Reducing the burp burden: Cargill will soon sell high-tech, methane-mitigating masks for cows
In a bid to teach uncultured bovines a thing or two about manners, Cargill will soon start selling masks to cover up those unseemly cow burps. Technically it’s less about “etiquette” and more about “mitigating methane emissions,” but please allow us to pretend this development was made in service of haute heifer dinner parties. Jokes aside, the last decade has seen an increasing focus on the role that reducing livestock emissions could play in climate change. And contrary to long-held myths about these emissions coming from flatulence, 95 percent of the methane cows release is from burps and through the nose. The Cargill masks, which are somewhat elaborate in construction, utilize “a set of fans powered by solar-charged batteries” and that “sucks up the burps and traps them in a chamber with a methane-absorbing filter.” Once the filter is saturated, a chemical reaction converts the methane to CO₂ and releases it. The masks, which were initially developed by U.K. startup Zelp, will go on sale to farmers in 2022. Bloomberg has more.