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View Diary: Exempt small farmers from Global Warming Regulations. (81 comments)

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  •  Add fish oil (1+ / 0-)
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    the fan man

    Actually, there is already research being done on how to reduce the amount of methane in cow farts.  Apparently, small amounts of fish oil, added to the cow diet, helps.

    Specifically, including 2 percent fish oil in the diet of cattle reduces flatulence, apparently due to the omega 3 fatty acids in the oil. The study was a small one, however. The technique cut methane output of three cows by 21 percent, said Lorraine Lillis of the University College Dublin.

    •  So now they want to feed fish to cows (1+ / 0-)
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      who are already eating things other than the grass they should be eating.

    •  Not from farting (1+ / 0-)
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      the fan man

      it's belching that that is the main problem when it comes to methane. Many science articles that report on studies like this get that part wrong... a lot.

      From the EPA site:

      Livestock enteric fermentation. Among domesticated livestock, ruminant animals (cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and camels) produce significant amounts of methane as part of their normal digestive processes. In the rumen, or large fore-stomach, of these animals, microbial fermentation converts feed into products that can be digested and utilized by the animal. This microbial fermentation process, referred to as enteric fermentation, produces methane as a by-product, which can be exhaled by the animal. Methane is also produced in smaller quantities by the digestive processes of other animals, including humans, but emissions from these sources are insignificant. The U.S. inventory report provides a detailed description on methane emissions from livestock enteric fermentation and how they are estimated.

      The other main source of methane is from the actual poo as it decomposes.

      Livestock manure management. Methane is produced during the anaerobic (i.e., without oxygen) decomposition of organic material in livestock manure management systems. Liquid manure management systems, such as lagoons and holding tanks, can cause significant methane production and these systems are commonly used at larger swine and dairy operations. Manure deposited on fields and pastures, or otherwise handled in a dry form, produces insignificant amounts of methane. The U.S. inventory report provides a detailed description on methane emissions from livestock manure management and how they are estimated

    •  but fish oil (2+ / 0-)
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      marina, elizajade

      in this article in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), (17 March 2009)
      is not advised because of the depletion of fish involved.

      The combined effect of rising demand and the collapse of local fisheries is that developed countries such as the United States, Japan and members of the European Union are increasingly importing large quantities of seafood from developing countries. The proportion of fish and fish products being traded on the global market is 40% versus 5% for rice.53 This demand puts intense pressure on developing countries either to allow access of foreign fishing fleets to their coastal fishing grounds54,55 or to export their fish to foreign markets. In either case, the local markets of developing countries,53 where basic nutrition and health are challenges (such as nations in West Africa),9,56 are deprived of an important source of protein for the sake of the developed world, whose major problems are overnutrition and physical inactivity.

     17 March 2009

      The pitch against fish consumption had one unusual author, for a medical journal. The well-known Canadian nature writer Farley Mowat reviewed the analysis and decided to lend his imprimatur to the call against seafood."I'm just desperately worried about what's happening to the life in the ocean, as everybody should be who thinks about it at all," Mr. Mowat said in an interview.

      Never separate the life you live from the words you speak - Paul Wellstone

      by meralda on Tue Apr 21, 2009 at 11:39:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rec'd for making the connections (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina, meralda

        and why proposed 'solutions' aren't always that simple in terms of broad environmental effects. They can end up being robbing Peter to save Paul sorts of scenarios.  

         One of the indirect or direct effects depending on how one looks at it, on the West Coast are the ecological effects of the feed they have to eat. Much of the pellets are imported from places like South America. So whats happening? The fisheries down there are being diverted to pellet production and in some areas seeing more widespread depletion. Not only does it have ecological consequences but human consequences as well as people are seeing their own food sources strained.

        I'm not saying that fish oil shouldn't be looked at as a potential problem solver or mitigator just that without broadening that out to look at how suddenly feeding cattle oodles of fish oil would effect that broader eco-system or else the risk basically fixing one problem and creating or exacerbating problems in other places.  

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