Monday 12th August 2013
Historically and particularly during wartime, pigs were used as ‘food waste disposers’ – eating leftover food whilst providing a source of food for humans. This practice continued, particularly in rural Britain, right though until 2001.
Feeding leftovers to pigs came to an abrupt end in 2001 when the outbreak of food and mouth resulted in a ban of the practice.
A new campaign led by food waste expert Tristam Stuart is fighting to lift this ban and encourage the use of food waste to feed pigs.
Supporters of The Pig Idea, including celebrity names such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Phillip Schofield, argue that using food waste as a feed for livestock would have many environmental benefits.
Soya for example is imported from South America to feed our animals – stopping this dependence on soya would help protect endangered rainforests.
In the UK, rising grain prices are putting pig farmers out of business, despite there being massive amounts of food waste been produced here everyday. Recycling this food waste for livestock feed would increase food security in Europe, something that with rising population is becoming a growing concern.
Tristam and his team are not only looking to lift the EU ban but also to encourage the use of feeding legally permissible food to pigs. Bread, dairy and fruit and veg waste is excluded from the ban and The Pig Idea hopes to restore public confidence in this safe, efficient and environmentally friendly feed for pigs.
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