In the age of green initiatives, there are constant new ideas about how to utilize new environmentally friendly measures and possibly save farmers money in the process. For instance, France recently passed a law that supermarkets cannot throw out food that lacks visual appeal or is a little old. In an effort to bring healthy food to lower income areas, a former President of Trader Joe’s is taking donated old food from supermarkets or wholesalers that is no longer fresh but still edible. With these ingredients, his staff are making them into new dishes and selling the remaining food at a lower cost.
It is not a novel idea to feed animals leftovers. Pigs in particular have long been fed slop which is a mixture of whatever leftovers farmers had. As production levels of meat have increased steadily over the years, the demand for animal feed has increased exponentially. After sweeping regulations in several countries regulated the use of food by-product to animals, farmers found it more expensive to feed the livestock.
As a result, there is a new push to use leftover foods donated from restaurants, hotels, and supermarkets to feed the animals. Like the picture shown on the left, workers at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, NV separate food scraps to be donated to the RC Farms. Such initiatives are not new in places like England where a regulation was passed a few years back after an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Farmers argued that the outbreak was due to one farmer using unprocessed leftovers. New initiatives aim to process the leftovers before feeding it to animals to avoid contamination which has long been the law in many countries. Farmers also argue that feeding animals feed such as “cereal”, which is made predominantly of soy or wheat, also strains the wheat industry and takes away what can be used for human consumption.
National Geographic is coming out with a story on February 15th detailing a program spear-headed by Aria Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada where the hotel and casino are processing leftover food to be donated to local farms to feed their livestock.