Ms. Shaeffer

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Blog EntryBlog: Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Whoever Smelt It Dealt It

Who would have ever thought that cow flatulence and burping could play a role in the explanation of global warming?á And yet it seems that these bodily functions may be doing just that!

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Cow gas is responsible for about 20 percent of U.S. emissions of methane release.á Methane traps 20% more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, the gas which most frequently gets a bad rap in global warming arguments.

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Grass-fed cattle produce beef with less saturated fat for the consumer, but cause more methane gas to be produced by the cattle.á Why?áLignin, a hard-to-digest substance in the cell wall of the grass is resistant to ordinary digestion.á As lignin goes through the digestion process, methane gas is produced.á

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Scientists have begun to help cows with their flatulence problems.á An Australian company has developed genetically modified grass that contains less lignin and therefore decreases methane production from grass-fed cattle. It seems like a win-win...a healthier beef with less saturated fat AND less methane released into our atmosphere!

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How has science changed the beef industry?á How is science helping global warming? Do you think it is okay to feed a cow genetically modified grass?á

SOURCE:á Discover Magazine, August, 2008

Posted by Ms. Shaeffer at 2:35 PM
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