UC Davis Researchers Trying To Make Cows Pollute (Fart) Less

Cows fart a lot, and some UC Davis researchers are trying to figure out how to make that happen less.

By DAVID on August 31, 2018
(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

A very fascinating look into pollution thanks to our friends over at UC Davis. Northern California is rich in agriculture, with lots of farming. Heading south down I-5, you run into all the cows and other animals. If you’ve ever been that way, you know the smell.

That smell is methane. Methane comes from cows and other animals. Some of it comes from the cow’s droppings and their farts. Most of it comes in the form of burping. How it comes out of the cow doesn’t matter, but it is contributing to a lot of the ozone gasses in our atmosphere. Also, did you know that a cow can emit roughly the same amount of methane gasses as an average car in one day? Try taking that to a SMOG station. “Is this cow CARB compliant?”

Researchers at UC Davis are trying to figure out how they can make cows pollute less. One of the theories they’re working on involves feeding the cows seaweed. They got the idea after noticing that cows that ate algae from the ocean were “polluting” about 30% less. Scientists say that even a small amount of algae/seaweed can make a dramatic difference. Some British (Welsh) scientists have already discovered that adding garlic to cow feed helps cut back on methane production. The garlic attacks the methane-producing microbes in the cow’s guts. Pretty cool. Find a lot more information on the UC Davis study here.

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