Food processing

The net-zero martini: How Bacardi’s uses biomass to distill gin

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

As increased emphasis on sustainability transforms the way businesses manage economic, environmental and social risks, individual companies are seeking out new ways to gain global competitive advantages and achieve long-term stakeholder value.

Bacardi, the world’s largest privately owned spirits company with some 200 brands in its portfolio, provides one example of how that process is playing out with is premium gin offering, Bombay Sapphire.

Beer Brewers Unite To Call For Action On Climate Change

Read the full story in the Huffington Post. And lift a real green beer to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

A group of 24 brewers from across the country have come together to cut greenhouse gas emissions from their operations and call for strong national action to address climate change.

The breweries, which include Smuttynose Brewing Company, Guinness and Allagash Brewing Company, have signed onto the Climate Declaration organized through the sustainable business group Ceres. The declaration pledges that each company will take its own action to reduce emissions from its business, and will also support political action at the national level.

Center for Dairy Research turns yogurt waste into new products

Read the full story from the University of Wisconsin.

With exploding consumer demand for Greek yogurt, production is up. That’s great for food companies’ bottom lines, but it also leaves them dealing with a lot more acid whey, a problematic byproduct of the Greek yogurt-making process.

Acid whey, if not properly disposed of, can cause environmental problems. Currently, companies typically pay to landspread it on farmers’ fields or dump it down the drain. Some plants are starting to send it to anaerobic digesters, where it’s fermented to produce methane.

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are developing a better option — one that will transform this trash into treasure.

For Cleaner Water, Just Add Beer

Read the full story in CityLab.

Leave it to Colorado to dream up a greener beer: The city of Boulder is teaming up with Avery Brewing Company to use weak wort—a sugar-water brewing byproduct—to help treat municipal wastewater.

In a state with many breweries and some of the nation’s stricter clean-water regulations, it’s a winning approach that both city and brewery hope others will replicate.

Slow Money: An ingredient for a more sustainable food system?

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Recent years have ushered in greater recognition of a link between “too-big-to-fail” investment practices and the growing list of casualties resulting from the industrial takeover of our food systems.

One response: Think smaller. The restoration of healthy, local food systems — which can be achieved through greater emphasis on nutrient- and carbon-rich soil and small-scale, ethical, sustainable farming enterprises — offer an alternative to Big Food.

Woody Tasch’s paradigm-shifting book, “Slow Money” — a rejection of hyper-complex financial systems that argues to “bring money back down to earth” — has  become a beacon for people who recognize the big money-agriculture linkage and hope to reform our food system. That is especially true amid controversy over new types of genetically engineered food products, increased anxiety about lagging food supply for a growing population and massive amounts of food waste.

Coffee Horror: Parody Pokes At Environmental Absurdity Of K-Cups

Read the full post from The Salt.

You want a cup of decaf. Your significant other is craving the fully caffeinated stuff. With the simple push of a button, Keurig’s single-serving K-Cup coffee pods can make both of you happy.

But those convenient little plastic pods can pile up quickly, and they’re not recyclable. And that’s created a monster of an environmental mess, says Mike Hachey. Literally…

The point, says Hachey, is to use cinematic tactics to raise awareness of the waste. Consider this startling statistic: In 2013, Keurig Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion K-Cups — enough to circle the Earth 10.5 times. (In 2014, output shot up to 9.8 billion portion packs.)