One farmer on Reddit claims to cut food waste in his area by turning discarded produce into animal feed.
Posts and videos are popping up online recently to shine a light on the incredible amounts of food wasted by restaurants and grocery stores. Some businesses have made thrifty and eco-friendly moves, such as offering produce at a discount when it’s close to its sell-by date.
Now, thanks to a new law in California governing food waste, more businesses are looking for responsible ways to dispose of old produce, and this Reddit user has an answer that benefits everyone.
The user, a farmer from California, posted a video showing off a trailer packed to the brim with food. Oranges, artichokes, eggplants, and celery are shown piled together, some in boxes strapped down with cords. “Is anyone else doing this to feed their animals?” read the caption.
In a comment, the Redditor explained more. “This is from a produce distribution warehouse,” they said.
According to the Redditor, the unwanted food used to go to the dump, but when California passed SB 1383, businesses became required to find a way to recycle their food waste. Under this law, businesses are required to either subscribe to the local jurisdiction’s collection service, arrange their own composting, or utilize another collection activity or program.
Feeding the waste to livestock qualifies under this law, and the Redditor said it’s been a huge benefit to their farm. “I have not had to buy feed in two years,” they said. “They were more than happy to cover my gas costs if I take a trailer twice a week.”
The discarded food goes to cows, goats, sheep, and pigs. “We produce beef and cheeses, very small boutique operation,” the original poster said. Not only does this save the business money, it also cuts down on the amount of energy spent growing and shipping food and animal feed, reducing pollution.
A commenter offered tips to other farmers interested in taking advantage of this resource.
“Every urban area has at least one ‘wholesale produce’ vendor, usually somewhere near the city core, that caters largely to the restaurant and small grocery trade. These folks often have damaged or leftover product that they can’t sell through their normal channels and will end up throwing away; they’re the folks to talk to.”
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.