School lunch fit for a pig

Where's my lunch?: Pigs on a huge farm in Minnesota get to eat the processed leftovers of school lunches of students from St. Paul.
Where's my lunch?: Pigs on a huge farm in Minnesota get to eat the processed leftovers of school lunches of students from St. Paul.
How do your school lunches rate? Are they fit for a pig?

In St. Paul, Minn., they are. Grade school students were recently recognized with an environmental award by Mayor Chris Coleman for their efforts to help helping develop or promote more “green” living.

The students have found a creative use for their leftover school lunches. The waste food – weighing in at more than 253 tons last school year – has been converted into daily feed for the 4,000 hogs being raised on a farm near St. Francis, Minn.

Here’s how it works: Students dump their uneaten food into a barrel in the lunchroom. Barthold Farm and Recyling picks up the leftovers, cooks it up into a new recipe just for pigs.

Can you think of any other great ways to recycle or reuse waste items at your school? Share them here with other Science Buzz readers today.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Nick tom's picture
Nick tom says:

I would agree that would be nice.

posted on Thu, 04/26/2007 - 1:26pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I read a letter to the editor in the St. Paul Pioneer Press a few months ago complaining about this program. The letter writer argued that lots of kids are getting free or reduced price lunches. But the kids are also really excited to feed the pigs, so they take extra or don't clean their plates so they have scraps. His point was that area taxpayers are feeding pigs, not kids.

posted on Thu, 04/26/2007 - 2:26pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The 3 R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) are ordered by effectiveness, so of course this idea should be teamed with educating the kids on reducing their waste first. However, students are not given unlimited food in the lunchroom, so the amount of their waste cannot be changing dramatically. I would say that the benefit of keeping so much food out of the landfills more than outweighs the few extra pieces of sandwich bread kids might opt not to eat in favor of feeding it to the pigs. I would also add that seeing many overweight kids in the elementary schools, it could be good to encourage them to cut back a bit!

posted on Fri, 06/15/2007 - 3:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Sat, 11/17/2007 - 12:38pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options