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Whey's Dark Side



Whey is the by-product of cheese production. Because of increased cheese consumption, there is an enormous amount of whey in production. Since only about 10 percent of the milk used to make cheese actually ends up as cheese, the rest is separated out as whey. In the past it was fed to pig farms, but according to an article in the Los Angeles Times back in 1978, it got far too expensive to dispose of.

Strict regulations prohibit dumping raw whey down sewers. As a pollutant, whey is 100-200 times stronger than residential sewage, and most municipal plants cannot treat it adequately. Disposal in streams is out of the question because it depletes the waterways of oxygen, making it impossible to support marine life. Even disposal on unused land or gravel pits is not possible due to seepage into water supplies.


The solution from both the dairy industry and governments around the world many was to apply technology and marketing techniques to dump it into human food.

Even though there are strict regulations prohibiting dumping whey in sewers, there is no problemdumping it into your food. The government spent massive amounts of money developing new products and technologies to improve whey’s uses. So now, it is in an enormous amount of packaged foods from baked goods, ice cream, soup mixes and drinks. It is a cheap substitute. Supermarket shelves have cakes containing more whey than flour, hot cocoa mixes with more dried whey than cocoa and ready-to-use pancake mixes with more whey than milk and flour. Whey serves as a cheap alternative to milk powder, flour, eggs, sugar and other ingredients. Ovaltine has more whey than any other ingredient except sugar. Many luncheon meats contain whey. Babies teething biscuits and breads contain whey. Whey is the by-product of cheese production. Because of the increased cheese consumption, there is an enormous amount of whey to deal with. Since only about 10% of the milk to make cheese actually ends up as cheese, the rest separating out as whey, this liquid is gushing. In the past it was fed to pig farms, but according to an article in Los Angeles Times back in 1978, it got far too expensive to dispose of.

Strict regulations prohibit dumping raw whey down sewers. Whey is 100-200 times stronger a pollutant than residential sewage and most municipal plants cannot treat it adequately. Disposal in streams is out of the question because it depletes the waterways of oxygen, making it impossible to support marine life. Even disposal on unused land or gravel pits is not possible due to seepage into water supplies.

The solution from both industry and government many years ago was to apply technology and marketing techniques to dump it into human food.

Even though there are strict regulations prohibiting from dumping in the sewers, there is not a problem with them dumping it into your food. The government spent massive amounts of money developing new products and technologies to improve whey’s uses. So now, it is in an enormous amount of packaged foods from bakery goods and ice cream, soup mixes and drinks It is a cheap substitute. Supermarket shelves have cakes containing more whey than flour, hot cocoa mixes with more dried whey than cocoa and ready to use pancake mixes with more whey than milk and flour. Whey serves as a cheap alternative to milk powder, flour, eggs, sugar and other ingredients. Ovaltine has more whey than any other ingredient except sugar. Many luncheon meats contain whey. Babies teething biscuits and breads contain whey. Whey is often used in imitation chocolate coatings on snack bars.

It’s now a common consumption in peoples breakfast and snack drinks. It is definitely a filler and will keep you feeling full, but what's important to you? Is your body a dumping ground or a vessel for a long healthy life?

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