To prevent cows from belching methane, the meat industry is experimenting with adding seaweed to their feed. But harvesters of Asparagopsis, the edible red algae that prevents the greenhouse gas from forming in bovine bellies, may struggle to meet climbing demand. One Australian startup, Rumin8 Ltd., is offering a synthetic alternative that mimics seaweed’s effects.
Methane is the second-largest cause of global warming, and livestock contribute an estimated 32% of emissions generated from human behavior. Just counting the 1.5 billion cows raised for meat globally, that’s 231 billion pounds of methane each year. Giving cows seaweed in their feed could cut 98% of their methane emissions, according to one study.