By Angela Posada Swafford

    Library mouse that I am, I recently gathered enough tidbits of information for a new recipe. It will feed 1,000, takes two years to prepare, calls for some fairly unusual ingredients and presents a lot of problems. Still, people like it.
I call it: American cow.

American Cow
One 80-pound calf
12,000 pounds silage
2,500 pounds grain (corn will do)
8 acres grazing land, including 1 1/2 acres arable land
350 pounds soybeans
125 gallons of gasoline and petroleum derivatives
170 pounds nitrogen
45 pounds phosphorus
90 pounds potassium
1,200,000 gallons of water
assorted pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics, as required

    Allow calf to nurse for six months,then wean. Put calf out to graze and add silage. At age of nine months, it should weigh 400 pounds; at 16 months, 650 pounds.
    While calf grazes and eats silage, prepare land. With petroleum, mix nitrogen, phoshorus, potassium for fertilizer.
(Note: Increase fertilizer each time recipe is prepared.) Spread fertilizer mix over the 1.5 acres of arable land, add supplemental phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen as needed. Reserve some gasoline to fuel tractor or other machinery that may be used.
    Plant corn and soybeans. Blend with insecticides and herbicides. (Amounts will vary depending on insectspresent and their chemical immunities. Preparer need not worry about harmful effects: Symptoms won't show up until well after the cow has been consumed.)
    After 20 months, feed calf small amounts of corn and soybean mixture. After 24 months, place calf in small pen with 20,000 other calves to restrict movement and to turn skinny bovine into a luxurious hunk of red meat streaked with white fat. Inject hormones to quell sexual urges and increase weight gain. Feed calf remaining grain mixture with hay. Weight should increase two pounds a day.
    To avoid disease from close quarters and excreta, blend feed with antibiotics. Rapidly accumulating manure--each animal drops the equivalent of 20 humans daily--can be used to generate methane gas, recycled to produce foodstuff for other animals or spread as fertilizer. Warning: If not recycled, it will seep into ground and pollute rivers and lakes.
    After four months of pen feeding, heifer should weigh 1,000 pounds and be ready for the abattoir. There remove all edible parts to yield 440 pounds of beef, i.e., 1,000 seven-ounce portions, including 16 pounds of T-bone steak, flank, stew and other less-than-prime cuts which will provide good meals to about 1,000 people.
    If you're in the mood for something simpler, however, you might put the 2,500 pounds of grain and 350 pounds of soybeans to other uses--making breads and, with the addition of a few vegetables, tasty casseroles. These will feed about 18,000 people one bowl each.
    Bon appetit!

This column initially ran on Tuesday, May 2, 1995, in The Miami Herald international edition