Andrea Fabry wonders about the safety of the feeding factory cows a mix of candy and cookies, a result of this summer’s historic draught and the severely depleted sweet corn harvest.
No, it’s not a joke, although it seems like it should be.
Cattle operators are offering a smorgasbord of sugary treats to cope with the rising cost of corn. The market for alternative food blends is skyrocketing, according to this recent Reuters news article.
In the mix are cookies, gummy worms, marshmallows, fruit loops, orange peels, even dried cranberries. Cattlemen are feeding virtually anything they can get their hands on that will replace the starchy sugar content traditionally delivered to the animals through corn.
Are cows meant to eat breakfast cereals? Or high fructose corn syrup confections? What about corn itself? Cows are ruminants. Their four stomachs are naturally pH neutral. A corn-based (or gummy-worm-based) diet creates an acidic environment that invariably leads to a host of health problems including bloat, diarrhea, ulcers, liver disease, and overall weakened immune system. To combat these illnesses, cattle are given antibiotics. And lots of them. Eighty percent of antibiotics used in this country are used for animal feed.
This article originally appeared on Our Health Journey. It is partially posted here with permission from the author.
Do you prefer your cows grassfed… or candy-fed?
Photo Credit: Smith Meadows
Chris Regan and Ashley Mayne produce a wide array of delicious greens for the Hudson Valley.
With his new book, Forrest Pritchard tells the stories of 18 farms from all across America.
Forrest Pritchard and Smith Meadows are prime examples of sustainable family farming.
Jonathan Waxman shares his food philosophy with Slow Films.
A group of star chefs play with fire for a good cause.