How Herr’s Feeds Cows Chips to Save the Environment

NOTTINGHAM, Pa. (WPVI) – Herr’s potato chips have been enjoyed in the greater Philadelphia area for more than 75 years.

But not all chips are perfect. In fact, some are marked with imperfections and would otherwise become food waste.

“We don’t want them finding their way into the bag,” said Peter Graziano, director of research and development at Herr Foods. “We also don’t want to just throw them in the trash and fill the landfill.”

The problem was noticed decades ago by founder James S. Herr. And luckily, her solution proved to be durable enough to continue pursuing her for decades.

“We have a pretty special setup here with our farm down the street, where we can pick up these chips and send them to the farm for livestock feed,” Graziano said.

A sophisticated sensor system uses cameras and air jets to knock unwanted chips onto a separate conveyor belt, where they will soon meet a new target.

The concoction of crisps, pretzels, popcorn and more becomes cattle feed for the adjacent Herr Angus farm.

Herdsman Dylan Beam says it’s good for the cattle and good for the environment.

“I think the unique digestive system of the beef cow is kind of what makes it all make sense,” he said. “And it’s a valuable nutrient for livestock.”

But Herr’s recycles more than waste from the chip production line.

“We can take the water from the factory and irrigate the fields, which then feed the cattle,” Beam said. “And the resulting manure is then put back on the cultivated soil.”

Herr’s believes its sustainability practices are consistent with its mission to support the local community.

“A lot of companies are developing programs like this, but we’ve been doing it for decades,” Graziano said. “And for many decades to come.”

To learn more about Herr Foodsor to take a tour of Herr snack factoryvisit their website.

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