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Candy-fed beef might be coming to a supermarket near you

A Kentucky ranch feeds its cows candy instead of corn to save money.
Us beef supply 2012 1 30Enlarge
Cattle prices may extend a rally to a record this year with 'potential for double-digit gains' amid a shrinking U.S. herd. (Scott Olson/AFP/Getty Images)

Lucky cows on one Kentucky ranch get to eat candy for every meal, the Los Angeles Times reported. However, the candy "has been rejected from retail sale," and is mixed in with an "ethanol byproduct" and roughage, so it probably tastes bad. 

The price of corn has gotten so high that farmers from the United Livestock Commodities company in Mayfield estimate that candy now makes up about 8 percent of the feed that they give their 1400 cows. "That's awfully creative," Paul Cameron, managing partner of Mesquite Cattle Feeders, told the LA Times.

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Joseph Watson, co-owner United Livestock Commodities, said that second-hand candy is actually better for his business than corn. "It actually has a higher ratio of fat then actually feeding them straight corn," Watson told WSPD. He added that the cows don't have any health problems. "This ration is balanced to have not too much fat in it. It's got all the right nutrition for them."

But does candy really provide healthy nutrition for cows? It's hard to imagine, given that even corn-fed beef has been criticized as being a cheaper, less healthy alternative to grass-fed beef. The Scientific American reported in 2008 that corn is "hard on cows," because their stomachs are designed to break down grass, not corn, leading to an epidemic of antibiotic use on farms.

However, candy-fed cows still have a lot to be thankful for: at least they're not eating chicken feces

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/candy-fed-beef-might-be-coming-supermarket-near-you

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