I happened upon an article from the Business Sun Journal entitled New FDA rules may cut long-standing ties between beer makers, farmers and in essence the FDA is working on new rules which may make it a burden for a brewery to provide spent grain to farmers. The rule is supposedly to protect the food supply, but from where I sit it may hurt the environment. Basically if the brewery cannot give/sell their spent grain to a farmer then it would have to be landfilled and the grain the farmers were receiving from the brewery would have to be grown. It takes a bunch of water to grow grain and a bunch of water to make beer. The environmental impact of the farmer having to grow or purchase the additional grain to make up the loss would be huge. Take a minute and read the article I linked and the FDA gobblety gook in the links provided. Then if you are so inclined let the FDA know they need to exempt breweries from these rules.

In case you think I’m blowing smoke, the estimate of spent grain per year is 5,400,000,000 pounds. Grain takes about 25 gallons of water per pound to grow. If this rule is enacted and the grain were landfilled that would put 135,000,000,000 gallons of water directly in the landfill which now goes to the farmer as animal feed. So we would need to make up that amount of grain and would use an additional 135,000,000,000 gallons to do so. It didn’t sound like much at first, but now we are talking 270,000,000,000 gallons. For those who like numbers in terms of Olympic swimming pools that is 408,824 of them.

You can comment on the FDA rule through March 31 here:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FDA-2011-N-0922

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