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Moo-ve Over Greenhouse Gas, Red Seaweed Helps Cows Reduce Methane Release

wernerdetjen via Pixabay
wernerdetjen via Pixabay

A sprinkle here, a sprinkle there. You might be thinking “salt and pepper” for your meal. But we are turning our attention to cow feed — and a seaweed additive.

It's already on the menu for local cattle... not to enhance your steak, but to reduce the methane gas that cows exude.

It’s enough of a concern that the Australian government last month put up $1 million to advance its research. But Hawaiʻi is already in the game.

The red seaweed in question is “limu kohu,” highly prized by Hawaiʻi’s aliʻi. It was called the supreme seaweed — its scientific name is Asparagopsis taxiformis.

Founder and CEO of Symbrosia Alexia Akbay told The Conversation about the promising work underway. This past month marks two years since the company moved its operations from Connecticut to Hawaiʻi Island — the Natural Energy Laboratory in Kona is now its home.

Akbay shared how cows figure into building resiliency as the world deals with climate change. It's a promise of limu kohu, to make cows pass less greenhouse gas.

Click the "Listen" button to hear this interview from The Conversation on Sept. 1, 2021.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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