Thursday, May 24, 2007

Big Fat Pigs. And cows. And farmers.

A truly astounding story in the Wall Street Journal (only available by subscription online) tells what the recent rise in corn prices has done to our meat supply. Or, actually, what the ranchers and farmers are doing to pigs, cows and chickens.

Now, think about it. If your Miss Piggy and Mr. Cow and Henny Penny were all used to eating corn but all those nasty environmentalists who wanted ethanol to run their machinery and reduce their carbon footprints were hogging all the corn, what would you do? Well, what's cheap? Hmmm. How about JUNK FOOD?

So, the WSJ article quotes a livestock nutritionist who are supplementing their grain with other items. "Besides trail mix, pigs and cattle are downing cookies, licorice, cheese curls, candy bars, french fries, frosted wheat cereal and peanut butter cups," said David Funderburke, a livestock nutritionist at Cape Fear Consulting in Warsaw, N.C. "Some farmers mix chocolate powder with cereal and feed it to their baby pigs. It's kind of like getting Cocoa Puffs."

Idaho ranchers aren't doing much better. According to the article, they are feeding their cattle uncooked french fries, Tater Tots and hash browns by the truckload.

Grass, people. Have you ever heard of GRASS?

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