Knowing Vegas: Where does leftover buffet food end up?
Prime rib, shrimp cocktails, sushi and everything in between — you eat it at Las Vegas buffets, and so do pigs when you’re done.
In a win-win situation, RC Farms’ long-time owner Bob Combs provides a sort-of free waste removal service for The Strip’s hotels and in exchange, his pigs get fed.
The pig farm north of Las Vegas has been featured on shows like Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods” and Mike Rowe’s “Dirty Jobs,” and has become known for its circular service to the city. Combs’ 160-acre farm is only 12 miles north of the city, but is home to some 2,500 pigs, according to Western Farm Press.
RC Farms hauls leftover food from a dozen hotels each night, and mixes the goods for his pigs to feast. The rest — all the non-edible bits — are recycled. The farm has been doing this for more than 50 years.
The mulch is steamed for cleanliness and cycled for extra materials, which at one point included a .38-caliber pistol.
Apparently, the pigs don’t seem to mind.
“I tell ya, you put it in front of pigs, they go for it. Once you teach ’em to eat food scraps, they’ll turn their nose up to soybean and corn, they’ll turn their nose up to that,” Combs said in a 2014 interview with Modern Farmer. “They go for the buffets.”
Los Angeles Times reported in 2013 that Combs refused a $70 million buyout offer.
“There’s a hungry world out there and I’m gonna feed it. I’m gonna go down with this ship,” he said.
At one point or another, leftover food from Las Vegas’ Strip buffets has ended up in a pig’s mouth.
Granted, Comb’s only one man with a few trucks, so much of the leftovers take the usual route to the trash or compost.
Contact Kristen DeSilva at 702-477-3895 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on Twitter: @kristendesilva