Meat producers are increasingly feeling pressure from an ecological and economic standpoint to decrease livestock emissions.
In order to meet the 2-degree limit on increases in global temperature as mandated by the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, “the agricultural sector must reduce non-CO2 emissions by 1 gigatonne per year by 2030,” Bloomberg reported. Additionally, sustainable investors are looking to fund low-emission productions.
Enteric fermentation, the digestive process of livestock, accounts for 22 percent of all U.S. methane emissions, and their manure adds 8 percent more, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Though many are in agreement that reducing emissions is important, the best way to go about it is still unclear. Cargill, Inc. is using “domed lagoons to capture some of the methane released from biodegrading cow manure,” and Dannon found that adding Omega-3 fatty acids to its cows’ diet reduced methane emissions by up to 30 percent.