clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The bitter truth about Greek yogurt: it's producing millions of pounds of toxic waste

New, 117 comments
Greek Yogurt
Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has taken the grocery store dairy aisle by storm, but there's a surprising downside to all those spoonfuls of Chobani we're gobbling up: millions of pounds of waste that industry insiders aren't quite sure what to do with.

The production of Greek yogurt operates somewhat differently than that of conventional varieties. Namely, it yields huge quantities of acid whey, a byproduct that kills aquatic life during decomposition. And because the Greek yogurt boom occurred so rapidly — yogurt production in New York, for instance, tripled between 2007 and 2013 — companies, as well as government officials and food scientists, are still mulling the best ways to dispose of, or profit from, that runoff. As Modern Farmer explains, several intriguing options are currently being explored: acid whey is already being fed to livestock and used to generate electricity, and might one day be incorporated into infant formula.