Entries in Cows (3)


French Farmers Give Cows Wine to Improve Taste of Beef

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PARIS) -- We've heard of cow tipping, but what about tipsy cows? Some French farmers are now serving their cattle up to two bottles of wine a day, claiming it improves the taste of the meat.

It all began with winemaker Jean-Charles Tastavy, who had heard of studies in Spain and Canada that showed the benefits of a happy cow. With the help of farmer Claude Chaballier, who had a surplus of cows, he decided to test the theory, Agence France-Presse reports.

They started out slowly. In 2011, the pair began feeding three cows pomace, or diluted pressed grapes that were left over from the fall harvest. After a while, the cows were given the good stuff -- up to two bottles of wine per day.

And although it sounds like a lot of alcohol, Tastavy said the amount of wine given to each cow is based on official recommendations.

"For each animal, alcohol intake should be equivalent to the amount recommended by health authorities for a man -- namely two or three glasses of wine a day," Tastavy told the AFP. "In the case of cows, this amounts to between a liter and a liter and a half a day."

The cows aren't the only ones benefiting from experiment -- those eating the meat of the wine-drinking cattle are raving about its unique taste.

Chef Laurent Pourcel told the AFP that the meat has a "very special texture, beautiful, marbled and tender, which caramelizes while cooking."

The new beef even has a new name. It's being branded as vinbonvin, molding the French words for "wine" and "beef" into one.

But the improved taste means higher costs for farmers and therefore higher costs for consumers. Time reports the daily cost of feeding each cow has tripled, leading to a major increase for those purchasing the meat. One kilogram of the beef, or 2.2 pounds, will cost you upward of $122.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


PA Health Officials Confirm 35 Cases of Raw Milk Illness

Getty Images(CHAMBERSBURG, Pa.) -- Thirty-five people across four states have been sickened by the same raw milk Pennsylvania health officials confirmed Friday, according to reports.

The Pennsylvania Health Department issued a health advisory last week recommending consumers discard any raw milk produced by The Family Cow farm since Jan. 1. At the time, there were six confirmed cases of Campylobacter infection.

The farm has suspended raw milk production and the Department of Agriculture is testing samples.

Campylobacter infection is one of the most common forms of gastroenteritis, which typically causes vomiting and diarrhea. Approximately 1,300 cases of the infection are reported each year in Pennsylvania. Raw milk is unpasteurized milk, which the FDA says can contain harmful bacteria.

28 cases were reported in Pennsylvania, and the seven other cases were among residents of Maryland, West Virginia, and New Jersey.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cows Working Nights to Help Insomniacs

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MUNICH) -- German cows are working nights to help insomniacs.

A herd of 1,400 cows is being milked between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. under the theory they will produce more sleep-inducing melatonin in their milk at a time when they are usually lying down in the dark.

To further boost the melatonin production, the cows are fed clover and soothed under warm red lights to lower stress levels while being milked. During the day when the weather is good, the pampered animals are turned out in a pen with grass and deep, cozy sand, which the workers call "cow beach."

By giving the cows special treatment, the Milchkristalle company says it's getting special milk with 10 times more of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin than normal milk. The milk is freeze-dried and turned into a product known as Nightmilk Crystals, which can be mixed with regular milk or with yogurt and consumed before going to bed.

After six years of research, the Munich-based company says its studies show giving cows different care and milking them during the middle of the night changes the level of nocturnal melatonin in their blood and the milk they produce.

Milchkristalle began selling the Nightmilk Crystals in German pharmacies and through its website in March. Recently, the company's had orders from India, Austria and the U.S.

Melatonin, which is widely available without a prescription in the U.S., is under much stricter restrictions in Europe where it's only available at pharmacies. The hormone is naturally produced by the body and used by the brain to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Doctors often recommend supplements of melatonin for people who have jet lag or work odd shifts.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio