. A lower 48 may find it still better to send the grain down the road to the farmers.
On the other article it seems they were more focused on waste water, not grain slurry. However, both are great solutions for beer companies trying to go and stay green.
If they go ahead and feed the hops, it can still end up as methane and fertilizer, from fertilizer.
http://www.fresnobee.com/2007/02/13/29581/power-fr om-dairies-envisioned.html [fresnobee.com]
http://westernfarmpress.com/methane-digester-conve rts-dairy-manure-electricity [westernfarmpress.com]
Some might think they would like to be treated like Kobe Beef. [foodreference.com] Beer, massage and sake. Reminds me of some gals farming the bars..
> Forcing breweries and industrial livestock farms to be owned by the same company is... seemingly inevitable.
That's what you get from this?
I see marginally higher beer and steak prices, and while this is a great national tragedy, I doubt very much it will lead to the conglomeration of two entirely different industries, with thousands of participants each.
You missed the point where the brewer had to dry and repackage the slurry as well as track it. If it was just about tracking I think they'd be able to comply without much cost added (barcode the tank, the truck record the transaction and be done). What the FDA proposes is that they need to repurpose the whole product. That is the cost sink hole and to do so for no obvious reason.
There is common sense and nonsense, the FDA choose the latter.
The articles themselves are very slanted towards the FDA's proposal being evil and unnecessary. But does anyone have a link to exactly what the FDA is claiming and why?
Is there actually a legitimate reason for the FDA's concern that simply hasn't been adequately reported? If there really is some basis for them to suspect that it poses a health risk then I would rather deal with more expensive beer than risk it.
On the other hand if it's just a result of feed-company lobbying as another poster raised then yes it's evil and unnecessary over-regulation. But the articles seem so biased. I wish journalists would at least try to present all of the points of view before sounding the battle horns and declaring everything an abomination forged by the devil.
I suspect it's more a matter of reality being biased. Being shot in the chest is bad. It's not possible to write a 'non-biased' article about it where we give equal time to the health benefits.
Here ya go [fda.gov]. It reads about as dry as a government proposal can be, but I think the general gist can be understood. Stop doing this so our overlords can make more money.
I think James stated it well, the reality is biased enough. If there could be one valid and good reason go get a gunshot wound to the chest then please list it, but otherwise, how about we say its a bad idea and drop it. There has not ever been a case where cows where harmed in the use of spent grain, so how is this helping?
The other factor not so much stated is the supplier relationship with the farmers. I have horses and buy hay from local farmers. If I get a bad set of hay from a farmer, I am not going to buy from them again or they really need to show me that it was a one off. Any farmer worth their salt will know if what they are getting is a good product for their cows and anything the impacts their product (beef/milk) will result in backlash. The best regulator in this case is the farmer and any beer maker worth their hops will know if they piss off the farmers, that will impact their product.
I am not against regulations, but regulations that are to obvious to help anyone but a choice few fluff their pockets are not valid at all.
Thanks. Yeah the more I read about it, the more it just seems like another piece of over-regulation designed to make it harder for small businesses to compete with larger established ones. Maybe there was some small good intention initially but it seems to have been lost in the many, many feet of red tape.
As I say above, more like the FDA chose to justify their continued existence by finding yet another product to regulate. Scaremongering about all the things that *might* go wrong if not regulated is a great way to justify next year's budget.
Mark my words, if they get away with this, eventually such regulation of mill-waste type livestock-feed ingredients will get all the way down to screenings and grain dust. Today I can buy screenings for an inexpensive pig ration; if it's regulated similarly to this proposal, it'll be landfill fodder instead.
Food supply from seed to grain to flour to bread is tracked and traced. Lots, serials, bushels, etc. The FDA wants to add this big of unregulated feed to be tracked. That's find with me. The brewing company had better damn already know where that grain came from, how long it sat in wait, and how much of it was used on that batch. Export that record to the farmer you gave it to and call it done. Once more step in the tracking.
Hi. I am an ATF basic licence holder. I'm a farmer. I produce the stuff I ferment, and control all aspects of production from rainfall through to bottled sales. I deal with the ATF (in the form of the TTB), I deal with the FDA, I deal with the USDA, and that's just daily. On longer timescales, all sorts of other groups poke their heads in (depending on what I'm doing, the BLM and DoI put in showings, for example, and I get paperwork from the CDC as well).
On the basis of this real life knowledge, experience and hands-in-the-dirt work, let me make one thing very plain: I spend about a week every month doing paperwork. Not farm work. Not feeding animals or building or repairing fences or pruning trees or planting or harvesting or anything which you might associate with farming - paperwork. Red tape.
You make it sound so simple. Everything that goes into my bonded winery is already tracked (true) including quantities and applications. Every formula is lab tested, FDA reviewed, and individually approved by not only inputs, but volumes. Got that? I make 5Kl of a formula, and 10Kl of a formula? Two different formulae needing their own, separate and different approvals. This is today, before I even touch on new paperwork.
I have animals too. They serve meaningful purposes on the farm - brush control, guardian work and so on. They also produce meat, hide, eggs and so on, because I don't like to waste. I don't know if you've noticed, but goats will eat damn near anything green. Trying to accurately account for their diets is an exercise in futility, unless you run a CAFO. (We don't like CAFOs this week, right? Or did that change while I was filing my third set of monthly tax forms?)
The arrogance of ignorance displayed by people who think that farming, which is a messy and complex industry absolutely packed with weird positive and negative feedback loops, outliers, and unintended consequences, should be even more bureaucratically bound than it already is, is simply staggering.
Speaking straight from the liver: get off your pretty-boy ass, come down to my farm, and spend six months working alongside me, including the paperwork, then look me in the eye and tell me that the one thing wrong with the brewing and feeding operation is that we need more paperwork. And then I will tell you that you need serious, professional help.
In fact, even if they are giving it away, they would be tracking it anyways. Manufacturers have to track all waste streams, where they come from and where they go. Regardless if they pay to have it taken off or if someone pays them to take it away.This is a fact of life in our modern era of food production.
In fact, even if they are giving it away, they would be tracking it anyways. Manufacturers have to track all waste streams, where they come from and where they go. Regardless if they pay to have it taken off or if someone pays them to take it away.
This is a fact of life in our modern era of food production.
No. No, it is not. Not even nearly. Some waste streams are disposed of by opening a spigot and letting it drain away because even if you're dumping it directly into a salmon stream, it's outright beneficial. It's just not commercially useful. Some waste streams need to be taken away by people wearing plastic bunny suits and respirators. Trying to equate manufacturers of silicon chips or even trucks with the biological process of a farm is so deluded as to render everything you say an exercise in wishful thinking.
Sorry if I sound a little cranky, but the bullshit spewed by people who don't know the first thing about actual, real farming or brewing, or the bureaucratic boondoggles that surround those industries, is so toxic I wouldn't even put it on my fields. Word to the wise: if you live in a city, don't try to regulate the country. You don't know what the hell you're talking about, and you're making it worse.
get back to me when they start to tax BACON.