I like skittles as much as the next guy but…

Darling Wifey sent me the link to this article. It’s about how a massive spill of Skittles blocked the road in Wisconsin.

Skittles bag and rainbow
Taste the rainbow

Yeah, these things.

But Skittles spread across the road, while this kind of sad.

Dropped ice cream on the ground
About as sad as something can be

Isn’t actually the story. The story is that the truck load of Skittles was on the way to a farm in Wisconsin where they were to be fed to cows. Yep, cows.

Quoted in the article, “(It) is a very good way for producers to reduce feed cost, and to provide less expensive food for consumers,” said Ki Fanning, a livestock nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting, told CNNMoney at the time.

Because when I think of getting my full daily dose of nutrition, I most certainly think of Skittles as a leading source. Unless I need a bit more protein, then I tend to favorSnickers bar and logoFor a healthy alternative.

“Absolutely gross!” wrote one commenter. “Why are we ok with feeding cows Skittles to fatten them up. Know where your meat comes from people. I hope you’re all learned something from this.”

That’s a bit more to my feelings. What the industry representative should have said is that candy can be used to give animals cheap calories, not nutrition. They noted that corn had shot up in price and people had to do something to raise meat. So let’s think this through.

Cows eat grass. It grows from water, sunshine, and CO2. But, cows can also eat corn.

Corn grows from water, sunshine, CO2, and in our US system, petroleum based fertilizers. But corn is important to America. So we take federal tax dollars (taken from our wallets), and we subsidize corn production to an artificially low end user cost. The farmer makes money (we hope), the customer gets cheap products, and all it took was a measly few billion dollars from the treasury. Win-win, right? But then corn prices “shot up” to levels that meat farmers couldn’t stand. So they turned to Skittles and their kin.

So what is in Skittles?

Skittles’ ingredients are: Sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, apple juice from concentrate, less than 2% – citric acid, dextrin, modified corn starch, natural and artificial flavors, coloring (includes yellow 6 lake, red 40 lake, yellow 5 lake, blue 2 lake, yellow 5, red 40, yellow 6, blue 1 lake, blue 1)

Ingredients rank from most to least, if you didn’t already know that. So sugar is the number 1 ingredient, no surprise. It is candy. The sugar is most likely from sugar beets, btw. Not cane sugar. Then corn syrup is closely behind as number 2. Then we see corn starch as another product later. I’m not even going to get into the “corn is in everything” diatribe about the rest. Let’s just go with Skittles have corn in them.

So to combat corn prices rising to new highs, while still be artificially low (remember it’s subsidized), we change the feed from corn to candy, which has corn in it, plus all the other things that make up candy. The cow gets fat, and meat stays cheap. And the farmer is driving to another place to pick up the candy, burning more fuel, and more time. Sounds efficient.

Do you think diet affects the animal’s body chemistry? The meat quality? The way it tastes? The way it looks? Do you think a diet of high fat, high calorie food makes for healthy or unhealthy fats in the cow? What would it do to your body if you ate Twinkies for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Do you think we’ll ever figure out that God already provided us with grass, water, sunshine, and CO2?

I like Skittles as much as the next guy. I had some yesterday when I was at the bank (Thanks Elaine!) But I KNOW what my health would be like it if was my diet and not a snack. Eating a cow, that ate a bad diet, is the same as eating it yourself. No wonder these studies come out that say beef is bad for you. Whose beef? What kind of beef? That part is never said.

Enough about that. I have a check to deposit. And they have Skittles.

Dan Moore on EmailDan Moore on FacebookDan Moore on GoogleDan Moore on Twitter
Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

Leave a Reply