Food Waste to Animal Feed
The United States EPA listed guidelines for preferred methods of disposing of food waste in the following order of preference, the first being the most preferred:
- Reduce the amount of food waste generated
- Feed People
- Feed Animals
- Industrial uses – Energy
- Composting to a Soil Nutrient
Animal feed is more preferred than composting for disposal of food waste, although very few instances of feeding food waste to animals have been reported. The very high water content of food waste causes it to spoil quickly, be sloppy and difficult to handle, and create offensive odors. Dehydration of the food waste with an Ecovim™ machine will convert the easily offensive food waste into a dry, sterile organic biomass, with small particles resembling dried coffee grounds with a mild odor, in a 9-15 hour cycle the same day the food waste is created.
The owners of Syl’s Cafe in Ontonagon, MI, satisfied users of an Ecovim™ machine, submitted samples of their dehydrated food waste to certified test laboratories at Michigan State University for comparison to established constituents of feed for cattle and goats. Based on the results, the decision was made by the Cafe owners, one being a certified Livestock Specialist at the MSU Cooperative Extension Service, to substitute their food waste for up to 25% of the grains being fed to cattle and goats at the time.
The animals have been happy with the change in their diet and have been enjoying it for more than a year.
As long as the dehydrated food waste is stored in a closed container to minimize air and moisture contact, it can be stored for a reasonable time. For this application, no meat or dairy products are included in the food waste being dehydrated. These food exclusions are recommended for use in composting as well.
For more information regarding dehydration of Food Waste and this application visit Industrial Food Waste Dehydrator.