Well okay, my post title is tilted just slightly toward exaggeration…but some day, with a bit of luck!, it may become a reality, at least in part. First, though, a bit of background.
This morning a blog reader (thanks, LZ!) sent me the link to an article published the day after my 49th birthday in “The Independent” on a fascinating research project on ruminant belching (no kidding) carried out recently at Newcastle University.
In a nutshell, whenever cows, goats and sheep burp, quite a large amount of methane (=one of the bad greenhouse gases) gets released into the atmosphere. I read that all the ruminant animals in the world emit 80 million metric tons of methane every year. I mean, holy…cow! I also read that methane is 21 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Clearly, then, it would be a very good thing if we could decrease the emission of this gas…And that is exactly the point of this interesting article…
The Newcastle scientists discovered, in fact, that the burped production of methane could be decreased using curry spices. How simple is that??? More specifically, they found that these spices killed the methane-producing “bad” bacteria in the gut, which increased the levels of “good” bacteria. Coriander, for example, reduced methane emissions by 40%, and turmeric by 30%. Oh I cannot tell you how much this bit of news tickled me as I was driving to work and composing “enteric fermentation” posts in my head…and it still tickles me… 😉
Seriously, now. These results could turn out to be vital for many areas of the world, since curry spices are cheap, easily available and very good substitutes for antibiotics (=the use of antibiotics for non-medicinal purposes was banned in the European Union in January of 2006: http://tinyurl.com/2e65cte)…
Oh, duuuh, I almost forgot. Here is the link to the above-mentioned “Independent” article, which is a highly recommended read…both fun and informative (oh, and by the way, don’t forget to check out that cow’s humongous tongue…mamma mia! Hmmm, after writing that, now I KNOW that 99.9 % of you are going to click on the following link, teehee): http://tinyurl.com/2voucal Enjoy! 😀
My code word is “whoa” and I mean to say… “Stop!” What effect will this major reduction in methane do to the climate? Is sheep meth better or worse than human meth? And I loved your puns sprinkled about like tumeric in the article… very interesting info!
There’s going to be a lot of surprised restaurant owners – ‘Table for…’, ‘Two hundred sheep please.’ ;D