Poop-Eating Bug Helps to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

beetleA new study from researches at the University of Helsinki has found that dung beetles living in cow patties may reduce emissions of the key greenhouse gas emitted by cow manure – methane.

Cattle contribute to global warming by burping and farting large amounts of greenhouse gases. Scientists have attempted to reduce those emissions by adding garlic and oats to their diet. But the appropriately named dung beetle does it naturally.

Atte Penttilä, who was part of the study explains: “We believe that these beetles exert much of their impact by simply digging around in the dung. Methane is primarily born under anaerobic conditions, and the tunneling by beetles seems to aerate the pats. This will have a major impact on how carbon escapes from cow pats into the atmosphere.” Continue reading

Could Feeding Cows Garlic Reduce Greenhouse Emissions?

What’s worse – garlic cow breath or cow toots? Scientists in the UK have discovered that feeding cows a mixture of garlic and oats could reduce their greenhouse emissions by as much as 25%. Anyone up for some garlic milk?

Through their burps and, er, toots, farm animals produce 4% of the world’s total greenhouse emissions. Their new diet could cut that number down to 3%.

A team of researchers tested out different diets while measuring the amount of gas being emitted from the animals. They discovered the emissions could be reduced through a combination of different food, special rations and additives. Continue reading