Feed additive reduces cow methane output by 55%

Methane produced from cows (cow farts and burps) contribute greatly to the harmful emissions on our planet and are a contributor to global warming. As a way to counteract the methane output from beef and dairy cows an additive can be put in livestock feed to reduce that output by more than half. The world's largest beef exporter has approved the sale of the additive in Brazil and Chile.

via the Good News Network:

The methane-reducing additive obtained this first approval after a 10-year collaboration called Project Clean Cow, and its success in 48 scientific trials on farms in 13 countries across 4 continents—peer-reviewed studies (such as this one in 2020 at UC Davis) that were published in scientific journals

Regulators in Brazil and Chile have granted full market authorization for Royal DSM's Bovaer to be given to cows as well as sheep and goats, the company said recently in a statement.

"The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) stated that a rapid reduction of methane emissions could reduce the spread of global warming in the near term and have a positive effect on air quality," said DSM's Mark van Nieuwland. "We know the agricultural and livestock sectors recognize this opportunity for change and are eager to act."

Just a quarter teaspoon of Bovaer per cow per day consistently reduces burped methane emission by approximately 30% for dairy cows and even higher percentages (up till 90%) for beef cows. After suppressing methane production in the stomach, it is broken down into compounds already naturally present in the cow's stomach.

Is this a real solution or a band-aid? The sheer magnitude of the harm the world's beef industry inflicts on the planet does not stop at methane alone. The clearing of land for cow grazing reduces the forests that produce oxygen to the atmosphere. The water required to sustain those farms, not to mention the amount of water used to grow the feed for the livestock, puts a great strain on the world's water usage. Of course, beef and dairy aren't exactly good for us at the rate the average American consumes them, and can be argued that it can be as bad as smoking. An American consumes as much as 144 lbs. of meat and a whopping 650 lbs. of dairy in a year.

Maybe this is a step in the right direction but if more of us went vegan, or at least some kind of vegan hybrid, there's a better chance to make an impact on the climate crisis.