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You Could Call It Rigatoni Mortis


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YOU COULD CALL IT RIGATONI MORTIS

Your piece "Sending leftover pizzas down to the farm" (Developments to Watch, June 22) brought back memories of a similar experiment on an Israeli kibbutz where my husband and I lived in the 1970s.

The dairy-herd manager had contracted to purchase the unusable products of a nearby pasta factory, figuring that the low-cost nutrition in the broken macaroni and spaghetti would be a viable replacement for some of the cattle feed. Day one on the new diet, the animals demolished their substantial portions of dry pasta with the avidity of tourists in Alfredo's. However, the following morning, every cow lay on her back, legs in the air, belly distended, moaning and mooing in pain. Apparently, the noodles had "cooked" in the moist heat of the ruminant digestive systems and quadrupled in bulk. Our veterinarian had no Alka-Seltzer equivalent to ease the bovine suffering, and many of the herd died. Hopefully, the researchers at Pennsylvania State University will fully investigate the effects of junk food on livestock before precipitating another "cattle-astrophe."

Melinda Mandelbaum Stein

Savannah, Ga.


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