There are some very persuasive salesmen with some very glossy brochures going around trying to persuade hotels to “invest” in food waste digesters. These are very large plastic bins which plug into the mains and, with the aid of a “bio-enzymatic formula” will turn food leftovers into grey water. I’ve got news for these guys- there’s another way to get rid of food waste that doesn’t need plugging into the mains and at the end of the process produces something more interesting than grey water, namely pork chops, black pudding, bacon, brawn and, if you are brave enough, pigs trotters.
The people selling these digesters claim that they are environmentally friendly even though they come with a huge carbon footprint in the form of a large lump of plastic and even though they require the constant use of electricity. On the other hand, the alternative, a pig, really is environmentally friendly, as they will eat everything, including the bones (which bio-digesters don’t). In fact if you ever wanted to dispose of a body, leaving no possible trace, a mature sow will do the job most effectively (but do remember to remove any rings).
So, why aren’t these smiling salesmen going around asking us to invest in a sow? The answer is that since 2002 it has been illegal to feed food scraps to pigs. This law was brought in as a knee-jerk reaction after the last major foot and mouth outbreak. There isn’t the faintest scientific justification for the ban. But the result of the ban is that landfill sites are filling up with food waste, pork is far more expensive than it should be, and hoteliers are endlessly pestered by charming salesmen to “invest” in ghastly, environmentally unfriendly, food digesters.