Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's Cow Farts, Not Car Exhaust

Bill Nye told me that cow farts, comprised of a lot of methane (much more potent than CO2), contribute to 20% of total greenhouse gases each year.

But if we fed cows garlic, we could cut their emissions by 50% (garlic reduces methane-causing bacteria in the stomach).

I like my once per month filet mignon, so please, feed them garlic--it's better to stink on one end than both. That's what my mom always said growing up.

11 comments:

Victoria said...

Yes, and maybe the meat would come ready-flavoured with garlic, which would be delicious (and save me washing up the garlic crusher).

Anna said...

My son builds waste water treatment plants and said some of them convert their own methane to power. Hey, I would imagine that giving cows garlic would make the milk taste like garlic.

Victoria said...

Good point, Anna. I was too busy salivating over the thought of a nice steak to think of that!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Anna--I know some landfills do this, so I'm gald to see other "industries" doing it as well!
Victoria--You both are nuts. Who wants garlic milk? Maybe if you used it in mashed potatoes--no no no. Garlic milk and cereal builds strong bones and starts your day off right, puts hair on your chest and calcium in your bones....

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Benjamin... "putting hair on your chest" is not really all that much of an enticement for us chicks, ya know?!!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Kim--Well, where DO you want hair? See, that's the problem. If you were French, we could find at least one spot (armpits, just in case that wasn't clear).

themanicgardener said...

Benjamin, I am reaching a new low--I actually repeat things from your blog to my family. Having reported the gist of this one along with Anna's question, (would the milk taste like garlic?) to Son#2, I was startled to hear him reply, "It's in Tess." (He's just finished Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles.)
Me: ???
He: The cows get into some garlic, and the milk tastes--maybe not like garlic, but it's tainted.

So, there you have it. And once again it is deonstrated that a thorough knowledge of 19th century English literature will let you answer most of the questions that may come your way in life.
--Kate

Victoria said...

Garlic milk in mashed potatoes: why didn't I think of that?

Kylee said...

I was about to suggest that feeding them garlic would make the beef taste better, but the milk not so much. Okay, just feed the beef cattle garlic and leave the dairy cows alone!

Alan said...

I've seen several studies related to this. Here's a link to one from Argentina studying cow burps http://mpelembe.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2008/7/8/3782941.html. I think that they're missing an important point ref global warming. Cows only change the state of carbon existing in the system. They don't introduce any new carbon or carbon compounds. Fossil Fuel burners function by reintroducing carbon that has been out of the system for millions of years. This is what is increasing atmospheric carbon and contributing to 'global warming' not the phase change caused by cows or other organic processes.

That said, garlic will change the flavor of milk considerably and unpleasantly. It would be nice used with beef cattle however. Maybe if we included a bit of bourbon and some chili peppers we could produce pre-marinated barbecued steak, ribs, etc.

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