Dairies Contribute to Sustainability by Consuming By-Products - Part 1
Throughout our food system, there are several by-products that aren’t palatable to humans. Many of these products, like almond hulls and spent brewers grains, might end up in a landfill if not for the California dairy industry.
Somerville… “We were able to identify a list of 70 by-products that fed in California dairies.”
That’s Scott Somerville, a Ph.D. student in the department of agriculture and resource economics at UC Davis.
Somerville… “95% of our survey respondents in the San Joaquin Valley are using by-product feeds. Which means about 90 to 99% of the cow rations fed in the San Joaquin Valley contain some amount of by-product feeds. And almost all of those contain some element of almond hulls. Cottonseed is the next biggest after that, and canola meal after that.”
Although those are the big ones, the dairy industry also utilizes by-products, you’ve probably never even heard of.
Somerville… “And there's a long tail of these by-products where it may only be one or two dairies in the entire state that are using waste asparagus or waste cherries or some other sort of fruit or veg by-products.”
These findings were summarized in a recent paper entitled “By-Product Use in California Dairy Feed Has Vital Sustainability Implications”.