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Did I say fracking? Sorry, I must be imbibing in too much of Wintercow’s Milk-Pail Ale. I meant … GREEK YOGURT

So let’s get this straight, tens of millions of gallons of acid whey being dumped (yes dumped) into the environment, without regulations, and allowed to do so before “careful study” of the impacts on health and the environment were underway is perfectly cool. Now, it’s pretty clear that the stuff cannot legally be dumped, but the same is true of fracking fluids. We are using the same language here as the fractivists use in their writing and speaking. What’s different?

For every three or four ounces of milk, Chobani and other companies can produce only one ounce of creamy Greek yogurt. The rest becomes acid whey. It’s a thin, runny waste product that can’t simply be dumped. Not only would that be illegal, but whey decomposition is toxic to the natural environment, robbing oxygen from streams and rivers. That could turn a waterway into what one expert calls a “dead sea,” destroying aquatic life over potentially large areas. Spills of cheese whey, a cousin of Greek yogurt whey, have killed tens of thousands of fish around the country in recent years.

That seems to me to be more evidence of the harm of yogurt production than of fracking. People end up creating giant holding tanks,just like for fracking fluids (pollution lagoons actually) of acid whey mixed with manure, and that is allowed to sit openly and attract harmful disease spreading insects and seep into our precious groundwater, and we sit idly by while big business, to the tune of $2 billion per year, is allowed to wreck the environment. 

But Greek Yogurt is a healthy product. It’s nice. It’s also made by many home-yogurt makers. And we Greek Yogurt eaters are not the fat people we hate, nor are they overwhelmingly the evil Fox News watching numbskulls out there. Nope. Greek Yogurt eaters are salt of the earth. We cannot possibly be responsible for spoiling the earth. Not at all.  And ya gotta love this part:

Greek yogurt companies trying to keep up with exploding consumer demand in the last few years didn’t have a good plan to deal with the ocean of whey they were producing. Now they’re racing to find solutions, all the while keeping mum about the results, if there are any: the yogurt industry is highly secretive and competitive.

I was listening to a talk the other day excoriating fracking companies for not disclosing what was in their chemical slurry. Two points of relevance here. First, the “bad stuff” in fracking fluids makes up a far smaller share of the total fluid volume than does the “bad stuff” in yogurt by-products.  Second, there seems to be as much evidence that whey does harm to the environment than anything in fracking fluids, despite what activists tell us about “possible carcinogenic effects” of trace amounts of the nasty stuff in the fluids.

Given the toxicity of whey, and the demonstrated damage it can do to the environment, and the corporate profit-seeking run amok, I hereby propose a moratorium on yogurt production in New York State until further research is conducted on the environmental and health impacts of acid whey, and until yogurt producers demonstrate a continued record of safety in handling such nasty stuff. And by the whey, how much land and water is required to raise the cows to support this industry? Focusing on the acid whey alone does not tell the full picture of the environmental horror generated by the yogurt industry. Hundreds of millions of tons of manure leach into our soils and water. Hundreds of thousands of acres of land used for feedstock and for grazing. Hundreds of thousands of tons of the “disasterous” methane gas emitted into the atmosphere, further causing tornadoes and the death of polar bears. Yet fracking is banned and we celebrate and help market New York State’s yogurt producers. Yes, New York State is open for business, but only if you are one of the politically and emotionally favored groups out there. It all stinks worse than acid whey. 

HT: to my mom for the article.

4 Responses to “I’ve Finally Seen the Light: I Hereby Agree With the Moratorium on Fracking in New York”

  1. Harry says:

    At 3300 cows, that is one big-time operation!.

    The EPA solution would be to impose a whey tax, part of which would be used to subsidize truckers to move the whey from New York to Wisconsin. This would be done in coordination with the USDA and DOT. It would NOT be sent to Yucca Mountain.

  2. Harry says:

    Think about it…that’s 8 to ten calves born each day…maybe double that number of pregnancy tests, enough to keep a whole veterinary clinic busy. Maybe 2800 cows milked twice a day, or three times a day in eight hour shifts.

  3. Michael says:

    Not to take away from the point, which I agree with, but why not make Ricotta cheese? Whey actually has a lot of uses, and I’m sure the yogurt (or is it yoghurt?) makers will find a way to economize on the co-product fairly quickly. Then watch how that company talks about its environmental consciousness as it is raking in the extra dough.

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