Every pound of cheese gives its maker nine pounds of leftover whey to get rid of. Some are turned into protein powder, pig feed, or fertilizer; but more than half of the 100 billion pounds made annually in the U.S. alone is dumped as garbage.
Now some will make their way into Wheyward Spirit, a hard liquor created by food scientist Emily Darchuk, who’s worked with NASA to create “space food” for astronauts.
The booze reportedly has a light taste with oaky notes of vanilla, but Darchuk isn’t in the business just to make cocktails.
Her venture is equally intended to add value for dairy farmers and cheesemakers and to ease the trash burden on locales where whey is dumped; also, distilling her spirits from whey uses less energy and less water than making spirits from grains, she says.
Perhaps more important, it’s another intriguing exemplar of the steady growth of the circular economy, in which waste from one process or product becomes feedstock for another.
TRENDPOST: Darchuk’s venture will draw attention not only from liquor connoisseurs but also from environmentally-aware drinkers enticed by the brand’s stewardship of resources.
This two-pronged marketing approach will characterize products rising out of the evolving circular economy and will give them an advantage in the market, particularly in drawing younger aficionados. 
Photo credit: Wheyward Spirit

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