Tuesday, 9 June 2015

What's the pig idea? Pigs swill.

When I read about great ideas and great organisation, it fires me up and in a similar way to that fire in the belly I get from a creative splurge, or writing a character's personality though actions. So I'd like to write about these causes, activities and organisations that motivate me, make me want to stand up and shout "YES"... basically if it stops and makes me think, then it will have an impact (in its own way) on my creativity. We are what we think. We are what we believe.

So here's the first, of what I hope to be a growing number, of these types of posts. I write about those causes and organisations I come across, in magazine, papers, tv, conversations, and not because I am connected to them or that they have been promoted to me. I just write as I find.

The other night I sat in a fairly nice restaurant, eating pretty delicious food, made from locally sourced produce. My plate sat in front of me, not empty but pretty well attacked. I was stuffed. It was tasty, but I just couldn't manage another mouthful. So what happened to the remains? I'm not one for asking for doggy bags, but I hate the thought of it all getting scraped into a black bin bag and thrown out for the garbage truck to chomp on. Surely there's a better way than feeding the bin?

There is. There has been for thousands of years. Pigs swill.

For centuries humans have fed pigs on the scraps from their tables, helping pigs grow big and fat ready to be eaten. Then the humans feed the scraps from their tables to the pigs, helping them grow big and fat and... Recycling perfection. In fact, I believe that this is why people first started keeping pigs... the ultimate recycling bin.

The pig... “is the Husbandman’s best Scavenger, and the Huswives most wholsome sink; for his food and living is by that which will else rot in the yard …; for from the Husbandman he taketh pulse, chaff, barn dust, man’s ordure, garbage, and the weeds of his yard: and from the huswife her draff, swillings, whey, washing of tubs, and such like, with which he will live and keep a good state of body, very sufficiently.”
From Gervase Markham, 17th Century Author
Currently there is an EU ban on feeding swill (food waste) from restaurants, etc. to pigs. Welcome to 'The Pig Idea', who wants to get this ban lifted and:

  • Stop food waste being wasted
  • Stop forests being cut down to make way for grain for pig feed
  • Reduce the rising costs of pig feed and pork production
  • Free up food supplies to help feed people 

Right now we are not allowed to feed pigs our food waste, yet we are feeding pigs food that could be eaten by people, people who can't feed themselves through poverty, famine, displacement, etc. Sounds crazy hey.

The Pig Idea and its many supporters don't just work to promote the use of swill, they also campaign to ensure all safe and edible unsold food is used to feed people who need it. But not all wasted food is suitable for human consumption, so why not use it to still benefit humans?

Food for thought, so I did a doodle about it...

Read all about The Pig Idea >
@ThePigIdea #oink

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