photo by Max Jackson
We’ve reported before on how much food gets wasted: Most recently on the $20 billion wasted every year in the UK. In Japan, 20 million tonnes of food gets thrown away each year, a figure that is five times the amount of world food aid for the poor. Though it won’t help feed any people, Japan is turning to processing a portion of that food waste into something useful: Feed for animals.
ENN tells us that the food waste turned animal feed is up to 50% less expensive that regular feeds, and how on one pig farm manufacturing its own feed allowed the farm to offset the costs of rising feed prices. It goes on the discuss this movement in general:
Japan is world’s largest importer of corn as animal feed
Japan currently imports 75% of all its animal feeds and is the world’s largest importer of corn for use as animal feed. Though food waste animal feeds only account for 1% of all feedstocks used in Japan the volume in 2006 was double that of three years previous. The Japanese food industry, the single biggest source of food waste, is now recycling about 35% of this waste. Ultimately this waste is turned into into both wet and dry feed.
Hiroyuki Yakou, a manufacturer claims that this feed results in a better tasting meat:
A blind test of pork shows respondents tell the difference immediately. That's because the fat of our pork is sweeter than usual. Another effect of tasty feed is that hens produce more eggs than usual.
Though I’ve got some pretty strong views on the ethics and implications of raising animals in large feedlots, as well as the benefits of a vegetarian diet in reducing your eco-footprint, I’ll leave it to readers to debate the merits or demerits of this one.