'livestock' on Serious Eats

Antibiotics, E. Coli, and Sustainability

As Michael Pollan discusses in his article in yesterday's New York Times, the rampant use of antibiotics in America's factory farms threatens to undermine its own efficacy. But why are antibiotics such a crucial piece of the industrial agriculture puzzle? More

Banking Livestock Sperm and Ovaries to Preserve Genetic Diversity

The consumption of meat and dairy products is increasing worldwide, but especially so in the so-called developing nations of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Consequently, the genetic diversity of the world's livestock is decreasing at an alarming rate in those regions. For example, according to a recent report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) titled "The State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources," the composition of local breeds in the Vietnamese sow population dropped from 72 percent in the mid 1990s to only 28 percent in 2006. And of those 14 local breeds, five are classified as vulnerable, two are in a critical state, and three are facing extinction.... More

Junk Food Fed Livestock

The growing demand for corn-based ethanol is pushing up the price of corn, causing some livestock producers to supplement their animals' diets with more affordable human food: Dwight Hess, a cattle feedlot operator in Marietta, Pa., is located in the heart of snack country, near Hershey and Herr Foods Inc., a maker of potato chips, pretzels and snack mixes. His cattle ration consists of about 17% "candy meal," a blend of chocolate bars and large chunks of chocolate; 3% of what he calls "party mix," a blend of popcorn, pretzels, potato chips and cheese curls; 8% corn gluten; and the remainder corn and barley he grows. He says the byproducts save him about 10% on feed costs. Still, it costs... More

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