Since its launch, Still Good has recycled more than 285,000 kg of spent grain, the grain residue from beer brewing. Whether we're dealing with beer or fruits and vegetables, transforming the food that is headed for the garbage into delicious products is a great way to help the environment.
Check out the top three environmental benefits of repurposing spent grain. And take it from us, Still Good cookies are going to taste even better once you know all this.
1. Reducing food waste
Cooking with available ingredients rather than throwing them away reduces the amount of waste in compost and landfills. In Canada, it is estimated that one-third of the food in landfills could have been repurposed.
Let's focus on spent grain. According to Statistics Canada, approximately 2,171 million liters of beer are consumed in Canada each year. Given that 20 kg of spent grain is generated in the production of 100 liters of beer, Canadians generate 434,200 tons (434,200,000 kg) of malt residue per year.
The decision to revalue these beer by-products leads to a reduction of the total amount of spent grain in the garbage.
2. Limiting greenhouse gas emissions
Globally, food waste is responsible for 8% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. That's a lot. Piling up food with untapped potential in a landfill is part of the problem. Is there a solution? Yes, by repurposing these ingredients before they end up in the landfill.
In addition to causing carbon dioxide emissions, food waste produces methane, a GHG that is considered 25 times more harmful to the environment.
It is worth mentioning that in addition to the GHGs generated by landfill, there are also emissions generated by agriculture itself. Repurposing spent grain is about using it to replace other ingredients, such as wheat. On a small scale, replacing one cup of wheat flour with one cup of spent grain flour in a recipe seems trivial. However, as restaurant chains and businesses join the movement, farmers will need to grow less wheat.
As a result, the revalorized spent grain reduces the production of food directly on the field. This is good for the environment, since GHGs are also lowered.
3. Maximizing the use of resources
By producing less food, we reduce the burden on our food system. It's simple: by feeding more people with ingredients that are already available, we preserve our energy resources, our water supplies, and our land.
Intensive agriculture leads to soil degradation, erosion, and depletion. By choosing the reuse of spent grain, we can help to optimize agricultural activities. Planting, cultivating, harvesting, transporting, and distributing fewer ingredients has a direct impact on our environment.
And remember, it's not just the planet that wins when it comes to repurposing: you do too. Putting spent grain, a highly nutritious food (rich in fibers, proteins, calcium, iron, antioxidants, etc.), back into the food system cycle is a wise decision for everyone.
Learn more about Still Good's ground grain flour. Have fun exploring in the kitchen!
DCHETRARIU, A., et A. Dabija. « Brewer’s Spent Grains: Possibilities of Valorization, a Review », Applied Sciences, 13 août 2020. doi : 10.3390/app10165619.
JANUS, Andrea. « More than Half of All Food Produced in Canada Is Lost or Wasted, Report Says », CBC News, [En ligne], 17 janvier 2019. [https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/food-waste-report-second-harvest-1.4981728]
STATISTIQUE CANADA. Control and Sale of Alcoholic Beverages, Year Ending March 31, 2020, [Fichier PDF], 21 avril 2021, 7 p.
UPCYCLED FOODS DEFINITION TASK FORCE. Defining Upcycled Foods: A Definition for Use Across Industry, Government, and Academia, [Fichier PDF], 2020, 20 p.