Pig Idea - Stepney City Farm

The Pig Idea

pigs tristramDid you know…

The land needed to grow feed for European pork is as big as Ireland.

The land needed to grow soy for European pork is as big as Yorkshire, one third of which comes from the Brazilian Amazon.

Every year an additional area as big as Yorkshire is cleared in Brazil and Argentina alone for soy to feed livestock globally.

Let’s stop cutting down the rainforest for feeding pigs and give them our leftovers instead!

The Pig Idea

Our campaign aims to encourage the use of food waste to feed pigs. We aim to lift the EU ban on feeding catering waste, or swill, to pigs.

For thousands of years pigs have been mankind’s perfect partner: they consume waste and convert it back into food, i.e. pork. Following the outbreak of Foot and Mouth and its devastating consequences on British farming in 2001, the government introduced a ban on feeding catering waste to pigs. A short-term ban during the crisis may have been justified, but science has shown that cooking leftover food renders it safe for pigs. Currently much of Europe’s livestock feed is soy, grown in South America where rainforest is being cut down at an alarming rate. 97 percent of global soy production is used for animal feed and Europe now imports 40 million tonnes of soymeal a year.

Pig IdeaIn the UK, thousands of British pig farmers have gone out of business largely owing to the soaring prices of animal feed. Food prices are rising as pigs are fed the very same wheat, soy and maize that we humans want to eat. This campaign aims to lift the ban on feeding catering waste, or swill, to pigs.

At the heart of The Pig Idea are three major objectives:

1.  Restore public confidence in the safe, efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly practice of feeding surplus food to pigs.

2.  Encourage more use of already legally permissible food waste as pig feed – for example, bread, dairy, fruit and vegetables that are unfit for human consumption – by raising awareness and understanding of this option amongst supermarkets, food businesses, Animal Health officials and pig farmers.

3.  Change European law to allow food waste including catering waste to be diverted for use as pig and chicken feed; and to introduce a robust legal framework for its safe processing and use to prevent the outbreak of animal diseases.

In November 2013, Feedback held The Pig Idea Feast in Trafalgar Square. Joined by the likes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Bruno Loubet, the team served 5,000 dishes using pork from our very own pigs that had been reared on legally permissible food waste. You can watch a video from the day below:

Find out more on the campaign website.

pig idea