Eating Seaweed Cuts Greenhouse Gasses from Cows

Apr 25, 2022

A UK supermarket chain wants to help save the planet by feeding seaweed to its beef cattle so their burps and gas won’t send so much methane into the wind.

Yes, it’s true. Cow emissions of methane are a major contributor to climate change, many scientists say. Methane gas traps even more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Studies show that feeding cows seaweed can cut their methane emissions by 80%. The project is a three-year trial partnering with a college.

It’s not the world’s only experiment on seaweed. Scientists across the globe are studying a number of sustainable uses for seaweed. The studies range from producing high-protein food to making eco-friendly plastics. Studies are also looking into how it could be used to make clothing, or even treat acne.

“It’s one of the world’s most under-used resources,” an expert for the UN Global Compact told France 24.

A study in Holland found that using 2% of the world’s oceans to farm seaweed could provide enough protein for everyone on Earth.

That’s only for people, not cows. A separate 2019 study found that farming seaweed for the world’s cows would not be possible. That, and cows don’t seem to like the flavor of seaweed.

Photo from Public Domain

What is the central idea of the third paragraph? (Common Core RI.5.2; RI.6.2)
a. Cow emissions of methane are a major contributor to climate change.
b. Neither people nor cows enjoy the taste of seaweed.
c. The world should be farming seaweed to use as a main protein source.
d. Scientists are studying many sustainable uses for seaweed.
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