Officials at Chobani Yogurt, which has quickly become one of the Magic Valley's largest employers since the December 2012 opening of its 950,000 square-foot facility in southeast Twin Falls, are speaking out on recent reports that point to the whey byproduct of Greek yogurt as a potential environmental hazard.
The Twin Falls Times-News reports that a Chobani spokeswoman says the Twin Falls plant typically returns its whey to farmers.
"In Idaho, roughly two-thirds of those farmers use [the whey] as a supplement to their livestock feed," Chobani's Melissa Stagnaro told the Times-News. "Approximately one-third is used as a natural, land-applied fertilizer, but only on farms that have the proper nutrient management plans and permits in place with the the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and Idaho Department of Agriculture."
The New York Post reported in May that the $2 billion Greek yogurt industry's whey problem was "a waste disposal nightmare."
"We do not, nor have we ever, dumped our whey in a way that is harmful to the environment," said Stagnaro. "Chobani is committed to being a good community partner. That extends to the responsible use of whey."