Turning Beer Into Food

Eat Beer! Help ReGrained Grow – Barnraiser from Barnraiser on Vimeo.

Brewing beer requires a lot of energy since it involves heating large amounts of water and tossing in a bunch of plant matter. From there the plant matter gets tossed into compost (or in some places a landfill) to be reused. This plant matter is known as spent grain and you can use it again before it ends up as compost. A company called Regrained is taking those spent grains from brewers and turning them into food!

I’ve home-brewed beer and have used the spent grains to make cookies, and you can too. Here’s a guide how to prepare spent grains for baking if you also make your own beer.

That six-pack of IPA you enjoyed on Friday night generated about a pound of waste in its making. After brewers soaked barley (or sometimes other grains) in hot water and extracted the liquid to make beer, they’re left with a lot of spent grain on their hands. Most rural breweries, like Northern California’s Lagunitas or Sierra Nevada, haul the byproduct to nearby farms, which feed the grain to their animals. Others recycle it as compost. But for smaller breweries in urban areas, miles away from hungry pigs, figuring out what to do with the leftovers isn’t always easy.

The company Regrained turns that spent grain into snack bars. At a Meetup event in the Mission district of San Francisco, curious eaters lined up around the company’s booth, intrigued by the displayed logo “Eat Your Beer.” Cameron Schwartz, a tall man wearing a T-shirt with the same words, explained how his brother and buddies—all home-brewers—decided to open a business that takes beer byproducts and bakes them into bars, costing $2.50 a pop and sold at local grocery stores. So far, ReGrained has worked with three breweries in the Bay Area.

Read more.

Eat Whole Grains for a Whole Lifetime

A simple change to your diet can make a whole lot of difference on your heart. Instead of reaching for the white bread go for the bread with the whole grains. It’s a pretty easy modification you can make to your diet. Just by switching to whole grains over bleached grains you can improve your health.

Give it a try and see how you feel!

People who ate the most whole grains were about 16 percent less likely to die of any cause during the study than those who ate the least, almost 20 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and more than 10 percent less likely to die of cancer.

For every additional serving of 16 grams of whole grains, cardiovascular disease-related death risk declined by 9 percent and cancer death risk by five percent, as reported in the review in Circulation.

A half-cup of cooked brown rice, cooked oatmeal, or cooked 100 percent whole grain pasta, for example, or one slice of 100 percent whole grain bread, would be the equivalent of about 16 grams.

Read more.

Food Good For You Is Good For The Planet


Producing food takes a lot of energy regardless of where it comes from, but some foods require a lot more input than others. In general it takes way more energy to feed people meat than it does a plant based diet because the animals need to be fed before they are slaughtered. A meat diet impacts the environment in a negative way.

Fret not though as you can greatly lower your carbon emissions by just eating less meat. It’s easy to be vegetarian, and it’s even easier to slowly transition to a plant focussed diet. Furthermore, not only is switching to a primarily plant based diet good for the planet it is also good for your health. It’s a simple way to make the world and yourself better.

If the global population followed the health eating guidelines published by the World Cancer Research Fund International and World Health Organization, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would drop 29 per cent compared to the baseline scenario. The elimination of red meat and poultry entirely would lower emissions by 55 per cent, while a vegan diet would reduce them by 70 per cent. Rates of early mortality would also decline by 6 to 10 per cent, depending on the scenario.

Read more.
Thanks to Delaney!

Enjoy Beer Thanks To Hops

Beer is delicious and has been a part of healthy living for years, but why is it good for us? Beer can provide mental benefits because it helps people relax and can bring temporary moments of joy. It also works on a physical level, which is what researchers have been looking into. The hops are one key ingredient that makes beer a healthy choice. Hops have been used in teas to improve physical health of individuals and are used in beer.

So drink it up! Just not too much.

In one study, appearing in the Journal of Natural Products, a team of Italian researchers identified three previously unknown chemicals from Cascade hops—which are used in many American brews, but perhaps notably as a finishing hop in Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale. One of the chemicals has clear anti-inflammatory properties.

In a second study, presented this week at the American Chemical Society’s annual conference in San Diego, researchers from the University of Idaho report figuring out a streamlined procedure for making synthetic versions of two key hop chemicals, humulone and lupulone, which are known to have antimicrobial and anticancer activity. With their artificial versions, the researchers plan to make an assortment of chemical tweaks to optimize the compounds for disease-busting drugs.

Read more.

Don’t Worry, You’re Getting Enough Protein

Consuming less meat is one of he best things you can do for your health and for the environment. Indeed, it’s so evident that a meat free diet is excellent that organizations around the world are calling for people to change their diets. One of the myths about reducing meat consumption is that one won’t get enough protein.

Here’s the good thing: if you have a diverse amount of food in your diet you have no need to worry about protein. So save the planet, help your health, and reduce your meat consumption.

The consensus among many doctors and dietitians these days seems to be that if you are eating a diverse array of foods, you don’t need to stress about protein. The Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily allowance of protein is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight (adjusted slightly if you’re active, ill, or pregnant). I’d need about 42 grams to meet my requirement; when I added up everything I ate earlier this week, I was startled to discover that I had eaten 66 grams without thinking twice—and I don’t eat meat. Considering a single serving of chicken breast clocks in at 31 grams and a piece of skirt steak at 22, it’s easy to see why Americans frequently double-dip on their protein allowances. (Calculate your own daily allowance here.)

Gardner also worries that in our hunger for protein, we’ve begun skipping real foods. We’re saying, “‘I’m not going to eat food, I’m going to have a bar as a meal’—which means that it’s coming with fewer of the natural nutrients of food,” he says.

Read more.

Thanks to Delaney!