Today is Earth Day 2009. On this 39th annual commemoration of ecological concern, we may be about to reduce one major source of air pollution and global warming: cow flatulence.
Factory breeding of beef cattle and vast dairy herds produce tons of atmospheric methane or CH4 (not Carbon Dioxide or CO2, as claimed by master chemist and House Minority Leader John Boehner). Methane is a major “greenhouse gas” that contributes to global warming.
Funny? Yes. A joke? No.
Enteric fermentation in the cow’s unique innards produces copious methane, and the planet has about 1.5 billion cattle. Each cow is the size of your car, but has no emission controls. America also has lots of cow lots, where the unnatural grain diet may produce even more cow farts.
More methane in the atmosphere means more global warming. What to do?
We could eat less meat, lowering the demand for beef, which would reduce the size of beef herds, improve human health, save energy and reduce your grocery bill. Trouble is, Americans eat lots more meat than we used to, and we have spread this habit around the world.
Or we could feed cows garlic.
More specifically, livestock feed laced with Allicin (diallyl thiosulphinate), a chemical found in garlic that not only has antibiotic and anti-fungal properties but acts as bovine Beano®. Britain’s Neem Biotech Ltd. has developed an industrial Allicin-extraction process (patent # US7179632) and markets an animal-strength product as mootralTM
Tell Al Gore to take the rest of Earth Day off.
Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.
Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com