Research Updates from the Shurson/Urriola Lab
Approximately 40% of the food that we produce in the US is wasted, while the demand for food puts pressure on our environmental resources. Therefore, decreasing the environmental footprint of pork production is a goal of our lab within at the Department of Animal Science. We do this by facilitating ways in which otherwise wasted feed ingredients would be fed to pigs. We can use feed ingredients such as rendered products (article can be found on page 10 of February Issue of Render Magazine)and even chocolate and candy (https://www.nationalhogfarmer.com/nutrition/sweets-swine-does-chocolate-have-nutritional-value-pigs). More recently, we characterized new streams of food waste to feed pigs (https://academic.oup.com/tas/article/3/1/txy099/5091973). But feeding food waste and other feed ingredients to pigs also pose a risk for transmission of foreign animal diseases such as African Swine Fever. We are working on a project to study the risk and find ways to mitigate it: https://www.cahfs.umn.edu/news/pedro-urriola-securing-safe-feed.