Corn Shortage Sees Farmers Turn To Junk Food For Feed

Picture: Derived from work by Airstrom (CC)

Extensive drought damage throughout the U.S. has led to the smallest corn crop in six years, and in turn a dramatic increase in price for the versatile foodstuff. Beef farmers in particular are incredibly reliant on corn to feed their vast numbers of livestock, and the shortage has seen many farmers creatively supplementing their herd’s diets. The Vancouver Sun reports:

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.

“Everybody is looking for alternatives,” said Ki Fanning, a nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting in Eagle, Nebraska. “It’s kind of funny the first time you see it but it works well. The big advantage to that is you can turn something you normally throw away into something that can be consumed. The amazing thing about a ruminant, a cow, you can take those type of ingredients and turn them into food.”

What effect this food will have on the health of livestock and quality of the eventual product harvested from these animals in yet to be seen, but there is a certain irony that the majority of calories in these sweet foods come from high-fructose corn syrup. For the time being, there are measures in place to ensure livestock consume a sufficient amount of essential nutrients, and at least the road from factory farm to dinner plate is paved with candy.

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  • http://twitter.com/alizardx A.Lizard

    I wonder how food additives concentrate up the food chain. I guess we’re all going to find out from experience in a few months. Also wonder how much of this is going on at ranches whose cattle will be sold as “organic” beef. I’d like to see food products at a supermarket labeled “Inorganic” and watch people’s reactions.

    • DetainMeYouFascists

      A generally accepted figure for bio-accumulation of toxicity is 10X concentration per trophic level. So from producer to herbavore would be 10X and from a producer to a 1st level predator would be 100X. Since gummy worms are not actually food, I’m not sure where that fits.

      However, most of the really bad stuff are non-polar compounds which dissolve in fat. Many/most non-polar compounds in processed food come from petroleum derivatives. Since our bodies cycle through fat slowly if ever, that toxic stuff stays around longer. Stuff like gummies are really bad, cause animal bodies get reckless when there is high blood sugar while rapidly moving sugar from the blood (where it’s potentially damaging) to fat cells. Insulin makes cells more accepting of all sorts of shit. That’s why juicers use it to beef up. 

      I highly doubt an organic producer would be able to pull that off. That stuff will make animals sick. And you can’t use antibiotics in organic production. Certifying agencies are pretty good at ferreting that kind of thing out.

      • Jin The Ninja

        great reply.

      • Jin The Ninja

        great reply.

  • http://twitter.com/LTLL3 The Lithard Lounge

    Sounds very similar to my diet…

  • http://twitter.com/LTLL3 The Lithard Lounge

    Sounds very similar to my diet…

  • Heath

    Ask anyone who raises livestock for a living, and they will tell you this is nothing new. Farmers have been blending their feeds for a long time. Simple as cheaper feed over all more money in an already hard and poor existence of a farmer.

  • Heath

    Ask anyone who raises livestock for a living, and they will tell you this is nothing new. Farmers have been blending their feeds for a long time. Simple as cheaper feed over all more money in an already hard and poor existence of a farmer.

  • Rex Vestri

    You are what you eat has eaten.

  • Warrenite1000

    This seems like one of those improbable things that happens before a massive market correction.  

  • Warrenite1000

    This seems like one of those improbable things that happens before a massive market correction.  

  • DetainMeYouFascists

    Cattle are evolved to eat unprocessed vegetative plant material. You can only feed them crap like grain and candy with antibiotics. The problem isn’t a lack of grain. These people have enormous feedlots they use to fatten cattle. They are so invested in this infrastructure, they can’t get out. It amounts to torture and I’m glad they are as desperate as they are. Hopefully they will stop.

  • Hector Ramos71

     

    I am sure that the Vancouver Sun reported incorrectly the
    corn shortage due to a drought all over the U.S.

    During the summer of 2012, I traveled from Minneapolis, MN,
    to Philadelphia, PA. And, from Wisconsin to Atlanta GA, and many points in
    between, and saw soy bean and corn all over those states. I took at least 500
    pictures of cornfields and soy bean fields — and everything looked healthy to
    me.

    If this website called “DISINFORMATION” is totally dedicated
    to showing the truth about whatever topic                             is of interest to
    the public, this page dramatically has failed to confirm and verified what you describe
    in your article.

    Before “disinforming” the public again, I would strongly recommend
    that you send investigators to the so call worst drought in the country sites
    to support such stories before they end up misinforming yourselves as well as
    your readers. 

    I hope you are not manipulating a story in order to vilify a
    person’s ability to think intelligently by a derogatory report only used to support
    a company raise prices on corn.

     

  • Hector Ramos71

     

    I am sure that the Vancouver Sun reported incorrectly the
    corn shortage due to a drought all over the U.S.

    During the summer of 2012, I traveled from Minneapolis, MN,
    to Philadelphia, PA. And, from Wisconsin to Atlanta GA, and many points in
    between, and saw soy bean and corn all over those states. I took at least 500
    pictures of cornfields and soy bean fields — and everything looked healthy to
    me.

    If this website called “DISINFORMATION” is totally dedicated
    to showing the truth about whatever topic                             is of interest to
    the public, this page dramatically has failed to confirm and verified what you describe
    in your article.

    Before “disinforming” the public again, I would strongly recommend
    that you send investigators to the so call worst drought in the country sites
    to support such stories before they end up misinforming yourselves as well as
    your readers. 

    I hope you are not manipulating a story in order to vilify a
    person’s ability to think intelligently by a derogatory report only used to support
    a company raise prices on corn.

     

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