Feeding Seaweed To Cows Could Reduce Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions By Up To 82%

Early research suggests that feeding seaweed to cows could reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by up to 82%.

In a recent study published in PLOS ONE, researches reported cattle producing signifialty less methane when fed small amounts of seaweed.

Greenhouse gas emissions produced by cattle are a big concern in the environmental space and people have been hoping for a solution. According to the USDA, “In the first detailed study on emissions from large-scale dairies, ARS researchers found that a commercial dairy with 10,000 milk cows generated an average of 3,575 pounds of ammonia, 33,092 pounds of methane, and 409 pounds of nitrous oxide every day.”

Photo: PXHERE

As the world faces real threats from climate change, consumers are opting to make more environmentally friendly choices by reducing or eliminating meat and dairy from their diets.

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However, it’s not realistic to expect everyone to eliminate meat and dairy from cows overnight, so finding a way to minimize their impact is key to creating more sustainable food options, and that’s just what researchers from UC Davis set out to do.

Photo: PXHERE

According to a press release from UC Davis, “In 2018, Kebreab and Roque were able to reduce methane emissions from dairy cows by over 50 percent by supplementing their diet with seaweed for two weeks. The seaweed inhibits an enzyme in the cow’s digestive system that contributes to methane production.”

Photo: YouTube/UC Davis
Photo: YouTube/UC Davis

Based on their findings, they believe that by using seaweed, they could reduce cow’s methane emissions by as much as 82%.

“Seaweed may be the super food dairy cattle need to reduce the amount of methane they burp into the atmosphere. Early results from research at the University of California, Davis, indicate that just a touch of the ocean algae in cattle feed could dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions from California’s 1.8 million dairy cows,” they explained in their video desciption.

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