FrançaisQue faire avec les résidus de table?
What to do with your kitchen scraps
(NC) Many of us are trying to live a more sustainable life. Reducing waste and reusing what we have are cornerstones of helping to create a healthier planet. At the same time, it’s important to evaluate how we follow these principles to make sure they are not doing more harm than good.
Kitchen scraps are an important example of this. For many farmers, the best thing to do with food waste or leftovers is to feed it to their pigs. These animals eat outrageous amounts of just about anything, so it’s an economical and seemingly environmentally friendly solution to prevent waste in your kitchen.
But overall, feeding any animal kitchen scraps is not the safest choice for their health. Not only can it lead to overfeeding and weight issues, but it could also potentially expose your animal to harmful diseases. For pigs, the risk of contracting African swine fever (ASF) is especially great.
ASF has not been found in Canada yet, but it’s been present in countries across Africa, Asia and Europe. A virus that cannot be contracted by humans, it’s highly contagious and deadly for pigs. It can survive for months in fresh, frozen, cooked or processed pork products. If contaminated food is fed to a pig it could start an outbreak, even from trace amounts of the virus.
Safer uses for food scraps include:
- Composting (as long as it’s stored far from your pigs) – there’s always a need for nutrient dense soil
- Making broth by simmering leftover bones and veggie scraps on the stove
- Freezing them, if your garbage collection is rare or inconvenient or until you have enough to cook with
- Getting creative—extra meat scraps from butchering can make sausages, chili or meatloaf to use up less desirable bits of meat
To avoid harm to your pets or livestock, always practice good biosecurity and follow regulations in your area.
Find more information about measures to prevent African swine fever at inspection.gc.ca/asfbiosecurity.
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