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Waste Not - Cattle on the Job

Submitted by carole on Fri, 03/04/2016 - 00:00

The cattle raced to the feed bunker as I pulled up in my truck. They knew what to expect; lettuce leaves, pineapple cores, lemons, tomatoes, turnips and more. I had just returned from Grappone Center in Concord NH with buckets of kitchen scraps that were waste from preparing one of the delicious Conference Center meals. As meals are prepared the Grappone staff puts kitchen scraps in covered 5 gallon buckets.  We pickup the scraps on a regular basis and feed most of the refrigerated scraps to our cattle. Some items, like bread and pasta, go to the pigs. Our cows are grass fed and only get vegetarian scraps. Feeding out scraps not only provides nutrition for our cows and pigs, it reduces waste by keeping edible scraps out of landfill.

Cattle and Kitchen Scraps Our weanlings love helping put kitchen scraps to good use.

Every grocery store and restaurant generates scraps but we don't often hear what they do with that waste. If you think of it, why not ask your favorite grocery store or restaurant what they do with their edible waste? When I asked this question of one large chain store the answer was, “We don't give anything away. It all goes into the trash.”

Kitchen Scraps go to good use Kitchen scraps for our cattle

According the Environmental Protection Agency, “The United States spends about 1 billion dollars a year just to dispose of food waste. Food leftovers are the single-largest component of the waste stream that includes uneaten food and food preparation scraps. Over 12 percent of the total municipal solid waste generated in American households was food scraps and less than three percent was recovered.”

Hannafords and Shaw's supermarkets give waste food to local farmers who then feed the scraps to their livestock. Grappone has cut their waste stream by providing kitchen scraps to our farm. What do other institutions do? Why not ask them and let me know what you find. Wouldn't it be great to reduce waste while helping feed livestock?

Turnips for cattle Waiting for turnips from the kitchen

Our cattle are huge Grappone Conference Center fans and, while they may never step foot in the kitchen, the cattle love what comes out of it. They don't care if it's lettuce or pineapples the cattle love it all, almost more than the pigs. Eating kitchen scraps is just another service that moootivates our cows!