Bovines Burping Methane
An Environmental Article from


Robert Cohen,
September 2010

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
- Dan Quayle

When the subject of greenhouse gas emissions comes up at the Al Gore dinner table, the subject of that night's beef entree is never considered.

I always ASS-umed that a great proportion of the atmosphere's methane gas came directly from that region somewhat to the rear of a cow's udder...but I've been proven wrong.

Penn State University scientists will be making a presentation in October at the 4th International Greenhouse Gases and Animal Agriculture (GGAA) Conference in October in Banff, Canada. The thought of it all makes me want to gag, but here's their conclusion:

Cow flatulence is no methane producer. Methane from cows originates as bovine belches.

Professor Alexander Hristov has made a career of studying cow burps. He has also developed a cure, soon to improve air quality for us all. Hristov has discovered that when cows consume oregano, the level of methane emissions are reduced by 40%.

The world awaits the development of a new cow feed to be marketed as "cud oreganato".

Dr. Hristov's comment: "Less methane produced means less methane in the belches and probably fewer belches, because methane can make up to 30-40 percent of the rumen gas."

Cows eating oregano on Penn State's dairy farm also produced an average of 3 pounds of milk more per day than those not eating oregano.

Should you wish to thank Professor Hristov for his unique contribution to dairy science here.

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