FoodFacts.com has come across some information that might make you think twice before purchasing, cooking or eating beef from you local butcher or grocery store. It seems that the drought has hit ranchers very hard this year and some have been unable to keep up with the rising prices of corn – the usual feed for cattle.
As an answer to the problems, some cattle ranchers have switched their traditional feed sources and have come up with some “out of the box” solutions in order to survive this very difficult time. The only problem with that is that it may make the rest of us question whether or not we really want to be eating their beef.
Second-hand candy has become an alternative to regular cattle feed. Ranchers have explained that because candy has a higher ratio of fat than corn, they were concerned that the candy might not be effective. The candy is mixed with an ethanol by-product and a mineral nutrient. In this manner they can provide a more balanced ration of fat while still maintaining cattle health. The cows being fed this mixture are gaining the appropriate amount of weight from the feed.
The ranchers are purchasing the candy from companies at a discounted rate because manufacturers have deemed it as salvage – or not acceptable to retailers. Sadly there is some information that states that there are times the candy is fed to the cattle in the mixture while still in their wrappers. Not a very pleasant meal, if I you ask us.
In addition, some ranchers are also feeding cattle a mixture called “blood meal”. This is created from clean, fresh animal blood, and should not include material such as hair,
stomach belchings, and urine but it is acknowledged and accepted that trace amounts of these materials may occur even in good manufacturing processes.
There are several other options for cattle ranchers in terms of feed. These are a few of them that are gaining in popularity because of the higher corn prices ranchers are facing. And while we sympathize with the rising costs of traditional cattle feed, we are more than a little concerned about the quality of the beef showing up in our butcher shops and grocery stores.
FoodFacts.com makes every effort to let you know what’s REALLY in your food. This is an issue we’ll keep a close eye on and make every attempt to provide you with further information in the days ahead. Meanwhile, read more: http://www.wpri.com/dpps/entertainment/must_see_video/cows-eating-candy-during-the-drought-nd12-jgr_4323303 and http://www.uwex.edu/ces/dairynutrition/documents/byproductfeedstuffs.pdf