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  • - Susan Garlinghouse

    Re: [RC] Beet Pulp - Susan Garlinghouse

    > Sugar beets as I understand it are treated (as most >modern day crops)
    with extensive herbicides, pre >harvest and are washed with chemical
    solvents post >harvest.  These 'chemicals' are stored in the pulp, which >is
    what you are feeding your horse.
    I hear this argument a lot, Jennifer, but respectfully disagree.  Yes,
    pesticides (not herbicides, those would kill the beet plant) are used during
    beet production, but because they are oil based, and the beet plant is water
    based, I have some pretty strong doubts they are stored in the pulp.  The
    reason I know the pesticide is oil based is because I live next to a sugar
    beet field and the crop dusters occasionally "miss" and get little oily
    spots on my car. :-)  Chemicals during sugar production...nope, at least not
    during the sugar extraction part that involves the beet pulp.  They do use
    water (technically a "chemical solvent") and they do use calcium carbonate,
    the source of beet pulp calcium content (generally considered an advantage).
    IMO, the rest of the scare about chemicals and beet pulp is probably put
    forth by salesman that don't sell beet pulp. :-)  It sure seems every time I
    hear about this particular urban myth, the originating source is from that
    However, I do hear it a lot, and do talk about beet pulp a lot during
    seminars and such, and I do get a little AR about trying to provide decent
    information.  Last spring the subject came up during the SEDRA seminar in
    Florida and so last summer I sent in some random beet pulp samples from this
    area to the toxicology lab to see if they could find anything.  Heavy
    metals, chemical residues, anything I wouldn't want to feed to me or my
    horse.  Came back clean as a whistle.  I guess for me to buy into the
    'chemical residue' theory, I'd have to see some contradictory lab data,
    > Its main use in the endurance arena is to 1. provide >bulk, which in turn
    maintains gut motility and 2.  provide >water retention, which provides a
    reserve for your horse >to prevent dehydation.
    Well, since we're on the subject, the primary fermentation by-product,
    butyric acid, has also been demonstrated in other species to improve
    enterocyte turnover and thus provide a healthier intestinal environment.  It
    also slightly acidifies the hindgut, making it more conducive to beneficial
    bacteria and less friendly to pathogens like Clostridium and Salmonella.
    It's more digestible than any other forage and so provides more useable
    calories per pound than any other feed in its class.  Pretty useful factors,
    dontcha think?
     It has a purpose and is useful, >but I wouldn't call it a great feed
    I would, but that JMO as well. :-)))
    Susan G
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    Re: [RC] Beet Pulp, Jennifer Judkins