Today I Learned the Word Feedingstuffs

Today I learned the word “feedingstuffs”.

feedingstuff (countable and uncountable, plural feedingstuffs)

  Any foodstuff used to feed livestock.

It’s not in every dictionary, and it’s not a valid Scrabble word.

How did this word come up? I had heard previously that salmon is not naturally as pink as it is in supermarkets. I was wondering how this could be. Surely salmon aren’t being colored during the packaging process, right? That’s right, salmon are still that same color when they’re first cut open.

The coloring, I learned, is added to the salmon’s feedingstuffs!

Yes, that’s an official European Commission report from 2002 recommending that the amount of allowable Canthaxanthin (salmon coloring) in salmon feed be reevaluated, and possibly lowered.

At the time, the maximum amount of Canthaxanthin allowable in salmon and trout feedingstuffs in the EU was 80 mg / kg of feedingstuff.

Fast-forward to today, and only 10 mg / kg of Canthaxanthin is permitted. More interesting than this though, is that in the 2008 journal reporting this new, lower limit, they instead use the word foodstuffs.

Feedingstuffs, it would seem, are no more.