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Feeding cows seaweed could slash global greenhouse gas emissions.


Stashed in: Cows!, Scatology, Climate Change!, The World, Sheep!, Awesome

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Adding a small amount of dried seaweed to a cow's diet can reduce the amount of methane a cow produces by up to 99 per cent.

Scientists discovered adding a small amount of dried seaweed to a cow's diet can reduce the amount of methane a cow produces by up to 99 per cent.

"We started with 20 species [of seaweed] and we very quickly narrowed that down to one really stand out species of red seaweed," Professor De Nys said.

The species of seaweed is called Asparagopsis taxiformis, and JCU researchers have been actively collecting it off the coast of Queensland. 

"We had an inkling that we would get some success from this species, but the scale or the amount of success and reduction we saw was very surprising," he said. 

Professor De Nys said methane gas was the biggest component of greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture industry, and the findings could help alleviate climate change. 

He also added that the vast majority of methane comes from the cow's burp rather than the gas from the other end of the cow.

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We have results already with whole sheep; we know that if asparagopsis is fed to sheep at 2 per cent of their diet, they produce between 50 and 70 percent less methane over a 72-day period continuously, so there is already a well-established precedent.

Reddit adds:

Alternatively, we could move towards grass-fed cows (i.e. feeding cows what they've evolved to eat, and not corn). This switch shows similar reductions in methane. As a bonus, the pastureland required also sequesters carbon.

For more, read here: http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/sfn/su12cfootprint

Top Reddit comment:

Does this work on humans? Because I have a husband that really needs this to work on humans.

Sadly, no. Humans do not have the bacteria this seaweed affects.

Also, this allegedly reduces methane, which is not the smelly component of farts or burps.

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