Going with OURgrain: A Food Business Start Up Addresses Food Waste in the Beer Industry
Every day, breweries around the world produce tons of spent grain that is often sent to landfills. Known as brewers’ spent grain (BSG), this industry by-product contains valuable and delicious nutrients that most often simply go to waste. Approximately 50,000 pounds of BSG is sent to landfills or livestock farms each year nationwide, plus, for the breweries, disposal of BSG can be costly.
Here in Rhode Island, with its burgeoning craft beer scene, six passionate and ambitious Johnson & Wales (JWU) culinary nutrition students are seeking a higher and more sustainable purpose for spent grain.
After winning the first annual “Evolution of Food Waste” competition at the Research Chefs Association Annual Conference, the team, including former Edible Rhody intern Samuel Burgess, plus Victor Eng, Jessica Pulling, Natasha Daniels, Ray Holloway and Samantha Gannon, decided to turn their award-winning idea into reality with the launch of OURgrain.
OURgrain’s goals are to make sustainable and healthful products using underutilized BSG while educating consumers on sustainability. BSG is full of fiber and protein while the majority of carbohydrates and sugars are extracted during the beer-making process. OURgrain utilizes nutritional and flavor benefits of BSG to create delicious food products such as scones, cookies, pretzels, crackers and much more.
Based out of the food business incubator Hope & Main in Warren, Rhode Island, OURgrain is currently fundraising to cover the cost of product development, optimization, commercial kitchen time and administrative costs. They also have plans to create alternative consumables such as animal treats and body scrubs in the future.
Through their Kickstarter campaign, Ourgrain will reward, as well as thank, contributors for believing in their company. By helping to contribute to their kickstarter campaign, donors will receive tempting gifts from OURgrain, such as one pound bag of IPA Flour and a four-course tasting menu utilizing BSG grains. In addition, donors will be contributing to a more sustainable food system here in Rhode Island!
Find them on Instagram @ourgrain.