Bagged whole corn question. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Good morning all. Question, please:

I'm thinking of buying some bagged corn at either a Feed Store or a Grain Mill (Purina, etc...). However, if I do get this whole, dried corn (livestock feed?), do I need to wash it BEFORE I grind it?

My mother has concerns that livestock grain might be unhealthy for humans. (I've tried to tell her that the livestock has to eat foods as clean as we would, it's absorbed into their bloodstream and will work it's way up the foodchain (to us).)

Thanks again.

-- Deb M. (, November 18, 1999


What I've seen/heard/read is that the livestock feed is perfectly OK for us to eat as long as it was not intended for PLANTING. Seed for planting is typically treated with stuff that's NOT ok for us to eat. The main difference between animal feedstock and people feedstuff is that ours usually goes thru several 'cleaning' processes which remove some leftover agricultural debris (such as a piece of stem--or weed seeds) which the animals don't seem to care about, but people might! Do read the bag labels carefully to be sure it is animal feed and not planting seed.

I wouldn't 'wash' any such feeds, just spread it out in a flat pan and check for those "stems & weed seeds"--or whatever else you don't want.

-- Al (, November 18, 1999.

You'd be surprised about what gets fed to livestock these days, especially in intensive farming situations. They are routinely fed a mixture of foods that often contains high levels of antibiotics as well as ground up animals and even fecal material (i'm serious). It was only a few years ago that the US placed a ban on the feeding of animal brain and spinal material to cattle after the problems with "mad cow" disease in the UK. Some researchers are pointing to animal agriculture as a possible contributor to the increasing problems with antibiotic resistance in the US.

You might not find a lot of unwanted junk in the corn you're buying, but I'd ask to make sure it is suitable for human consumption, if only because the diet for livestock is definitely not limited to food that's fit for humans.

-- chook (, November 18, 1999.

Debi, Now I am just guessing here, I have no experience with using whole grains, grain mills and such...

If you determine the corn is suitable, instead of the whole corn, they offer a cracked corn. Might be easier to grind? I use it in my stock mixes, and it seems very clean, right down to the dust in the bottom of the barrel, which is actually cornmeal. About $4.50 a 50 pound bag.

Also, the oats that I get are for horses. They are sold as "cleaned"...winrowed I assume, 2 times. I have seen large seeds of some other sort of plant in them, but no insects or dirt. About $5.00 a 50 pound bag.

Barring unseen problems, like pesticides, fungicides etc., which might be used differently than on human food in the field, the grain itself is good quality. One example might be, if a farmer intended to produce human food, but due to weather, insects or some such, he needed to use chemicals, and thus sell grain as unfit for human use. Just speculating here. Grew up in farm country, seems to me all the corn went to the same elevator, storage silos?

Calling our heartland farmers for some input? :-)

-- Lilly (, November 18, 1999.

Your mother may be on to more than you know.

Chances are that, other than being dirty, plain whole feed corn wold be OK for you to eat but there is a risk of unacceptbly high mycotoxin (fungal toxins) content in some animal feed grains.

In certain circumstances the USDA will feed grains to be sold on the market with as much as five times the allowable aflatoxin (a type of mycotoxin) content than is allowed in grains intended for direct human consumption. There are other potential mycotoxin concerns as well. I cover this in the FAQ and in even greater detail in the book. The FAQ is free to view or download from the Providence Cooperative site, if you're interested.


The Prudent Food Storage FAQ, v3.5

-- A.T. Hagan (, November 18, 1999.

Cracked versus whole kernel corn- cracked or rolled corn may not keep as well as the interior of the kernel is broken open and exposed to the air. Otherwise, yes it would be easier to grind.


-- Jim (, November 18, 1999.

Heartland farmer here...

.....I'm picking up 300# of corn, (same as feed), on Saturday. If it looks overly dirty, lay a large sheet out on a windy day, same as wheat, and toss it into the sheet by the handful. Most everything will blow away but the grain. You should be able to see any bad stuff, due to discoloration, severe swelling, etc. Chances are that if it looks good, it will be.

-- Patrick (, November 18, 1999.

Dear all,

Thanks so much for your advice. I'll buy grain, but will be very careful how I store it, and make sure it's feed, not planting seed!

Also, thank you for the links - I will be reading them shortly.

Again, thank you and good luck to all of us.

P.S. I got my grainmill last night. It took only 2 DAYS from ordering on-line til I received it (charged it to my credit card), so I'm VERY impressed with their service...

-- Deb M. (, November 19, 1999.

If you have any of seed grain covered with a pink coating, please keep it in a container away from children. And mark it clearly "POISON". The US sent a ship load to Iran in the 50s. It was clearly marked seed corn, and Poison, but it was in English. Well some of it found its way onto the black market. The results were, 30,000+ dead, and another 140,000 blinded, or crippled. It seems that hardly anyone in Iran could read English. What I'm trying to say is, if for some reason you're not around, and a hungry child finds it, well you know the rest. I myself don't want it around, for just handling it can be dangerous. Not trying to scare you, but just trying to be helpful, Walter.

-- Walter Bright (, November 20, 1999.

Experiment with some pop corn. #50 bag at Sam's is $9.49....grinds fairly well is amish grinder, run it through twice for very fine. mix with some add water only complete pancake mix 50/50 and it makes good corn bread pancakes. add some corn oil and fry it for tortilla. Pop corn is safe, already clean and cheap. Unfortunately our Sam's here in SC is always out. Truck with 100 bag palate comes on Tues evening and it is all gone by Weds afternoon.

-- Don (, November 20, 1999.

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