I think I have a nose for investigative journalism. Some stories just jump right off the page and demand that I do some research. For instance, this morning I saw a story titled Cows Eating Candy During The Drought. I had visions of cows buying Snickers bars and Big Gulps down at the local 7-Eleven and cows trick or treating while dressed up as princesses and ninjas. The investigative journalist in me had to check it out.
I was somewhat disappointed to find no mention of trick or treating cows in the article. However, the story was still interesting.
Apparently the drought is sending corn prices off the charts, which is making it very expensive for ranchers to feed their livestock because cows are notoriously big eaters. That’s why they’re called “cows”. For the record, I’m not judging them for their appetite nor would I advocate making them buy two tickets on an airplane. Not every animal can be built like a cheetah, so let’s be a little more tolerant here, people. Besides, who wants to sit next to a cheetah on an airplane? It would eat your head. We need to be logical about this.
Anyway, according to the article, Joseph Watson over at Mayfield’s United Livestock Commodities couldn’t afford to feed his cattle corn anymore, so earlier this year, he started feeding them second-hand candy.
(Enrollment in animal dentistry is probably skyrocketing as I type.)
The packaged candy comes from various companies at a discounted rate because it is not fit for store shelves. I didn’t know that candy went bad and judging from the Halloween candy I got when I was younger, neither did any of the people in my neighborhood. I wish some thoughtful rancher had been around back then to take the stale chocolate and petrified Dum Dums off the hands of my neighbors, even if it meant that I would eat it later covered in A1 Steak Sauce at our local Sizzler.
Watson mixes the candy with an ethanol byproduct and a mineral nutrient. He says the cows have not shown any health problems from eating the candy, and are gaining weight as they should, which makes sense. I gain weight when I eat a steady supply of candy. I also find myself a little irritable. I wonder if Watson is having problems with grumpy cows. I wonder if his ranch looks like a school playground the day after Halloween.
I was a little concerned that if the cows are completely sedentary, eating candy and drinking Big Gulp’s full of ethanol byproducts, they aren’t living a healthy lifestyle. That’s no way to live. Unless you’re a computer programmer.
This angle of the story demanded further investigation.
I contacted my confidential source, Lindsay Lohan (and by “confidential” I mean completely fabricated), who seems to exist just fine on candy and ethanol. She suggested that the ranchers take the cows clubbing for exercise. I told her that the idea was ridiculous. Obviously the cows don’t have anything cute to wear. They’d never get into any quality Los Angeles nightclubs. Then Lindsay and I got in a fist fight and her parole officer had to break it up.
To be honest, I didn’t completely understand what an ethanol byproduct was. It sounded like something I might have produced after a night of collegiate drinking, but surely no one would feed that to cows.
In order to speak intelligently about it I did what any knowledgeable journalist would do and googled “ethanol byproduct”. There I discovered an article filled with somebody else’s investigative journalism that talked about how recent research at Kansas State University has found that cattle fed distiller’s grain have an increased prevalence of E. coli in their hindgut or, as I like to put it, poisonous junk in their trunk. In fact, the prevalence of E. coli was about twice as high in cattle fed distiller’s grain compared with those cattle that were on a diet lacking the ethanol byproduct.
They don’t know exactly why this is but they’re looking to find out why and then prevent it from happening because the relationship between cattle ranchers and ethanol producers is mutually beneficial. Distiller’s grain is a cheap food source and ethanol producers need an added source of income in case the world suddenly stops drinking heavily or Kentucky sinks into the ocean.
I think I’ve asked the important questions here.
Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to go perfect my new cocktail. I’m mixing whiskey, old Halloween candy and a Flintstone’s chewable and calling it a Cattle Feed Martini. I’m on my second one and I’m about ready to throw myself on a grill right now.
At one point, I’m not sure when, while reading this fantastic bit of investigative journalism, I found myself wondering what it would be like to fine a a peanut and some nougat in my steak. It was only a moment, thank goodness. On the other hand, it really made me hungry for some good steak, with a baked potato covered in chocolate sauce and sprinkles, and one of your Cattle Feed Martinis. The perfect meal – dinner and dessert all in one.
Now there’s a meal even my kids would get behind. Mmm, chocolate covered taters.
A post that was able to mix cows, candy, and Lindsay Lohan. I’m impressed! And smiling. 🙂
I’m the ADD child of the blog world.
Somebody has to be.
Is it too late to become a vegetarian?
I’m waiting for the labels “made from cows not fed second hand candy & ethanol byproducts” like the ones they put on milk cartons.
“We have to be logical about this.” BRILLIANT!!!!! As the Brits say, and um, as we Americans say. You are awesome.
Thank you! I love Brits and Americans.
See, you can laugh smugly at this because you don’t have to worry about any candy-fed beef finding its way into your diet. Now Jimmy should be worried.
I am all over finding out if candy fed beef is tastier than corn fed beef. I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read about your confidential source. Too funny.
I’m a little curious about that too. And horrified that I’m curious.
I’ll let Lindsay know that you appreciated her input;-)
This is absolutely one of your most entertaining. I love the way you take you with down all your little rabbit trails. Completely authentic thinking. At least, for a funny lady like you.
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed my investigative journalism. I wonder why Nightline hasn’t called…
A little tongue tangled there. Take us with you. Those ethanol by products kicking in, I guess.
Watch out for those. It can effect your hindgut.
OMG I’m so covered up in comments I don’t know where to start, so here goes:
1) I’m sorry for being late to the game. I’ve been inundated with step-relative visits and 6th grade math for the past week and the combination of the two is about to put me under.
2) I highly recommend “Going Bovine” by Libba Bray.
3) My dad tried to grow corn on his new farm and accidentally mixed feed corn with edible corn. The result was not feedable or edible.
4) Lindsay Lohan and a lojack go hand-in-hand.
5) Never trust a big butt and a smile (if you know the song, you’ll get why I included this…if you don’t know the song, consider yourself kind of lucky).
6) I’m from Kentucky. Did you know that for the 2nd year in a row, my hometown (Louisville) is the number one city in the nation for porn downloads? I’m not sure if this includes toxic junk in the trunk pics or not.
7) Johnny Depp is hot.
OK, I’m done for now but if I can’t sleep tonight I’ll probably be back. Brilliant post, as always.
It’s so unfair that you get so excited about the kids going back to school so you can have a little time to accomplish things without a constant barrage of requests and then grade school math has to go and ruin it. I only have 3rd grade math to contend with and I’m on the verge of needing a hostage negotiator.
I’ll check out the book.
Are you kidding me? I had the Bel Biv Devoe album with that song on it until it spontaneously disappeared. I think Bobby Brown may have smoked it.
Congrats on your hometown title. Louisville: home to good theater, whiskey and porn, or as I like to call it, the perfect city for a date night.
I dig Johnny Depp professionally but I have to say that if I were cruising Kentucky for someone to objectify and introduce to all of my porn downloads, I’d knock on George Clooney’s door…but first I’d have to disguise myself as a 25 year old.
Thanks for stopping by and good luck with the math and visitors.
And I forgot to comment on your bar fight comment. What’s this world coming to?
And you let Bobby Brown smoke in your house? That’s so gangsta. What does Hubs have to say about that?
Hubs would just as soon pop a cap in Bobby’s @ss and tell him, “it’s my prerogative.”
We have an ethanol factory about a mile from us. It always smells like 2 day old warm beer and it hums at a constant frquency designed specifically to mimic a very far away siren so that, at least once a day, someone in the house says, “is that the storm siren?” And now they’re feeding their toxic waste to the poor sugar – addicted cows. *sigh* Does their evil know no bounds?
Ambiguous siren noises and old beer stench? That sounds like my childhood neighborhood. I’m so sorry.