Here’s a great number: 82%. It’s the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that cattle may produce when a certain type of seaweed is included in their feed.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, added small amounts of seaweed—about 80 grams (3 ounces)—to the daily diet of 21 beef cattle over 5 months and tracked their weight gain and methane emissions. Cattle that consumed a specific type of red algae gained as much weight as their herd mates while burping out up to 82% less methane into the atmosphere.
It turns out that the seaweed inhibits a digestive enzyme that contributes to production of this greenhouse gas emission. Importantly, a taste-test panel found no differences in the flavor of the beef from seaweed-fed cattle compared with a control group. Broad application of this feeding method could pave the way for more climate-friendly burgers and steaks.
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