Wednesday Food Five: Cow Emission Standards

burping_cow

Since last weeks post was a chicken heavy affair, I thought I would switch to a four legged creature. Bovine methane has become quite the environmental issue since the dawn of the CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation). More than a third of all methane emissions, around 900 billion tonnes every year, are produced by raising ruminants. Research is rapidly being churned out about ways to curtail cow uh… emissions. Here is an examination of the fight against fart.

1) Flax Seed Feed:

Apparently flax feeding reduces inflammation and the need for antibiotics compared to corn and soy. It might also assist in with bovine indigestion that is stinking up our ozone.

gkf_flaxmilk_original

As an added perk it may sneak a little omega-3’s into the sickly o-6 rich American Diet (and I do mean a little). A 4 oz serving of beef would deliver 200 to 350 milligrams of omega-3s, less than a fifth of the amount of omega-3s found in a 4 oz of salmon).

What would work better… grass feeding.

2) Fish Oils:

A little cod liver cuts the cheese cutting. 2% fish oil feed reduces methane by a third. But that stuff is costly, so lets use some…

3) Linseed Feed:

belch

Linseed produces bacteria that competes with the bacteria that produces methane, leading to a measurable decrease in collective cattle belching.

Still, would be better if farmers would just put them to pasture.

4) Cooling Cows Off:

hot_cow

Cool cows conserve energy one study finds. Farmers may to well to create more shady rests, or just choose cooler, more ruminate appropriate pastures from the start.

This is further exacerbated by the inability of CAFO cows to lay down without being covered in their own filth, something cows find unappealing for some reason. The result is a bunch of over heated cattle beasts stressing and belching.

Again, not a problem in pastured grass feeding operations

5) O for the Love of… Just Pasture Them:

It is clear that the environment is taking a blow from the modern CAFO. However, certain regions are even beginning to suffer as a result of the now devoid practice of pasturing.

Once pastures slopes in the Swiss Alps have been abandoned and are now densely covered by alder shrubs. So what right? Well all this alder is leading more water evaporation (10% to be exact). This intern diminishes the amount of power produced by Swiss hydroelectric plants. Crazy right.

Cows did not create this problem, Humans did. Thankfully, it is not to late for dairy deliverance.
This TED talk outlines how the cow can save us:

Holy Cow, buy pastured or don’t buy at all.

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