See What Happens To Millions Of Pounds Of Las Vegas Buffet Leftovers


Photo: Bizarre Foods America

Nobody does buffets like Sin City. Of course, the downside of endless all-you-can-eat spreads is the incredible amount of food that’s left behind.That’s where R.C. Farms, a sustainable operation located just 12 miles from downtown Las Vegas’ bustling Strip, enters the picture.

For decades, the farm has been turning millions of pounds of leftover buffet food from hotels and restaurants into scrumptious feed for pigs.

The farm was recently featured on the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern. Using footage from the episode, we bring you an inside look at the business that’s putting an innovative spin on food recycling.

This is Bob Combs, the owner of R.C. Farms in northern Las Vegas.

When the farm was originally built in 1963, it sat far outside the city.

The 160-acre property is now just a short distance from the Strip, home to some of the most bountiful buffets in the country.

For perspective, Las Vegas hotels and restaurants go through around 60 thousands pound of food each day, or about 22 million pounds each year. That results in a lot of uneaten meat, bread, vegetables and anything else you can imagine!

Las Vegas' desert environment, which lacks cornfields, would normally pose a challenge to hog farmers. But Bob found a constant source of food for his 6,000 pigs by recycling scraps from local restaurants and businesses.

MGM Resorts pays Bob to haul away the food waste left by millions of tourists each year.

It all starts at the loading dock behind MGM Grand, which sorts through about 8,000 pounds of uneaten food every day.

The load of food scraps shown here is just one of 100 that will get processed at the MGM Resorts' 10 properties each day.

The trucks then make the short trip to Nevada's largest pig farm, and the only one in Las Vegas.

Bob first picks through the garbage to remove any inedible items such as plastic bags, glass bottles and bones.

It's hard to believe only 24 hours ago people were standing in line and paying money to eat this. The stench is apparently terrible.

The food waste then moves up a conveyer belt and into a custom-built cooker, which boils down the food and makes it safe for the pigs to eat.

Within hours, the buffet leftovers have a second life as wholesome pig feed.

And what happens to the pigs? Well, the animals are slaughtered and sold to a local processor, who then sells some meat products back to MGM Resorts. And the cycle continues...

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