Author Topic: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)  (Read 2357 times)

deathandtaxes

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« on: December 02, 2019, 09:39:55 AM »
Livestock / human oats come from the same field, often processed in the same plant, contain the same nutrients, yet are magnitudes cheaper (~$15 for 50 lbs). It is read that Richard Proenneke also ate livestock oats due to the lower costs.

The livestock oats I am looking at are "steam rolled oats", they are just liked Quaker oats you'd find at the store, they are rolled (husk removed) and steamed. Some forums have suggested to buy "racehorse" oats as they will be the highest quality to feed multi-million dollar horses.

Arguments may be that foreign material may be present (dust, some husks, bugs, etc) which are all valid. But I do not see feed oats cant be used if chosen carefully. Anything potentially harmful will be killed during the cooking process.

I would freeze excess oats for storage to kill off any eggs/bugs (weevil's, etc).

Thoughts?

TrMama

  • Guest
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 09:48:39 AM »
Have at 'er.

I used to snack on my horse's grain when I was a young teen and was feeling peckish. That grain was fancy pants extruded feed. It looked and tasted like breakfast cereal without all the sugar.

Pretty sure we also used to bake bran muffins from the horse's 50lb bag of feed store bran.

I'd just skip eating grain from an actual barn feed room unless you're 100% certain it doesn't have rats or mice. Those place are often infested. The actual mill that produces the grain should be less overrun.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 15290
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 01:03:59 PM »
You’ve identified the reasons not to, and (correctly) concluded that the risk is probably fairly minimal

I guess I wouldn’t simply because there isn’t much savings to be had if you buy wild oats designated for human consumption in bulk. Sure, livestock oats might be an order of magnitude cheaper... but you are talking about a few bucks in savings per month unless you eat a truly epic amount

Shrug. Bigger ways of saving a few dollars, I guess

BOP Mustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 05:31:12 PM »
Pros- cheaper, same quality

Cons- they’d come in big bags, might take you 6 months to eat. Weevils and other insects could get to them or they oxidise and go stale before you can eat it all. It’s only a saving if you were going to eat them all anyway.

As previous poster has said, far easier and less effort ways to save some money, this is pretty ultra frugal. Why not just dumpster dive if your that way inclined?

cashistrash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 05:48:47 PM »
You can get rice or flour for that price without any of the problems.

Goldy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 284
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2019, 06:05:29 PM »
I have the same thoughts about water softener rock salt vs table salt.  For $5 I can buy a lifetime supply of salt to put through my grinder.

YttriumNitrate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1318
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 08:32:47 PM »
I eat oatmeal every morning for breakfast, and for years I ate livestock oats. As BOP mentioned, you'll need to get something to keep the weevils at bay. I used a combination of stockpots (with the lids weighted down) and ziplock bags. Here's a pro-tip I learned, when you buy the 50lb bag call up the store the day before and ask them to put the bag in their freezer overnight. That should kill most everything and limit the chances of bringing live bugs home from the feed store.

TrMama

  • Guest
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2019, 03:22:46 PM »
Just get a big rubbermaid bin or new garbage can with a lid to store the big bag in. From there you can transfer usable amounts to your kitchen once a week. However, unless your house is open to the elements, this is probably overkill. I keep a 40lb bag of rabbit feed in my linen closet. It takes my guinea pigs about 8 months to eat that much. No problems with bugs yet.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 19053
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2019, 04:07:14 PM »
I used to work as an exterminator.  You would be surprised the acceptable levels of bugs that can be found in food deemed suitable for people to eat.  For some fun reading, check out this page:  https://www.fda.gov/food/ingredients-additives-gras-packaging-guidance-documents-regulatory-information/food-defect-levels-handbook#products and zoom down to the list of acceptable insect/rodent filth in commonly eaten items.

My concern would be that the acceptable levels would be much higher for horses.  :P

Homestead_Fire

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2019, 08:30:28 AM »
Cool post.

The biggest reason I do not eat livestock oats isn't the bugs but the rodents that I often have encountered in feed storage facilities.  I cannot tell you how many bags I've seen or bought for my livestock with holes chewed through and what not.

Further, one thing I need to do more research on is the levels of 'round up' sprayed on feed oats/vs table oats.  Around these parts it is sprayed on the field as a desiccant to dry out the fields prior to harvest.  I wonder if there are different tolerances for feed vs. human.

All that being said, we are also 'preppers' and we do have 5 gallon buckets of feed oats in storage for the demise of civilization.  We also buy feed wheat for that end and have found it not nearly as clean... much more chaff and debris, which isn't the 'end of the world' (unless of course the world has actually ended, and then it is) but requires a bit more processing prior to running through our grinder.

thesis

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 363
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2019, 09:04:04 AM »
This is an interesting thread. From what I understand, insects would actually make a very cost-effective food source, but cultural taboos prevent them from being accepted as such. Properly prepared, a few insects probably aren't going to hurt anyone :). But when you add rodent feces, that's a little different.

I don't know, I just wonder if maybe social expectations of cleanliness haven't hurt us in some ways. I've heard that large bags of brown rice are known for having more "undesirables" than large bags of white rice, which go through more processing as a part of the milling that occurs. It makes me a little scared to buy a large bag of brown rice, but I know I probably have nothing to be concerned about.

John Galt incarnate!

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2038
  • Location: On Cloud Nine
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2019, 09:19:39 AM »



I don't know, I just wonder if maybe social expectations of cleanliness haven't hurt us in some ways.

"Antibacterial soaps: Being too clean can make people sick, study suggests. Summary: Young people who are overexposed to antibacterial soaps containing triclosan may suffer more allergies, and exposure to higher levels of Bisphenol A among adults may negatively influence the immune system, a new study suggests."

Systems101

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 213
Re: Convince me why I should not eat livestock oats (serious)
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2019, 09:37:54 AM »
Anything potentially harmful will be killed during the cooking process.

Not true.  The mold may be killed, but the mycotoxins the mold produced (e.g.  ochratoxin A - a carcinogen that is also a neurotoxin [among other effects]) won't be destroyed.

Since the mold can grow well with the right humidity and temperature, the appropriate question to ask is whether the livestock oats would have a higher likelihood of having been in those conditions.  My instinct is yes (especially the bagged storage vs. boxes/containers headed to a grocery store), but from a data perspective, I have no data on whether that can even be answered effectively.  However, you should be aware of the risk, since cooking can't destroy everything potentially harmful to you.

Note also: This is not to say oats from a grocery store are immune - at least in the US, there isn't a limit to ochratoxin A in food. (There is in the EU)