Food waste for livestock feeding: Feasibility, safety, and sustainability implications
This article (PDF) in the Global Food Security journal describes an analysis to demonstrate the feasibility, safety and sustainability implication of recovering food waste for animal feeding (ReFeed). ReFeed is a viable option that has the potential to simultaniously address waste management, food security and resource and environmental challenges. The analysis demonstrates that there is strong evidence that consumption-stage food waste is rich in major nutrients for nourishing livestock animals. Furthermore, contemporary treatment technologies can convert food waste materials, high in moisture content and prone to spoilage, into feed products that are nutritious, easy to handle and safe to use for animal feeding. Such feeds derived from food waste can replace some of the grains for conventional diets, bringing forth a cascading effect upstream in the food system with potential benefits of resource conservation and pollution mitigation. So, recovering food waste and converting it into animal feed with modern technologies can be a game-changer, providing the opportunity to simultaneously address food security, pollution prevention, waste management, and resource and climate challenges. Future research needs to address several important issues. First, more accurate date is needed on the complete nutrient profile of pre-treatment food waste and post-treatment feed products. Second, quantitative assessment to link feed grain replacement with resources and environmental benefits in the entire food system is needed. Lastly, comprehensive economic analyses need to examine the full spectrum of cost and benefits.