Beet pulp (and rice bran too!) is a processed, by-product widely used as a feed supplement for livestock. It is a waste product from the sugar manufacturers loaded with sugar and the chemicals that are used for extracting the sugar along with the chemicals that are sprayed on this herbicide-tolerant crop. I find that a lot of people aren’t aware of exactly how sugar beets are harvested and processed. Most sugar beets are genetically modified to withstand the spraying of chemicals. Do you know where most of those chemicals end up? In the by-product!
The glyphosate from ‘Round-Up Ready’ sugar beets significantly reduces the uptake of minerals which kills bacteria in the hindgut. Glyphosate is a synthetic compound widely used as an herbicide. One animal study, by a group of European researchers and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that low levels of the weed-killing chemical glyphosate and the glyphosate-based Roundup product can alter the composition of the gut microbiome in ways that may be linked to adverse health outcomes. The effects of glyphosate on the gut microbiome were found to be caused by the same mechanism of action by which glyphosate acts to kill weeds and other plants, the researchers said. The microbes in the gut include a variety of bacteria and fungi that impact immune functions and other important processes, and a disruption of that system can contribute to a range of diseases.
Dr. Michael Antoniou (head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group within the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at King’s College in London) stated,
“Both the glyphosate and the Roundup did have an effect on gut bacterial population composition.” We know that the gut is inhabited by thousands of different types of bacteria and a balance in the composition and function is crucial for health. Therefore, anything that negatively disturbs the gut microbiome has the potential of causing ill health because we go from balanced functioning that is conducive to health to imbalanced functioning that may lead to a whole array of different health issues and diseases.
In addition to glyphosate, sugar beets are sponges for arsenic which is an issue in the soil near many of the refineries. DisodiumCyanodithioimidocarbonate (DCDID), the chemical that’s used to strip the sugar from the beets, is a toxin banned from use as a pesticide. But for some reason, it’s supposed to be okay to feed it to our horses in beet pulp? Hmmm …
It is not unusual to see beet pulp as a primary ingredient in some senior and performance feeds because of its high digestibility. Dogs can eat some icky things and survive, but horses aren’t so lucky. Beet pulp can be a great fiber source for dogs to help balance the lack of fiber in meat and other dog food ingredients. On the contrary, horses get plenty of fiber in grass hay. In addition, the transit time in a horse’s gut is 24 to 36 hours, which leaves ample time to absorb any potential toxins in a feed–compared to a dog whose food goes through the digestive tract very quickly.
Beet pulp fed for hydration should not be confused with water retention. Water retention is indicative of dehydration. Water weighs eight pounds per gallon. When a horse is taken off of beet pulp they can lose about 50 pounds–of water weight that is. If you stop and think about it, the horse is carrying about 5 gallons of dead weight. It takes four molecules of water for each molecule of sugar for the pancreas to process the sugar. When a horse is toxic, they will drink more water to flush their system, which contributes to water retention.
As an intuitive wellness practitioner, I take into consideration what tests the best for each individual horse. I use the Bio-Energy Analysis Technique™ to create custom wellness plans for devoted horse owners. From my experience, supplements and feeds that contain beet pulp do not test well at all! I would venture to say this is because of the heavy chemical toxicity found in the by-product. Anytime we put toxins in our body or our horse’s body, we weaken the immune system and lower our vitality.
The bottom line is I strive for optimum health with my horses and my client’s horses. I always start by clearing the liver and chemicals are the main culprit for liver congestion. I offer alternatives to conventional and commercial feeds and supplements because I’ve experienced firsthand what it’s like to lose a horse to chemical exposure and toxicity. But at the end of the day, it’s up to YOU to decide what optimal health looks like for your horses. I provide the information so you can make an informed choice!
Some may argue my approach to horse care; however, I believe those who argue are not aspiring for optimal health at the subtle energetic and cellular levels. If you eat fast food most of the time, then you probably won’t mind feeding your horse chemicals. It's a life choice. Ask yourself, “What level of performance do you want and what level of health do you want for your horses?” If you’re dealing with weird lameness issues, allergies or your horse has a history of being hot, irritable, nervous, and/or anxious, you may want to consider reducing the chemicals you put in your horse’s body. Start observing the obvious and be open to exploring chemical-free approaches to horse care. And until next time, enjoy your horse!
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