This week top chefs will cook thousands of free lunches in London’s Trafalgar Square in a bid to get food waste back on the menu for pigs. The event, which takes place November 21, will serve up a variety of dishes including braised pig cheeks and pork belly pizza using pork sourced from pigs reared on food waste.

The ‘Pig Idea’ is the latest brainchild of Tristram Stuart who runs his own food waste reduction campaign, Feeding the 5000. Stuart is calling for the removal of an EU ban on feeding certain types of food waste – including catering waste – to pigs in the long term, whilst calling for more legally permissible food waste to be fed to livestock right now.

Supermarkets, for example, are allowed to divert bakery, confectionary, dairy, fruit and vegetable products to livestock feed and yet most do not currently do this. Stuart argues that where food is unfit for human consumption, feeding it to livestock is the next best option and he claims this is far more economically and environmentally beneficial than anaerobic digester and or composting.

“Feeding food waste to pigs is a millennia-old tradition and a fantastic way of producing meat that avoids the colossal environmental cost of growing commercial pig feed, much of which is currently imported from South America where it is causing deforestation and the destruction of the Cerrado habitat,” explained Stuart.

“Farmers could save money by using local sources of food waste instead of buying pig feed, which is getting ever more expensive with the squeeze on global food supplies. We’ve got to make our food system more sustainable and less vulnerable, and rearing pigs on food waste is one win-win way of achieving this.”

The Pig Idea is supported by the Campaign for Real Farming, Compassion in World Farming, Farms Not Factories, Forum for the Future, Friends of the Earth, the Health EducationTrust, Real Food Festivals, the Soil Association, Sustain, the Sustainable Restaurant Association, the Sustainable Food Trust, Slow Food London, the Slow Food Youth Network, Waste Watch and WWF UK.

Maxine Perella

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