A couple days ago, Facebook was abuzz with news about Skittles being strew across the highway. It turned out that these Skittles were actual destined for farms where they were designated as cattle feed. It turns out that farmers have been feeding the candies that didn’t pass muster for public consumption for several years now. If you are wondering why, the reasons are surprising… and they aren’t even all bad.
Some experts, like Joseph Watson, owner of United Livestock Commodities, feel that rejected Skittles are better for cows than straight corn, the cows’ standard feed. From a dietary standpoint he said Skittles have “a higher ratio of fat [than] actually feeding them straight corn.”
Some people also argue that feeding cows these trash candies is also a boon to the environment. If they didn’t get fed to the cows, they’d be dumped in landfills. This way, they are safely recycled back into the circle of life.
While those reasons are interesting, the real reason probably comes down to money. In 2012, the price of corn exploded. It then became cheaper for the farmers to get the discarded candies than it would have been to feed them the raw plants. The part of this that makes it all so stupid, is the fact that one of the primary ingredient in Skittles is corn syrup. So, it’s cheaper to feed an animal a processed item that is derived from the plant than to feed it the plant itself.
Next time you bite into your prime rib, take a moment and see if you can “taste the rainbow.”