HIGHTOWER: Canada's Very Contented Cows

If I was a cow, I'd be headed to Canada right now.More specifically, I'd be stampeding toward Alberta, because a new recycling program is being launched there that can make for some mighty contented cows. Molson, one of Canada's largest breweries, has announced an experimental program of feeding millions of bottles of beer to cows [cows mooing].OK, it's not top-quality beer -- in fact, it's bad beer -- but, hey, what does a cow know about the taste of beer? Bovines eat dried bales of hay, for Godssake, so even a bad brewski has to be a big improvement in their cuisine.It seems that Molson and other beermakers have to dump a lot of brew each year because various batches fail to meet their quality standards, or because sales occasionally slow and old beer loses its freshness. A single brewery can dump about five million bottles of low-quality product down the drain every year -- indeed, there's so much of it that the industry even has a name for it: "Dump beer."Not only is this a waste, but it's also costly, since Molson and the others are assessed a sizable sewage charge to handle these batches of sorry suds. So, sitting around one day, probably sipping a few samples of the company's finest, a thought suddenly slapped someone at Molson upside the head: Hey, cattle are fed grain to fatten them up; beer is nothing but grain and water, and it's rich in calories; I think I see a real happy connection here."Thus was born the beer-to-cow recycling concept. Beef cattle are especially good for this project, since they're big drinkers, capable of quaffing some 60 bottles a day, according to a Molson executive. And, no, you needn't worry about alcoholics on the hoof -- cows don't absorb alcohol into their bloodstream.This is Jim Hightower saying ... However, there's no mention of whether it gets in the milk. Beer-flavored milk! Now there's a concept.

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