6 July 1998

Beef Cattle Should Eat Bread

Let them eat bread. That is the recommendation of researchers at Cornell University seeking new ways to feed cattle economically and efficiently. Stale bakery products are more easily digested than high-energy, corn-based diets, say the scientists, because they have already been processed.

"It surprised us that bakery waste was more efficient than corn," says Pablo Guiroy of the animal science department at Cornell. "We found there was no difference in the meat quality." An independent panel of tasters confirmed that conclusion.

"Ruminant animals play a valuable role in recycling nutrients from human food processing," adds Danny Fox, professor of animal science. "Bakery waste is one of those by-products where ruminants can play a major role in recycling."

The findings, presented recently at the American Society of Animal Sciences regional meeting at the University of Massachusetts, are being touted as good news for farmers and consumers alike.