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.

Media Attachments Related Posts Terms of Use

All News Canada content is provided free of charge. Any source/sponsor of the information must also be identified as presented. For articles, credit of usage must be attributed to News Canada with "(NC)" at the beginning of an article or "www.newscanada.com" or "– News Canada" at the end. Images are only to be used with corresponding editorial copy. Usage of News Canada content constitutes your acceptance of these terms and an agreement between you and News Canada.

Disclaimer: Comments and opinions in News Canada content are those of their respective contributors only. The views expressed do not necessarily represent the views of News Canada Inc., its management or employees. News Canada Inc. is not responsible, and disclaims any and all liability, for the content of comments provided by contributors.