more Christians, straw houses

dwheeler at dwheeler at
Sun Nov 8 21:08:05 EST 1998

In article <3644A663.25C9E25D at>,
  Joseph Zorzin <redoak at> wrote:
> big_reds at wrote:
> >
> > In article <3641687D.1E7688DB at>,
> >   Joseph Zorzin <redoak at> wrote:
> > > Larry Caldwell wrote:
> > > > Agriculture is the primary cause of deforestation.
> > >
> > > A problem that wouldn't be as bad if there were more vegetarians since
> > > growing grain for cattle takes more land than growing grain for people
> > > to get the same food value.
> > >
> > It is interesting that despite a supposed 10 to 1 efficiency factor in eating
> > grains instead of meat, you can buy steak for less per pound than cereal.  My
> > guess is that the ranchers are going broke and the cereal companies are rakin'
> > it in.
> What are those respective costs? Steak vs. cereal per pound?
> Hmmm... but if you factored in the unaccounted for health value, the
> comparison would improve for grain.
> > --
> > Building with Cob.  Searching for Permaculture  community.
> >
The factors change somewhat depending on what the cattle are fed.

In Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, Paul Stamets notes that veal
calves in his feed lot would ignore fresh grain and alfalfa hay in order to
consume spend bags of straw substrate, which had already produced a pound of
oyster mushrooms per pound of sterilized straw. The veal also dressed out
much heavier (over 100 pounds dressed weight).

This strongly suggests another usage for recycling spent straw after growing
mushrooms on it: animal fodder. Since oyster mushrooms grow on a wide variety
of substrates, it can also convert those substrates into high protein
additives with very little roughage. Indeed, it may be necessary to mix the
mushroom-straw with chopped straw for roughage.

But since cattle have multiple stomachs for re-chewing purposes to extract
more food-value from high-cellulose foods, and oyster mushroom mycelium
basically eats the cellulose and leaves the inside of the cells untouched,
spent mushroom- straw has more *available* food value than most hays.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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