Does it Matter What I Feed My Cow?

Okay, this is hypothetical, since I don’t have a cow. However, I do eat cow, I mean beef. And, knowing that it’s a pretty big deal to me that my beef be well-raised (I’ll get to that in a minute), my husband was quick to direct my attention to this article in the September 22, 2012 edition of World Magazine.

Entitled “Sweet Feed,” the article explains how farmer Joseph Watson has been feeding his beef cattle “low-grade chocolates rated as defective.” Candy!? I’m still only a student in nutrition school, but even I know that candy is not a real food! Even before I was a student, I watched “Supersize Me,” “Fast Food Nation,” and “Food Inc.” I know that feeding corn to cows causes e-coli & other pathogens to proliferate to dangerously high amounts in cows. I know that cows, left to themselves, do NOT eat grain. I wonder how many cows find themselves in a candy store searching for unwrapped chocolates?

The World Magazine article (I never claim to be a photographer)

The World Magazine article (I never claim to be a photographer)

Mr. Watson explained that he found candy, in this case, to be cheaper than the corn he usually feeds his beef cattle. And here we gain insight. Folks, since when is the cheapest food the best option? There is science we could look at, & many, many studies have been done about what human beings eat, and the impact that food has on our health. There is, finally, at least some agreement that what we eat impacts our health, right? Is it really such a big leap to see that what we feed our animals is important? (Even the ones we don’t eat.) We know that fatter cattle sell for more money; but how bad do things have to get before we, as a society, start requiring higher standards for those who produce our foods?DSCN4251 Cows eating GRASS

People tell me all the time that they “can’t afford to eat healthy.” I usually respond in some degree of sympathy, & then tell them that I cannot afford NOT to eat healthy foods. Scott & I are nearly finished raising 5 healthy children. We’ve never had a lot of money, but we have always chosen the healthiest food possible overall. We have spent almost no time in the doctor’s office, either of us or our children, in the last 30 years. I attribute this to the grace of God, and to our healthy lifestyle. Does it matter what we eat (or what we feed our animals)? Don’t get me started…

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