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Sweet Times For Cows As Gummy Worms Replace Corn Feed

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the sweet-milk dept.

Earth 432

PolygamousRanchKid writes "As the worst drought in half a century has ravaged this year's U.S. corn crop and driven corn prices sky high, the market for alternative feed rations for beef and dairy cows has also skyrocketed. Brokers are gathering up discarded food products and putting them out for the highest bid to feed lot operators and dairy producers, who are scrambling to keep their animals fed. 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. Operators must be careful to follow detailed nutritional analyses for their animals to make sure they are getting a healthy mix of nutrients, animal nutritionists caution. But ruminant animals such as cattle can safely ingest a wide variety of feedstuffs that chickens and hogs can't. The candy and cookies are only a small part of a broad mix of alternative feed offerings for cattle. Many operators use distillers grains, a byproduct that comes from the manufacture of ethanol."

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Cows eat Grass (4, Interesting)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 years ago | (#41438329)

Cows evolved to eat grass.

No good came from feeding them corn. I can't see how feeding them gummy worms will turn out well.

Re:Cows eat Grass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438341)

No good came from feeding them corn

Lol, wut?

Re:Cows eat Grass (5, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41438609)

No good came from feeding them corn

Lol, wut?

I.e. fattening them up. Changed the entire industry of cattle from range fed (grasses) to loading them up with Corn, which is a water-hungry crop. With the mentality of Wall Street, the cattle industry has gone after maximizing profits - steroids to fatten them up even more, antibiotics (which remain in the meat, even after cooking, so you end up with antibiotic resistant strains developing, not to overlook constant exposure to antibiotics hammers your own immune system) and a dependency upon water and petroleum, it's becoming less suitable to areas of land as the damage to land can be considerable, plus it has brought us the wonders of invasive plant species, thanks to feed coming from where-ever is cheap and available.

Re:Cows eat Grass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438685)

antibiotics (which remain in the meat, even after cooking

Citation needed.

Re:Cows eat Grass (5, Informative)

Byrel (1991884) | about 2 years ago | (#41438975)

I.e. fattening them up. Changed the entire industry of cattle from range fed (grasses) to loading them up with Corn, which is a water-hungry crop.

Bah. Corn's photosynthesis cycle is more than 10 times as efficient as grass's. Sure it's a water hungry crop; it's just a much less land hungry crop for the same production, which means less land area under cultivation per cow. Less land per food is a Good Thing when people are starving in some parts of the world. Less land per food means lower food prices and higher availability (given a reasonably free market.) It also means less erosion, less pollution, less CO2 release, and higher population average leisure time.

All the things you mentioned do, indeed, increase profits. But they also lower costs, both to produce and to consume food. You can claim we should eat less meat, as it has relatively high impact on the environment per pound; you're right. But it would have even more impact if we switched to 'organic' or 'grass-fed' meat. There may be good reasons to buy organic; it may be healthier, lower risk of E. coli, more humane treatment of animals, and it just plain tastes good! But recognize, that whenever you indulge these scruples, you do it at the cost of the environment.

Re:Cows eat Grass (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41439153)

This beef is not going to people who are starving. Here in the USA the opposite is our problem, people are eating too much.

How is eating less meat and having what little you do eat be grassfed/organic hurting the environment?

How is eating local grassfed beef hurting the environment?

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438981)

It also meant that steak went from being an upper-class luxury item to being attainable by normal people.

But, yeah, no good ever came of it. Gotta get the good food out of the economic reach of the plebs, right? Let them eat brown bread; only "high net worth individuals" should have steak.

Re:Cows eat Grass (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439141)

White bread isn't worth the effort to chew a mouthfull. And since you were comparing bread and steak: the nauseating congealed protein paste you call steak isn't better in any way. You Americans are nice people, but what you eat is the stuff of nightmares.

Vatgrown! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439021)

Just more reasons why we should advocate for vat grown meat.

Healthier, higher and more consistent quality, just as tasty and dense, and (once the tech is mature enough) cheaper than gutgrown.

Re:Cows eat Grass (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41438375)

Cheap beef came from feeding cows corn. A median income family in the US could eat beef for dinner every day because of corn fed cows. These days it's getting out of reach.

Although, I am a bit worried about what this will do to gummy worm prices.

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438439)

Hello colon cancer! Eating beef every day is not a good idea.

Re:Cows eat Grass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438515)

Oxygen consumption causes free-radicals to form in cells, which are known to cause cancer.

If you're so fearful of cancer, please stop taking in oxygen... everyone else on the planet would surely appreciate it.

Re:Cows eat Grass (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438533)

Neither is "living life" in general, as it has a 100% mortality rate.

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438979)

And if you eat too many hot dogs, that rate goes up by 2X!

Re:Cows eat Grass (1)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | about 2 years ago | (#41438993)

Obligatory George Carlin quote:

"Saliva causes stomach cancer, but only when swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time."

Re:Cows eat Grass (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41438557)

If I eat beef every two days will I live twice as long? If not, I think you're practicing false economy. Beef is delicious. If you're trying to extend your life by avoiding pleasurable things, you're missing the point of life.

Re:Cows eat Grass (4, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41438761)

If I eat beef every two days will I live twice as long? If not, I think you're practicing false economy. Beef is delicious. If you're trying to extend your life by avoiding pleasurable things, you're missing the point of life.

The amount of beef you need to eat on a daily basis for your protein needs would be a cube (raw) is about 1.5 inches on a side, anything after that is just clogging up your colon and your arteries. It's shocking, at least to me, to see people ordering huge steaks, which do more harm to their health than they are aware of. If you like to eat it, add it to things, like stir-fry or stew, and by all means go for organic or free range meat, not that stuff loaded with steroids and antibiotics (gotta keep that fat bull alive long enough to get to the slaughterhouse.)

Re:Cows eat Grass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439111)

So I'm missing the point of life because I'm not draining my bank account down at the whorehouse with the periodic stop by my local crack dealer?
 
Let's face facts, that's about as good as it gets for the human experience but it's obvious what the problem is with this way of life. I won't question it, if you feel that having degraded health, more impact on the Earth's environment and a shortened lifespan is a profitable tradeoff in the question of how much meat should be eaten, so be it. But not everyone agrees with you. Even more to the point, not even everyone agrees that beef is delicious. You're trying to project your values on everyone else and act smug thinking that we're suffering for not following your way of life.
 
This way of thinking is what most people call "being an asshole."

Re:Cows eat Grass (1, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 years ago | (#41438605)

What are you doing!? Get away from the monitor! All those nasty radiations might give you skin cancer!

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438681)

I already have hair cancer.

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438987)

I think that is just a piece of gum. You might want to consider a new haircut.

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438639)

So the GREED of the cattlemen takes advantage of the GLUTTONY ans SLOTH of the american, corn fed cows raise healthcare costs and preponderance of deadly sins in america

Corn fed = going to hell

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439139)

Although, I am a bit worried about what this will do to gummy worm prices.

Time to consider switching to Swedish Fish [swedishfish.com] .

Re:Cows eat Grass (2)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about 2 years ago | (#41438395)

agreed. This sounds silly. Most farmers search high and low for hay if they have a sizeable cow herd. Otherwise they just unload it or knock it down so the hay they do find will work. I've got friends in Texas that will truck hay in from any part of America where they can find it. Hay prices have sky rocketed as a result, but maybe these are not free range cows they are talking about.

Re:Cows eat Grass (3, Informative)

avandesande (143899) | about 2 years ago | (#41438581)

The prime food for dairy cows in the east is 'silage' which are the entire corn plant chopped up and fermented in the silo. You could pick kernels of corn out of the silage and if you chewed it a little alcohol would come out.

Re:Cows eat Grass (1)

Byrel (1991884) | about 2 years ago | (#41438659)

Alcohol? Is that what vomit is made of? 'Cause that's what would come out of me if I chewed on silage...

Re:Cows eat Grass (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 2 years ago | (#41438921)

We were kids. It beats eating dirt or dog biscuits!

Re:Cows eat Grass (1)

Byrel (1991884) | about 2 years ago | (#41439009)

I suppose... I just couldn't get past the smell! But then, I grew up on a farm with chickens, and didn't get why everyone else thought they stank...

Re:Cows eat Grass (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41438447)

No, cows evolved to eat a wide variety of things and extract nutrients from them. Grass happens to be one of the better (by human standards for the cows' products) choices for their food, but it's certainly not perfect.

Re:Cows eat Grass (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41439027)

cows evolved to eat a wide variety of things and extract nutrients from them. Grass happens to be one of the better (by human standards for the cows' products) choices for their food, but it's certainly not perfect

Cows were bred to eat a wide variety of things by humans from their historical predecessors [wikipedia.org] . We don't particularly care what the best food for cattle to eat is from their perspective, because we are not raising them to live long and prosper. We are raising them to get big and become food, or for that matter, to get big and make food (e.g. milk.)

Re:Cows eat Grass (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41438493)

Probably time for people to start moving away from meat, anyway. The amount of water and acreage of agricultural production, including various uses of petroleum (gas, diesel) required to raise one pound of beef, it's a luxury we can ill afford much more than once a week.

There's also the extreme damage to lands by cattle grazing, which leads to erosion, including landslides. Time to move on from meat.

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438635)

By grazing or overgrazing?

Re:Cows eat Grass (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438721)

Or maybe we could just try not doubling human population in 40 years. A planet with nothing but people and farmland sounds so far from a place I'd want to be.

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439087)

I wonder how fast the population would drop if everyone had at most 2 kids linked to them genetically.

Re:Cows eat Grass (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438899)

The land doesn't suffer if it is managed properly. Research holistic land management. The Savory Institute is a good place to start. Here in Colorado, a few ranchers are making their cattle graze in patterns that the bison do naturally: grouped tighter together, never staying in the same area for very long. In any given area, the cattle don't eat too much or poop too much. They trample the ground just enough, pushing seeds just below the surface. The grass has evolved to grow optimally under these conditions. Animals and land have a symbiotic relationship; both benefit from each other. If we use animals as a tool to make a healthier earth, we all win.

Re:Cows eat Grass (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41438909)

That will happen the instant a suitable replacement is found and not a moment sooner. I have high hopes for the beyondmeat folks, but we shall see.

Now get on the replacement tuna.

Re:Cows eat Grass (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438535)

Cows evolved to eat grass.

No good came from feeding them corn. I can't see how feeding them gummy worms will turn out well.

Oh, evolution is for radical liberal atheists.

Cows do just fine eating corn or sugar-rich foods. Makes them nice and fat real young, so you get that delicious marbled tissue. Just keep them pumped full of antibiotics to prevent that stuff from going bad in their ruminant stomachs, and they'll be great.

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439101)

Put a ten pound sack of lime in a 55 gal drum, and top it off with chicken droppings. Stir well and feed to cattle. They thrive on it so I'm told.

Computers Weren't Meant to Exist Either (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41438619)

Cows evolved to eat grass.

Humans evolved eyes to forage and see danger. We should stop looking at back lit squares since that's not what our eyes were evolved to do. No good came from looking at back lit squares.

No good came from feeding them corn.

No good at all. Unless, of course, you mean we preserved top soil by stopping massive herds from turning the entire nation into a dust bowl. Or perhaps the good that comes from us being able to furnish an ever growing population with food? There are some valid complaints about feed cattle feed corn. Saying there is nothing good doing it is a bit of a hyperbole.

I can't see how feeding them gummy worms will turn out well.

It'll turn out just fine. As someone who grew up on a farm, there is a certain ratio of what you feed your cattle. You give them a safe percentage of raffage mixed with ground feed mixed with whatever you want. You know they're not giving them straight up gummy bears but rather cutting the already diverse mixture of what makes for a healthy cow. Yes, some farmers mix in antibiotics into cattle feed, yes some farmers engineer their feeds to make cattle produce more milk or become more bulky for a higher profit. And those can have consequences -- probably worse consequences than gummy bears! I do not understand, however, why we get to be engineers with computers yet when a farmer does their own experiments with altering a diet or using a pesticide that the FDA says is safe, we can sit here in our armchairs and condemn them for that sort of innovation. Do you think farmers sit at home and demand you stop using any computers because the lead that foreign manufacturing plants releases will someday affect their farmland?

Re:Computers Weren't Meant to Exist Either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438743)

New research shows that humans developed the ability to eat vegetables only 100,000 years after we became fully "human"... it was this move that allowed us to move away from watery climes as we needed fish to provide the fatty acids our brains require. We were originally completely carnivores.

Re:Computers Weren't Meant to Exist Either (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41439055)

New research shows that humans developed the ability to eat vegetables only 100,000 years after we became fully "human"...

[citation needed] ... no, really, I need this citation. I could use this all day.

Re:Computers Weren't Meant to Exist Either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438789)

The problem is that for most /. users, and most tech-savvy individuals, they are middle- to upper-income, and have no real grip on how tough life can be.

It's easy to spout about the EVILS of chemicals and GMO products (which at this point, pretty much every animal we have tamed is a GMO). It's easy, because they have access to fresh, locally grown, and probably organic items that low-income and flat-out fucking poor people wouldn't be able to afford.

It's called a first-world problem.

Re:Computers Weren't Meant to Exist Either (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41438945)

The problem is they want to do an experiment and sell the result. Normally animals used for experiments would be destroyed not sold as food.

Re:Computers Weren't Meant to Exist Either (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | about 2 years ago | (#41439145)

you mean we preserved top soil by stopping massive herds from turning the entire nation into a dust bowl... Saying there is nothing good doing it is a bit of a hyperbole.

Hypocrite much?

And besides, the actual Dust Bowl was caused by the replacement of prairie grasses (which cattle could eat) with intensive farming that stripped the topsoil.

Re:Cows eat Grass (3, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41438785)

Corn-fed beef is cheaper, so if you eat a burger every day, you can't complain about it.

Then again, all this meat consumption (over a pound per U.S. resident per day; about 25% of it beef) is really a bad thing. Screws up your health, screws up the environment, depletes a non-renewable resource (oil) in the form of fertilizers and diesel fuel needed to grow all that corn.

The oil issue was pumping up corn prices even before the drought. Oil prices can only go up [wikipedia.org] , so we're going to have to get used to eating less meat, no matter how "anti-agriculture" [thehill.com] it might seem.

Re:Cows eat Grass (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41439127)

I don't eat nearly that much beef but I could do it and still just stick to grass fed. The local grocery store has it for about $5/lb which seems pretty affordable for many if not most folks. Assuming you don't eat nothing but beef for dinner.

Re:Cows eat Grass (4, Insightful)

samazon (2601193) | about 2 years ago | (#41439031)

Cows eat grass [wikipedia.org] huh? You realize that corn [wikipedia.org] is of the genus Zea [wikipedia.org] which makes it... a type.. of grass.

Re:Cows eat Grass (3, Informative)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#41439035)

Corn is a species of grass. It produces more calories per acre than most other grasses, which is why it's used for feed (and why it takes more water per acre than other grasses, more output requires more input).

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439049)

Exactly. Unfortunately, in a world, where 99% of the people eat dangerously non-species-appropriate,and most haven't eaten a healthy diet in their whole lives, let alone knowing what that means, nobody will get it.

Hell, nobody at all gets the concept of a balanced, finely tuned ecosystem, that can handle some short-term imbalances, but once toppled, results in a catastrophic chain reaction.
And in that aspect, our bodies are exactly like nature as a whole.

Let alone the long-term things, like eating loads of short carbohydrates for decades, and then being surprised one gets the so-called "age-related diseases", which mostly have nothing to do with being old, but simply with taking that long to surface. It only gets dismissed with stupid bullshit excuses like "science has found no links hurr durr", assuming it means "there are no links" and intentionally leaving out the crucial key word "yet!". Well-knowing such long periods means studies take forever, and that the observed evidence until now is blatantly obvious.

Such people can just suffer in their shitty ignorance and die the veeery slow and painful death they chose for themselves with that ignorance. They *want* that, so who am I to tell them what to do, right. ^^ Fuck them!

Re:Cows eat Grass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439125)

Hey, it's just like the time Kramer got ahold of a horse and carriage - Beef-a-Roni was cheap, so he fed it that.

What could go wrong?

Buy grass fed only... (3, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#41438355)

Not only does it taste better, but corn and "alternative" feed is directly linked to the evolution of resistant ecoli strains. Only reason to feed cows corn, or corn sysup in the form of gummy worms, is due to farm subsides making corn literally cheaper then weeds.

Re:Buy grass fed only... (2)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#41438407)

corn and "alternative" feed is directly linked to the evolution of resistant ecoli strains

It is? I would have had the overuse and abuse of antibiotics in factory farms pegged as the cause to antibiotic resistance in E. Coli.

Only reason to feed cows corn, or corn sysup in the form of gummy worms, is due to farm subsides making corn literally cheaper then weeds.

Basically. Leveraging a subsidy in one industry for yourself. I say fuck Iowa and end the corn subsidies.

Re:Buy grass fed only... (5, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#41438495)

corn and "alternative" feed is directly linked to the evolution of resistant ecoli strains

It is? I would have had the overuse and abuse of antibiotics in factory farms pegged as the cause to antibiotic resistance in E. Coli.

Strage as it sounds, yes it is. There have been a great many scientific studies and articles published on the subject since the mid 80s. Basically it comes down to how the cows dont have the digestive system to handle the grains which results in PH changes in their stomaches allowing e.coli to thrive and survive being "passed" by the cows. The resulting e.coli laden excrement gets stuck to the cows and does not properly get washed off during processing into meat. The solution the beef industry came up with was to wash the meat in ammonia rather then switch to grass feed even for a couple weeks towards the end of the cows life.

Re:Buy grass fed only... (3, Informative)

Byrel (1991884) | about 2 years ago | (#41438749)

This doesn't help develop resistant E. coli; it helps E. coli get into our food. Antibiotic-resistant E. Coli develops the same way any resistance does in a population: strong selective pressure. In this case, the only significant source of selective pressure is antibiotics. Now, I don't know if factory farms abuse antibiotics or not. But heavy use of antibiotics is the only thing known to develop significant populations of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Re:Buy grass fed only... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439095)

Oh, he left out that part: the rich diet which causes this e. coli bloom in the cow's stomach can make them sick, so the agribusinesses will often add in a steady schedule of antibiotics to keep the cow "healthy" despite the bad diet. This leads to the development of resistant strains.

Re:Buy grass fed only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438913)

Basically, grains are good for nothing. No one should eat them.

Re:Buy grass fed only... (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#41438411)

I've read that our Iowa-first Presidential campaigns are a reason for the entrenched corn subsidies.

Re:Buy grass fed only... (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#41439079)

Drug resistant E. coli evolved in response to drugs given to patients with E. coli infections. The association to livestock is tenuous at best, but the association to antibiotic usage in healthcare is very well documented.

Why not bugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438405)

Grubs, ants, and crickets can be pretty nutritious and it's hard to sell them to people.

Organic insulin. (3, Funny)

AuralityKev (1356747) | about 2 years ago | (#41438423)

I insist we only use organic insulin for all of the newly diabetic cows! It's sustainable... or something.

Re:Organic insulin. (3, Funny)

fakeid (242403) | about 2 years ago | (#41438593)

I insist we only use organic insulin for all of the newly diabetic cows! It's sustainable... or something.

I'm sure Wilford Brimley will be along at any minute to help out our diabeetus-stricken cows.

You're eating your own feet and bones. (5, Insightful)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 2 years ago | (#41438433)

Sounds like a great CJD transmission vector.

Re:You're eating your own feet and bones. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438793)

Whoever modded this as 'troll' is a moron who doesn't know what gelatin is, where it comes from, and what it is put into.

Re:You're eating your own feet and bones. (4, Insightful)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41439011)

Yes, a vector indeed. Gummy worms comprising of gelatin, and gelatin comprising of bone and bone -- other than brain -- being the most common vector for rogue prions, you may have a point. What's undeniable, however, is that feeding gummy-worms to cows is cannibalism -- a diet that has been largely discouraged since it was discovered as a possible connection with BSE. Gelatin manufacturers claim to treat the gelatin in a manner which "minimizes" the risk of transmission, but I have always had serious doubts. I think Japan and Korea have doubts too, which is probably why they've banned US beef in the past, or still do.

Buy local (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#41438471)

Look for local farmers; produce and meat if you can find it. Do a side-by-side taste test and you'll see what I mean. The differences between "natural" farm products and industrial farm products are tangible. My boss has a small farm and the eggs are like night-and-day between the regular supermarket fair.

Re:Buy local (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41438589)

My boss has a small farm and the eggs are like night-and-day between the regular supermarket fair.

Have you tried this double blind?

Re:Buy local (2)

Fished (574624) | about 2 years ago | (#41438765)

I have. Bought some hamburger from the supermarket, and had some hamburger given to me by one of my parishioners (at the time I was a pastor.) Served them at a party, without telling anyone, and several people commented on how good the "plain" burgers were. Most said something like, "oh, this tastes like the beef I had as a child!"

Re:Buy local (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438925)

That's single blind, not double blind, since you knew which burgers were which when you served them and collected results.

Re:Buy local (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41439057)

That might be hard to do, would have to blind fold the taster. The small farm eggs I have seen had bright orange yolks and being so fresh the yolk stood up and the white stayed very close to it when the egg was fried.

Re:Buy local (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439065)

This can depend a lot on where you live and what products you buy though. I've lived places where the local farm meat tasted horrible or really bland, in addition to being more expensive. While at the same place local farm veggies were good, as opposed to other places where I lived that had horrible veggies and great meat. In some cases, I'm not sure how much benefit there is to driving around to a dozen places trying to find some produce better than the supermarket can find.

Let Them Eat Cake (1, Interesting)

lobiusmoop (305328) | about 2 years ago | (#41438525)

How come when something like 25,000 people die of malnutrition every day [poverty.com] , food likely fit for human consumption is going to cattle? I bet it's all just a few days out of date too.

Re:Let Them Eat Cake (4, Funny)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 2 years ago | (#41438717)

Gummi worms are fit for human consumption?

Re:Let Them Eat Cake (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41438853)

I know, it's a shame. Of course, we just need the millions of dollars to ship the food half-way around the world to the people who need it, and the refrigeration to keep it so it doesn't spoil in the process, all of which costs more than the damned food in the first place (not to mention using a vast amount of fossil fuels which will probably just make the problem worse in the long run). See, thats the problem: starvation doesn't happen because there isn't enough food in the world, it happens because there isn't enough food where people need the food the most. The problem isn't human-consumable food in the US being fed to cows: it was never viable to feed that to starving people in Africa in the first place. It's just not logistically viable. The problem is Africa (et alia) isn't producing enough of it's own food to feed its people (which is the result of a combination of problems).

Re:Let Them Eat Cake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439003)

The real issue you've missed is the farmers will PAY for this random "food"

Poor people are starving all around you, it's not because they don't want to eat or food isn't available.

Re:Let Them Eat Cake (5, Insightful)

ddd0004 (1984672) | about 2 years ago | (#41438991)

It's by far easier to get the food to the cows. Feeding most of those who die of malnutrition involves the following:

1. Get together enough food.
2. Send an armed force to overthrow the government or local warlord who is ruling the area where people are dying of malnutrition. If not, the ruling party will simply claim the food or stop the aid.
3. Deliver the food
4. Remain in the region indefinitely to keep the peace all the while the local region becomes more and more dissatisfied with the outside invaders and the casualties continue to mount.
5. Eventually leave the region and watch the warlords / corrupt governments return or civil war breaks out.

So in this case, feeding the cows gummy worms doesn't sound like that bad of a deal.

Re:Let Them Eat Cake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439029)

How come when something like 25,000 people die of malnutrition every day [poverty.com] , food likely fit for human consumption is going to cattle?

The reason they are starving is because of their government and/or regional fighting factions prevent the food from reaching them.

Feeding everyone on earth, in todays numbers, is not an agricultural problem, it's a political and/or military one. Bottom line, you're going to have to kill a lot of people to get food to the starving ones. Which headline do you want and/or can you ignore?

Re:Let Them Eat Cake (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about 2 years ago | (#41439053)

Cows pay for the food they eat by giving us meat and hides in exchange. How will those 25,000 people who die of malnutrition pay?

Re:Let Them Eat Cake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439059)

Because that's what the owners decided to do with it. When will you commies get it through your thick skulls that there's this stuff called private property?

Re:Let Them Eat Cake (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41439077)

Because there is no practical way to get this food to those people.

If you could get it there without it rotting or being stolen by warlords and governments maybe it would help.

You would also have to buy it at the same or higher prices than the ranchers pay.

This is what happens when Gov. picks "winners" (0)

shellster_dude (1261444) | about 2 years ago | (#41438549)

Corn prices go up because of ethanol subsidies which drive an otherwise failed alternative energy source. Ethanol makes no economic sense, unless you happen to be a corn farmer and in bed with big government.

Oh the irony... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438551)

I find it funny that the number one ingredient in most gummy bears is high fructose CORN syrup.

Not quite sky-high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438599)

Just approaching a level close to the natural price of corn, if our government wasn't subsidizing the corn industry by the bushel.
 
The same people who rail against getting rid of medicare and medicaid, and instead providing healthcare for all, crying out against "socialism"... These people seem to be fine that our tax dollars go to farmers to grow To Much Corn, so that they can be sold below actual cost and keep the price of feed down for our industrial livestock production.Keeping our price of meat unnaturally low, as well as a production scale that is downright unhealthy
 
  Not to mention the fact that out artificially cheap, government subsidized corn is then sold to other nations, and the main effect of this is it makes local farming for grain impossible to compete. Many of those Mexican illegal immigrants picking foodstuffs? Many of them were corn farmers in Mexico, but with cheap American corn flooding the market they lost their own market. Which in turn provides cheap, replicable, labor for America.
 
You want to really help the world? Can you live without $1 quarter pounders with cheese? Write to your Senators. Your Representatives. Your Governor. Demand from all to stop having your tax dollars artificially drive the price of corn down.
 
Side effects would be: Sugar in beverages. The farming industrial complex falling back to 1970's levels. More grass fed beef. And a fall in the obesity epidemic.

Corn production goes towards ethanol fuel (1)

zfalcon (69659) | about 2 years ago | (#41438607)

We would probably have enough field corn for cows if a large portion of field corn didn't go towards the misguided mandated production of ethanol for fuel.

Re:Corn production goes towards ethanol fuel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438759)

Bingo.... the percentage of crops that is going towards ethonal production remains unchanged since the drought began. That is why food producers are scrambling.

Corn Farmers are holding us hostage!

Chickens can so hav cookie! (5, Interesting)

Byrel (1991884) | about 2 years ago | (#41438613)

I grew up on a small farm with free-range chickens. Chickens are omnivores. They aren't quite as good at digesting weird things as ruminants, but they come pretty close. Consider that both are quite well adapted for eating grass. It's tough to get much in the way of nutrition out of grass, but they both manage it. In fact, their digestive systems bear some similarities. While a ruminant will puke up there food to reprocess it in their mouth, the chickens have a gizzard for a pre-stomach. The gizzard is full of rocks, and has a strong band of muscles around it which grinds the food apart before it ever gets to their stomach.

Furthermore, we fed our chickens scraps. You have to, as the summary points out, be careful with nutrition. Chickens will gorge themselves on moldy bread, cookies, etc. instead of proper food if you give them a chance. But if you're careful to not feed them too much junk at a time it can be quite economical, and the chickens love it. We used to get rejected hamburger buns and feed it to them. There's nothing quite so amusing as tossing a single bun into the air, and watching all the chickens scattered across a couple acres come barreling up to you, flapping and squawking.

This isn't new, and it isn't really news. I'm sure it happens more now, as the designed food gets more expensive, but it's an old practice.

some irony (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | about 2 years ago | (#41438623)

I like how some comments in the article follow this logic : eew! a cow turns gummy worms into beef and we eat the beef! but -I- am ok eating gummy worms that my body turns into me...

/scratches head/

on this path lies enlightenment (2)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#41438737)

Come on Sebastopol, follow that line a reasoning all [wikipedia.org] the way [wikipedia.org] and close the loop [wikipedia.org] .

Re:on this path lies enlightenment (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | about 2 years ago | (#41438983)

mind = blown

remind me never to play "Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon" with you!

Obligatory Charlton Heston (3, Funny)

jspoon (585173) | about 2 years ago | (#41438657)

Just don't tell them where the gelatin came from.

Gummi Cows? (1)

stoofa (524247) | about 2 years ago | (#41438665)

Muddy and fresian
they don't commit treason
along with the secret of always saying 'moo.'
Horned animals, bovine
they live in the sunshine
standing around on the grass that they chew

Gummi Cows!
grazing in the fields, but not the house
greater milk production than a mouse
they are the Gummi Cows.

Ethanol (1)

ax_42 (470562) | about 2 years ago | (#41438703)

Fantastic -- distort the corn price through ethanol subsidies (so that a large chunk of corn which could be feed is used for ethanol production) and then give the ethanol producers a new market to sell their waste in. Your tax dollars at work, keeping the corn lobby happy, all day, every day.

Re:Ethanol (1)

Loughla (2531696) | about 2 years ago | (#41438813)

You do realize there was a drought this year, right? Fields that usually yield 150-250 bu/acre are producing 2-30 bu/acre this year. Yes. Two. Subsidized, unsubsidized, it doesn't matter. That is going to make for high prices and alternate sources of feed.

Re:Ethanol (1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#41439143)

The simple solution is to feed the corn to humans instead of cows. In the US we produce more corn that we can use. While exports are less, they are still robust. The problem we see in grain prices in general do not effect the US, but where grains and the like form the basis of their diet.

The problem is that we are in a drought and we are using many gallons of water, hundreds?, to make a pound of beef when we could just use lamb, which requires perhaps a third less. Or we could just eat less meat.

Ultimate the free market will determine where the resources go. If one can afford to eat meat, go for it. But don't whine about prices being high. That is like whining about gas being high. Use less of it and it will go down. Look at the farm bill and ask about wasted tax dollars. Right now tax payers are paying money for useless beef. In ethanol at least the taxpayer gets value. Without it we would be paying to give corn away, which would serve an ethical purpose.Want farm subsidies to go away? Pay a good price for vegetables from local growers.

Brawndo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438725)

It's got what cows need!

Imagine Cannibals (1)

PmanAce (1679902) | about 2 years ago | (#41438769)

Let us imagine for a moment we are all cannibals where half the population eats properly and the other half eats what is proposed here. We are going to have two distinct population samples, one of lean, fit and healthy individuals and one of fat, potentially sickly and unhealthy individuals. Now whom would you rather eat to stay healthy and generally live better and longer? Food for thought... This food proposal can't be good in the long run.

Re:Imagine Cannibals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439107)

Dude, put down the bong.

Nothing new here (1)

Fished (574624) | about 2 years ago | (#41438795)

I used to keep pigs, and supplemented their feed with week-old-bread from the food bank. My brother used to feed his cattle chicken litter (after composting it) during drought years. Farmers have been doing this sort of thing since there have been farmers.

Idocracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41438919)

Is this idocracy all over again? bob STL

The CDC Reports... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41439083)

Trichinosis anyone?

Why don't we all just have an epic feast?

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