Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Save the world - Feed your sheep some tasty curry

Scientists say that feeding curry to sheep could help save the planet - by reducing methane emissions.

Researchers found that coriander and turmeric can reduce the amount of methane produced by sheep by up to 40%, reports The Sun.

The spices, traditionally used in curry, were found to kill the "bad" bacteria in the animal's gut while allowing the "good" bacteria to flourish.

The findings are part of a study by Newcastle University research student Mohammad Mehedi Hasan and Dr Abdul Shakoor Chaudhry.

Mr Hasan explained: "Spices have long been used safely by humans to kill bacteria and treat a variety of ailments.

"Coriander seeds, for example, are often prescribed for stomach complaints while turmeric and cloves are strong antiseptics.

"Methane is a major contributor to global warming and the slow digestive system of ruminant animals such as cows and sheep makes them a key producer of the gas.

"What my research found was that certain spices contain properties which make this digestive process more efficient so producing less waste - in this case, methane."

Latest figures held by Defra show that in 2009 there were an estimated 30 million sheep in the UK, each producing around 20 litres of methane a day.


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