Brewers are using cereal to make beer so it doesn’t go to waste

In a creative way to reduce food waste, a brewing company in England is using surplus cereal to make unique tasting beer.

Food waste is a major problem in our society, especially among developed nations, but in a new effort to reduce waste, cereal companies such as Kellogg’s are selling surplus cereal to Seven Brothers craft brewery in Manchester, England.

According to the New York Times:

Last year, Seven Brothers became partners with the American cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s to create Throw Away I.P.A., a smooth, mellow beer made from Corn Flakes that had fallen short of quality-control standards at the company’s production facility in Manchester. In June, the brewery released two more beers made with Kellogg’s cereals: a pale ale from Rice Krispies and a dark stout that owes its chocolate flavor to Coco Pops.

That’s right, if you go to Seven Brothers you can literally try a beer that tastes like cereal, taking beer with breakfast to a whole new level.

And that’s not all, while thousands of tons go to Seven Brothers to make unique beers, Kellogg’s is also looking into sending the cereals to local bakeries, too.

“How can we find a home for these perfectly edible flakes that are just slightly overcooked or a bit too big or a bit too small?” UK Kelloggs social responsibility manager Kate Prince asked. “You can use Corn Flakes for all sorts of different things, whether it’s the coating on chicken or cheesecake bases.”

And people can’t get enough of the cereal beers.

“We’ve got to constantly be buying more,” Dockyard manager Tommy Rowland said. “You just get constantly asked if you’re stocking it or where else they’ll be able to get it from.”

The thing is that this isn’t even a brand new idea. It’s been done before, and not just in modern times. The ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians also used cereals to brew beer.

But companies need to do more.

Natural Resources Defense Council director of food waste Elizabeth Balkan is urging food companies to change their policies and make more of an effort to make sure that perfectly good food is not wasted. In particular, using it to feed the hungry would be the best use.

“It’s incredibly important for both environmental reasons and financial reasons that companies that are producing food are using it to its fullest potential,” she said.

She’s right. Wasted food ends up rotting in landfills releasing carbon that ends up in the atmosphere contributing to climate change that causes a new disaster every week now. Up to eight percent of the carbon humans produce comes from wasted food.

Every year, one-third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted even though it is still edible. That’s 1.3 billion tons of food that could be repurposed or used to help the hungry, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

In fact, enough food is produced in the world to feed ten billion people even though the total population is only seven billion. That’s a lot of wasted food, and sadly, not everyone gets to eat.

We must do more to feed everyone, and one of the best ways we can do that is to make sure nothing is wasted.

“If the food is still safe, it should go to people,” Harvard’s Food Law and Policy Clinic head Emily Broad Leib said.

Let’s hope food companies listen and start making the moral choice that would reduce food waste and make sure everyone is fed at the same time.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.
 

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