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Friday, October 20, 2023

Cows produce quite a lot of methane. Can we cut back that waste?

There are round 1.5 billion cows on the planet being raised as livestock for issues like meat and dairy — and so they’re a local weather downside we’ve struggled to resolve. Cows have a specialised digestive tract that permits them to digest powerful plant materials like grass or hay, however in that course of, methane is produced as waste, and the cows … burp it out. Methane is a greenhouse gasoline that’s practically 25 instances stronger than carbon dioxide. Based on the Environmental Safety Company, these burping animals are thought-about one of many largest sources of methane manufacturing in america, making up practically 25 % of all methane emissions.

You’ve seemingly heard of some options to this. The loudest one might be the marketing campaign to get individuals to reduce their beef consumption or swap to meat alternate options. It’s an vital answer, however individuals are usually reluctant to do it. So as a substitute, some scientists are taking the eye off people and specializing in the weight-reduction plan of the cows. What they’ve discovered is that sure components in cow feed can assist cut back methane emissions, and up to date work has drawn quite a lot of consideration to at least one surprising hero: seaweed.

This episode is introduced by Delta. Delta doesn’t have a say in our editorial selections, however they make movies like this potential. For extra data, go to delta.com/sustainability.

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