Food Rescue…

Or a Man of la Mancha approach to fighting the climate crisis and building a just, sane, local food system

As some of you may know our approach to farming is a little different than most people’s. It’s not terribly original or innovative, it’s actually more like a slightly refined version of arguably the oldest agricultural traditions there is: slopping pigs. This year we have diverted somewhere in the ballpark of 1,117,802 lbs of fruits and vegetables from Road Runner Food Bank, plus half that amount again from other grocery stores, breweries, distilleries, bakeries, mills, and farms. While some of this food would most likely have made its way back into the agricultural system without our efforts much of it would have ended up in the landfill except for our intervention.

The venerable porcine has been co-evolving with humans for thousands and thousands of years. Their versatility in living and thriving off of village scraps, foraging in forests, and whatever other organic byproduct that might otherwise be left to rot has made them an easy keeping companion for people all over the world as far back as history is recorded. 

And while the tradition of fattening hogs out on kitchen scraps and wooded pastures has been largely replaced in the industrialized food system by the single least efficient food production system ever conceived, the old way of doing things has not lost its relevance. In fact we believe it is more relevant now than ever before. 
Nearly half or the food we produce today gets lost somewhere along the way. Between crops that never get harvested, losses from thousands of miles of transportation, off spec food that is perfectly edible but doesn’t aesthetically fit the retailers demands, all the way down to the food that spoils in your fridge an absolutely insane amount of food gets thrown away. This obscene over abundance is made even more despicable by the prevalence of food insecurity and hunger in our society. Given the rapidly diminishing soil fertility in our nations and worlds crop producing regions, and the myriad of serious ecological crisis’s from a dysfunctional atmosphere to dry aquifers and broken water cycles, so much food going into the landfill is just….bad… really bad… 

Food waste that goes into the landfill off puts lots of methane. Methane has 25 times the green house gas effect of carbon dioxide. If we stopped throwing food in the trash it would be the equivalent of getting Russia to stop polluting, entirely. The amount of food that gets thrown away by retailers just because it is starting to run short on shelf life (not even because its expired but just because it is getting close to being expired) could feed a small country. 
So over the last few years we have been refining and expanding our food rescue efforts and working on improving our methods for growing out hogs and simultaneously creating compost. We are also very happy that we have been able to divert a lot of food to our local food banks, both directly from retailers and wholesalers and through collecting donations at the shop to purchase local food for our community. It’s quite the adventure, and we really appreciate you all joining us along the way. Thanks so much and hope you all continue to enjoy a blessed holiday season.