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Garlic breath may be key to curbing bovine emissions

Date: 01-Jul-20
Author: Liam Taylor

Cow belches produce methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

Cow belches produce methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

Newly released study results indicate garlic-based dietary supplements could help manage the significant environmental issue presented by cow gas. 

The burps and flatulence produced by cows as part of their natural digestive process are one of the reasons beef and dairy products have such large carbon footprints. Their gas produces significant amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas capable of trapping heat in the atmosphere approximately 25 times more effectively than carbon dioxide (CO2).

Now a Switzerland-based company is aiming to address the issue through a garlic-based supplement called Mootral that shrinks the amount of methane cows emit when they release gas. The supplement has been shown in studies to reduce methane emissions from cow belches by 30-38% without adverse effects on the cattle.

The product integrates compounds from garlic and citrus into pellets that are mixed with cow feed. Inside the cow’s stomach, the pellets reduce the number of particular microbes responsible for producing gas. Due to the success of the product, Mootral are set to become the first company worldwide to be awarded carbon credits for methane reduction in cows.

Whilst ultimately a cultural transition towards decreased consumption of meat and dairy is acknowledged as critical to addressing emissions from animal agriculture, initiatives like this will remain important.

“…even though we see a move towards non-dairy alternatives, and people going to non-animal protein sources, populations in other parts of the world are progressing from a cereal-based diet into an animal protein-rich diet,” said Mootral CEO Thomas Hafner in a statement.

“Whatever we lose on one side, we’re going to gain on the other, if not more. What we provide is a solution to reduce the impact of that down the line.”


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.

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