Candy is for Humans, not Cows
I have recently been learning about the virtues of grass-fed beef, milk, cheese and butter. Industrial meat has always made me a little queasy. Here’s one more reason to choose and support farms that feed cows the food cows were meant to eat.
In an item titled “Feedlot Cattle Fattened on Stale Gummy Bears,” the website EatWild exposes the sticky underside of commerical cattle feedlot practices. It turns out that alongside bakery scraps and plate scrapings and ground up who knows what, some commercial feedlots are feeding stale candy to cattle in an effort to reduce costs.
Here’s what a recent report by a University of Wisconsin Extension Nutritionist has to say about candy in dairy cattle diets:
Milk chocolate and candy are often economical sources of nutrients, particularly fat. They may be high in sugar and/or fat content. Milk chocolate and candy may contain 48% and 22% fat, respectively. They are sometimes fed in their wrappers. Candies, such as cull gummy bears, lemon drops, or gum drops are high in sugar content. … Upper feeding limits for candy or candy blends and chocolate are 5 and 2 lb. per cow per day, respectively.
Needless to say, all that candy is not so good for the cows. Cows, as you may recall from fourth grade, are vegetarian ruminants: they are designed to eat grass and similar “rough” vegetative matter, which they chew and digest slowly. When cows eat grass, the vegetable nutrients are transformed into essential fats and proteins in the milk and muscle. When cows eat candy, there’s less of that good nutrition in their meat. It’s still calories, but not much else.
Candy should not be part of a nutritious cow breakfast, or lunch or dinner for that matter. As for us humans, some candy every so often seems quite fine.
PS. I recently had my first taste of “raw” cow’s milk from pastured cows, cold but fresh, unprocessed and pure. WOW. Doesn’t need candy or sugar, it is sweet and delicious all on its own.
Source: http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm reporting on “By-Product Feedstuffs in Dairy Cattle Diets in the Upper Midwest” Randy D. Shaver, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Extension Nutritionist, Department of Dairy Science, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin. Link: http://www.uwex.edu/ces/dairynutrition/documents/byproductfeedsrevised2008.pdf