Okay, it is Saturday night after a looonnnngggg week at Fedco Trees and an active day of wood-splitting, bee-feeding and maple-tree-tapping but I have to write about this one whether I’m exhausted or not. The Food and Drug Administration has decided that it hasn’t pissed off enough farmers lately with the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). An act designed by Monsanto to put small farmers out of business. Now it is going to make the lives of small livestock owners and brewers more difficult by not allowing an age-old form of recycling. This is what the Portland Press Herald had to say about the practice:”Maine’s craft brewers and farmers have had a standing agreement for years: After the brewers take malt sugars and flavors from various grains, farmers get the leftovers as cheap, protein-rich feed for their livestock. The breweries offload a waste product without paying to process it or putting it in a landfill.” Sounds like something that makes a lot of sense, right? Well the FDA is not getting much of a reputation for common sense these days.
As the mother of a talented amateur brewer who aspires to own a micro-brewery some day and as the owner of a small flock of laying hens, who are damn expensive to feed these days, this pisses me off on two levels. I wish there were a brewery close enough by to provide me with this nutritious and delicious waste product. And I hope that this sensible form of reuse will be available to my son if and when he opens up his own brewery (his Maple Syrup Porter alone will support the place, it is that good). But not if the FDA has its way. “The agency plans to require brewers to treat the byproduct as animal feed, meaning it would have to be dried and packaged before being fed to animals, or dumped in landfills.” More expense, more regulation, more $$$ for someone, obviously. But not for the small struggling farmer or the people who make the stuff that proves that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
Way to go FDA. Keep it up. Keep adding more and more onerous regulations to the FSMA rules and you’ll find yourself with a full on farmers revolt on your hands. And pissed off beer drinkers, too!