Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pigs in Chocolate

File this under "What is this country coming to?" (right next to most of the rest of our posts, I guess):

Northfield blogger/mover-and-shaker Ross Currier just wrote up a piece on ethanol production, which is a hot topic here. Before your eyes glaze over and you fall dead asleep, bear with me for a minute. Currier's post opens with the already-famous remarks by investors Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger on whether ethanol's a good idea (Munger: "Running cars on corn is about the stupidest thing I ever heard of. Our government is under tremendous political pressure even though it makes no sense."), but goes on to describe an interesting aspect of the recent ethanol-driven rise in corn prices. With corn too costly (or valuable) to literally throw to the hogs, livestock farmers are finding cheaper ways to feed their animals - and indirectly, to feed us:

One farmer is now feeding his cattle a blend that consists of about 17% “candy meal”, a blend of chocolate bars and large chunks of chocolate, 3% of “party mix”, a blend of popcorn, pretzels, potato chips and cheese curls, 8% corn gluten, and the remainder corn and barley that he grows himself.
Currier describes this situation as one in which "it’s not just the pigs that are eating like high school students."