Saturday, January 15, 2011

Poultry Prosperity

Two friendly local restaurant owners and I now swap their kitchen waste for fresh arugula and more to come from my urban farm in south Tampa. One restaurant is just three blocks north of me, and daily they sit out back a 7 gallon swimming pool tablets bucket (with lid) filled with a broad mix of food scraps. I give them arugula for the menu, a potted Thai hot pepper plant for their chef, plus now I will bring in bags of salad greens to the delightful woman dishwasher who scrapes the customers' plates. The other guy owns a gourmet pizza restaurant on Davis Island and works out at my gym....he brings buckets of kitchen scraps to the gym a few times weekly, he now gets to offer his customers arugula pizzas with white cheeses, no red sauce, and my poultry get his salad bar and pizza waste that formerly ended up in a landfill. My chickens and Muscovy ducks eat better than ever, and both restaurants benefit from trading their former "garbage" for fresh organic produce, and, when the girls resume laying this spring, fresh free range eggs too. Talk about a win-win scenario!

Some folks ask me if I'm afraid to eat eggs and meat from birds that eat restaurant food that may well contain MSG and hydrogenated fat.....I have three answers:

1. No. I'm cheap, live on about $8,000 a year, and commercial chicken feed is PRICEY.
2. That feed is based on GMO corn and soybeans, both of which I try hard to avoid consuming or   
3. My diet is so not normal American...I eat very little processed food and a great deal of raw food eaten   
    moments after I pick it. I eat mostly organic home cooked meals and rarely eat out, maybe a few Taco
    Bell bean burritos monthly, and once a month I pig out at the wonderful Tampa Buffet at Britton Plaza
    where I eat my body weight in sushi and raw and cooked seafood. So what little additives that make it
    past the chickens' body filters just does not worry me. I tried that "purist" thing regarding ethical diet in my 
   20s in the 70s and ended up near paralyzed by inaction and poor health as a vegan whose body simply is
   not healthy when I am not an omnivore.

   So consider approaching your own neighborhood restaurants to see if they might enjoy a similar swap arrangement to boost prosperity for you, them, AND your poultry.


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