Thank you so much for getting in touch and bringing our attention to CEFS. Given that surplus food feeding is permitted in NC and with the work the Alternative Swine Unit at CEFS is already doing, I think it would be very interesting to explore options for collaboration. How amazing that the herd has been anti-biotics free for 30 years.
Our idea definitely wants to contribute to the goal of AFS: “demonstrate methods for production that optimize productivity and animal welfare while minimizing environmental impacts”. I had a brief exploration of the website but couldn’t seem to spot whether any work has been done around the environmental impact (Life Cycle Assessment perhaps) of the complementary feed that the outdoor swine get. I think that is where food scrap feeding comes in and one possibility is to explore labeling around the carbon "hoofprint" of pork for those concerned about the overall environmental impact of meat consumption (alongside animal welfare). This could link into the work around niche meat production and labeling (https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/special-claims-and-the-approval-process-for-niche-meat-production). Looking forward to hear more of your ideas around this.
Hi Shane. Thanks for those interesting links! We love the Nigerian idea to put together a user guide for recycling food waste for feeding goats. With goats being ruminants (and so vegetarians), they will need to think on how to segregate plant based food waste from meat waste. Pigs are non-ruminant and have digestive systems and nutritional needs very similar to humans, that is why they are such super waste food recyclers, and why we focus on pigs in our work.
We also agree that the lifestyle changes proposed by George Richardson are very important. The Pig Idea is part of a great network of British organisations called http://eating-better.org/ exploring in detail how to promote lifestyle changes to significantly reduce meat consumption, from things to school meals, veggie cookery workshops to how to address the social pressures on men to eat meat. We think the Pig Idea complements all this work, so that the little meat that is eaten comes from waste-fed pigs with high welfare standards, and little need for additional resources.