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Making Greek Yogurt Can be Toxic for the Community

Update Date: May 29, 2013 02:54 PM EDT

Greek yogurt has captured the hearts of many Americans as the demand for this product rises. With studies finding more health benefits in Greek yogurt in comparison to regular yogurt, more people have been making Greek yogurt a staple in their households. According to the New York Government Office, the number of yogurt plants in New York have increased three-folds over the past five years. Even though this industry is becoming more profitable, Modern Farmer recently published an article about the toxic waste that results from manufacturing Greek yogurt.

According to Modern Farmer, when Greek yogurt gets strained, a product known as acid whey is formed. Acid whey, which is a liquid substance containing water, lactose, protein and yogurt culture, is known for being extremely toxic and cannot be legally dumped. The report states that if the toxic waste were to enter waterways, it could kill a lot of the aquatic community. The acid is capable of absorbing the oxygen in the water. As of right now, yogurt companies must hire farmers to take the waste. The farmers usually repurpose the waste by mixing it into feed or fertilizers.

Since the waste cannot be dumped, several manufacturers have attempted to find new ways of reusing the acid whey One method described by a dairy scientist from Cornell University, Dave Barbano aims to use the protein in the whey as an ingredient in infant formula. Farmers have also looked into turning the waste into energy, which could provide electricity. If acid whey can be successful repurposed to give back to the community, farmers and yogurt manufacturers would not have to worry as much about the toxic product.

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