Worried about the cows that are fed corn, which makes them sick? Well, no need to worry any more; some farmers are now feeding their cows candy.

No, this isn’t a candy corn joke gone wrong.  Because of the rising prices of corn caused by the drought conditions across the U.S., at least one rancher in Kentucky is feeding his cows candy “seconds” mixed with an ethanol by-product and a mineral nutrient.

Joseph Watson, owner of United Livestock Commodities in Mayfield, Kentucky told a local news station that he is buying candy that’s unfit to be sold to people and is feeding it to his cows. He says that he monitors the blend of feed for fat content, and that the cows are not showing any health problems and are gaining weight as they should.

A Texas news station website has photos of cows eating what appear to be ribbons of brightly colored candy.

The extreme drought conditions that have plagued the U.S. have begun to affect the country’s corn and soybean supplies. Most of these crops were never directly destined for consumers’ dinner tables, but rather for the feed troughs of cows, pigs, and chickens.  Because of the increased cost of feed, meat, egg, and milk prices are projected to rise.

Is this a case of a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, or will there be unintended consequences of beef raised on the Willy Wonka diet?

Image by Ninha Morandini