Utilize The Whole Pig

by Staff on October 6, 2012

Virginia Farm AnimalsIt’s very easy to focus on specific aspects of farming … raising animals, feeding, etc … and we tend to overlook some of the icky aspects that actually accommodate the sustainable farming models.

An example of a process that can be beneficial and lucrative… though perhaps a bit icky … is a rendering process.  In this case, we’re referring to the procedures whereby animal parts that are left over from the butchering stages… feet, fat, bones, even ‘used’ cooking oils, etc…. are rendered into products and additives, foods and powders, that will be repurposed.  

According to THIS ARTICLE in the Washington Post,  nearly 30-40% of animal scraps are thrown away during the butchering process.   They’re items like bones, skin, even the excess fat from some cuts of meat.  They can decay into foul-smelling refuse and fill landfills.  Instead, those scraps are sought by a company such as Valley Proteins, which daily sends its 400 trucks to restaurants, grocery stores, and processing plants to retrieve animal parts that would otherwise be waste.  And this is a very lucrative business, one that we want to make sure our Virginia farmers know about too… because it helps every step of working towards green and sustainable local farms. 

Be sure to check out the link above for details of the financial and environmental benefits of proper rendering processes.

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