Cows Do Their Part in Climate Change By Eating Beer Waste, Coin Term ‘Happier Than a Cow With Fewer Farts’

A few years ago, scientists discovered that one of the worst contributors to climate change is farts. And no, we’re not talking about your grandma when she has too much cheese (although that probably doesn’t help). We’re specifically talking about cow farts. That’s because farting cows release a ridiculous amount of methane gas into the atmosphere. Methane, a greenhouse gas, comes from digestion process of your friendly neighborhood bovine. You see, cow stomachs are full of microbes that help to break down the food they’re chowing down on. The result is a whole lot of stinky gas. Definitely don’t stand behind a cow after lunch or you’ll sorely regret it. But, researchers in Belgium have figured out a way to curb those toots, at least a little bit.

The key is beer. No, they won’t be chugging Budweiser as that would likely add massive burps on top of flatulence and we’d all be a heap of trouble. What they figured out is that the spent grain from the production of beer can be fed to cows to lower the amount of methane they’re pumping out. And it’s no small number. The research says this could lower a cow’s methane production by up to 13 percent. That’s a big deal in helping reverse the effects of global warming.

The Flemish Institute for Agricultural, Fisheries and Food studied cows for years and determined that leftover grain that contained barley proteins and chaff were the main ingredients in settling a cow’s stomach and lowering its methane output. But, they also need to be combined with a meal of rapeseed. The best part? They have no idea why this combination works. Now if we could only find something to settle grandma’s stomach.

Photo: Jonathan Kirn (Getty Images)

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