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Is Grass a Vegetable?

>> Thursday, June 18, 2009

Okay, here's what happened. I was having lunch with two horse friends today when I mentioned that Tango boy is putting on the pounds. I honestly believe my guy has gained 100 pounds since the grass turned green.

I was thinking out loud when I said, "I just don't get why horses gain weight when they eat grass since grass is a vegetable."

My two friends laughed out loud. They were really quite amused. "Grass is most certainly not a vegetable," they said. "It's something else."

"What else could it be?" I asked them. "Grass is green. It's like a big leafy salad. When I eat salads, I lose weight. Tango's gaining. His svelte figure is changing on a daily basis. Why?"

The conversation continued for awhile and by the end my friends laid out the challenge.

"Get the answer!" they said. "If you can prove grass is a vegetable then let us know."

So, here's the deal. Most of you know lots more than me about animal nutrition and horses in general. I need to know what you think. Your answers will be greatly appreciated and I'll consider every single one of them...even the ones that are totally made up. I might need a few of those just in case the debate with my friends gets serious. I like to be prepared to blow a little smoke. What fun is a debate without some creativity?



Ziggy Stardust June 19, 2009 at 1:29 AM  

Well if its not a vegetable it certainly should be I am with you, but I will check back to see if you got any proof,


T June 19, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

Interesting. I always thought grass was a vegetable, but I have no proof. I know someone that might have a scientific answer though, so I will get back with you on this.

Sandy June 19, 2009 at 6:33 PM  

Yes of course it is. It's green, it grows in the grown from seed like lettace. It needs water and sunshine and goes through photosynthesis...doesn't it? And it is food for many it must be a vegtable.

We eat Dandylions, the greens from them, in a salad....they're veggies as well as being yeah, grass has to be a veggie.

2cats June 19, 2009 at 7:27 PM  

It must be. There is something called lemon grass and that is a vegetable I often put into a salad. You can grow it in your garden.
Besides if it weren't a vegetable your horse would not eat it, right? I mean he isn't a meat eater correct?

Unknown June 19, 2009 at 8:23 PM  

I think grass is an herb. Anyway, to answer your question about your horse gaining weight on the grass, it seems that some grasses are higher in calories than others - which is amazing to me that things like grass and hay have ANY calories at all. Maybe you have a particularly high-calorie grass? I found more information on horse weight gain here:

Tweedles -- that's me June 19, 2009 at 9:12 PM  

Hi, its me Tweedles.
Bet you thought I forgot to come see you. But here I am! Well, I think grass is a salad when it is a young plant and then a legume or grain when it grows up, and gets heads on it. And when greens are young they have more sugar content in them, that turns to carborhydrates or however it is spelled , and then that turns to fat,and that can cause weight gain. (like in humans).
So now what do you think of that?
Another thought from my little pug brain is that if the weather is warm right now, Tango is not using much energy to keep warm, so he gained weight.
So in summary, I think grass is a vegetable until August.
I wonder what the experts think of that?

T June 20, 2009 at 12:32 AM  

This is the best answer I have found so far.
Not my words..
"Technically, grass is a grain, like oats, barley, wheat - all different types of grass. But the horses are eating the leaves, and the seeds in everyday grass are small and not as abundant as the seeds in feed/food grains."

"It's obvious though, that green grass is going to have more nutrients than dead brown withered grass. When it dries up, a lot of the good stuff dries up as well. Grass has a lot of moisture in it when it's green."

Ziggy Stardust June 20, 2009 at 10:25 PM  

Thank you for visiting Sasha, I agree the animal blogs are addicting and fun. I like your other blog as well.

Anne and Sasha

5catsrunner June 21, 2009 at 12:39 PM  

Thanks for visiting my blog and posting your links. I've finally had a chance to check them both out.

I found this on Yahoo. So, I guess grass is both an herb and a vegetable, depending on how you look at it.

But it can also be classified as a grain:

Anonymous June 25, 2009 at 4:42 PM  

I vote for T's answer.

It makes sense that new growth (as the spring grasses are) has more nutritive content, and hence more calories: it needs to set the stage for developing flowers, and the subsequent seeds for the next generation.

My horses live oustide. When the pastures are rich and green I cut back on the concentrated feed. Otherwise I'd have four equine "balls" waddling around.

Anonymous October 20, 2014 at 1:01 PM  

there are 4 kingdoms on earth: animal, mineral, legume, and vegatable. it is not the first 3 so grass must be a vegatable.

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