Knocking Out Food Waste: ‘Whey’ Cool

  • Article
  • March 2, 2017

When we talk about food waste, we talk about what we can do at home to store food properly, learn about expiration and sell by dates and plan food purchases so we don’t overbuy, which could result in waste.

Did you know the cheesemaking community discovered an innovative “whey” to reduce food waste and help ensure all components of cheesemaking are put to a higher purpose to nourish people?

Years ago, the remaining whey left over from cheesemaking was either discarded or put on farmers’ fields. As more research grew, we learned about the tremendous value of whey — a protein found naturally in milk — as a  high-quality source of protein to help nourish people. According to Matt Pikosky, PhD, RD, LDN and sports nutrition expert at National Dairy Council, “Today, whey has become an indispensable ingredient that athletes and culinary enthusiasts alike have come to rely on to add additional nutrition via its high-quality protein to a variety of dishes, beverages and sports bars.”

For years, dietitians and other nutrition educators have suggested adding nonfat dry milk powder to mashed potatoes, oatmeal or other dishes to boost nutrition on a budget. The same thinking can be applied to whey. Check out this handy infographic and hashtag #HonortheHarvest for more information on how to use this protein-rich dairy ingredient while benefitting from the protein it provides.

This effort displayed by the cheesemaking community is one of many examples of how dairy farmers and the dairy community are committed to being a part of the solution to sustainable food systems.

Dairy farmers have long been stewards of the land, managing for a number of factors such as being prepared for whatever the weather brings to protecting natural resources like soil, water and air quality. They do this because it’s what farmers do to ensure the safest, highest quality food is available to nourish people. They also help preserve the land from generation to generation, relying on science and innovation to do more with less. Whether taking steps to ensure lighting is energy efficient, installing solar panels, improving irrigation systems or managing manure to capture the nutrients in it and return them the land, farmers do amazing things to foster the health of their animals, the land, people and the planet. Check out this infographic on our sustainability story.

 If you have questions or want to learn more, connect with Dr. Pikosky via @MPikosky or me @KimKirchherr on Twitter.