A feasibility study on converting food waste into viable livestock feed

American researchers examined the viability of recovering food waste and turning it into livestock feed. They reported that a modernized version of the ancient practice would be able to greatly reduce the wastage of food, provide sufficient nutrition for food animals, and improve the food supply at global and national levels.

The University of Pennsylvania supported the study. The paper was published in the scientific journal Global Food Security.

  • Evaluation of food waste showed that it contained enough nutrients to ensure the healthy growth of livestock. Feeding animals with food waste provided more protein than grain feed based on maize.
  • The effectiveness of food waste on the performance of livestock depended on the factors. In general, food products from animals that ate food waste were indistinguishable from conventionally-fed livestock.
  • While the treatment processes that turn food waste into animal feed produce pollution, they produced the same emissions as composting and incineration. They were also much less polluting than landfills. Furthermore, they also conserved cropland that would normally be taken up by animal feed crops.
  • Food waste conversion has some health and safety issues, but existing regulations were considered sufficient to manage them. South Korea provided an excellent example of efficient processing of food waste.
  • The practice must overcome old stereotypes about food waste being toxic garbage that shouldn’t be fed to animals. It also requires sufficient logistical capacity to collect, move, and handle food waste.

Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that turning food waste into animal feed is a cost-effective practice for farmers who want to reduce their environmental footprint while also continuing to profit from their produce.

You can browse the original study at this link.

You can also visit FoodSupply.news for additional articles about nutrition.

Journal reference

Dou Z, Toth JD, Westendorf ML. FOOD WASTE FOR LIVESTOCK FEEDING: FEASIBILITY, SAFETY, AND SUSTAINABILITY IMPLICATIONS. Global Food Security. 17 December 2017;17:154–161. DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2017.12.003.

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