posted on Sep, 23 2012 @ 09:59 PM
Good Evening... may I shed some light on the situation?
When we think of cattle and farms, most people think in terms of small scale farmers... large rolling pastures with maybe a few dozen head of cattle
quietly grazing in fenced fields. That image is true for small scale farmers such as myself. We then sell our culled and chosen livestock at auction
within about 2 hours drive.
What this article is actually describing is the large feed lot herds common out west and which consistantly supply the majority of US beef. These
cattle are bred and born on what you would recognize as farms, then shipped to feed lots where they are raised and "finished" for market.
In other words, they are crammed into crowded lots with long feed troughs and industrially feed and raised. For most of their life, they are fed a
mixture of nutritional corn and grains, then a couple of months prior to shipping and processing... they are crammed with growth agents and special
formula feeds high in protein and fat which makes them grow as much in 2 months as they did the first 6-8 months of life... this is where the
"farmer" makes his/her money... getting the finishing weight on as they are sold by live hoof weight... the heavier the cow, the more money it
It is this in between process that the farmers are adding the snack foods... corn is high and getting higher. So, to cut costs of feed and increase
your bottom line... you feed them junk food... and that is what it is. All the cheese curls and potato chips and popcorn loaded with salt and BHT and
colorings and preservatives... all going into cattle that will be sitting on the store meat case in about months time.
I raise hogs for my family and I sell some pigs and piglets to make a little money and recoup my feed costs. I sold four this weekend and will deliver
Tuesday. A friend of mine is interested in another one I have for sale... He works for a local snack company. He can get all the "stales" and out of
date snacks he wants to feed his pig when he gets it. He has offered me the opportunity to start buying cheap "stales" for pennies on the dollar to
feed my pigs.
As tempting as it is, I think I will decline the offer. I am doing well by growing purple top turnips. A single turnip seed is about the size of a
pepper grain and their are thousands per pound of turnip seed.. each seed in turn grows into a beautiful 1+ pound turnip with nutritious green tops. I
have planted pounds of seed so far and when they are ready in another month, I will have all the feed I want for my pigs.... fresh, clean, natural,
and homegrown. The snack food "stales" on the otherhand are filling and add weight, but I really don't like all the bad stuff my pigs will be
gorging themselves on. It will reflect in the texture, taste, and nutrition of the pork later when we slaughter. Not good.
Plus, the turnips and turnip greens we can eat, we can sell, and we can feed to the hogs... anybody from the South knows turnip greens or "sallet"
is big down here around Thanksgiving and Xmas. Turnips are a win/win all the way around.
Anyway, I understand the principal and intentions of the farmers, but it is not really healthy for the cow and subsequently not healthy for the
consumer... you are what you eat... which means you are what the cow eats... which is why we have "madcow syndrome" and 11 year old girls built like