It all has to do with where the cow was milked. "Organic milk often has to travel thousands of miles to reach distribution points," says Dean Sommer, a cheese and food technologist at the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin. To survive the journey and leave time to spare in the fridge, farmers pasteurize organic milk at higher temperatures than conventional milk.
Remember those cows who seemed to align themselves with the magnetic poles while grazing? Turns out the earth might not be the only thing prompting the cows' positioning. The same researchers who studied Google map images to draw their earlier conclusion have found that power lines, too, seem to cause the bovines to stand facing particular directions.
Also in today's links: phantom pain in a phantom limb, a new player in Internet movies, and more.
Poo is powerful stuff. That's cow poo to be exact, though scientists say other animals' waste could also be used as an environmentally friendly energy source. 121 facilities in the U.S. are already turning their manure into electricity, and a report from the university of Texas says that the total potential across the country from existing cows could potentially serve 3% of our national energy use. And, a new bill was recently proposed asking for tax incentives for even more biogas production. This poo power stuff is really catching on.
If you're still finding it hard to visualize the transition from cow pies to flickering light bulbs, we delve into the poo-power basics here in graphic exposition.
Wonder animal tastes good, provides milk, lubricates your engine
By M. FarbmanPosted 02.09.2009 at 11:00 am 5 Comments
A company has developed an engine oil made from beef tallow, which is currently sold for two- and four-cycle engines and auto racing, but is pending approval for use in cars. I'm curious, though, how beef tallow is otherwise used or disposed of. If you know, post a comment below.
Also in today's links: communities plot their futures, and how we know your best judgment prompted you to read this. Plus, amazing pictures.
Happy farmers name their cows. Why? Because new research out of Newcastle University shows cows with names produce more milk than those without.
The scientists surveyed 516 UK dairy farmers, looking at human interaction with the dairy cattle along with milk productivity. The findings provide good news for dairy farmers. According to the researchers, farms with named cows have a higher milk production than those where cattle are herded as a large group. By simply naming their cows, dairy farmers can increase their milk yield by nearly 500 pints a year.
In a lush pasture near Buenos Aires, this cow and its compatriots are digesting important information: how much methane—a greenhouse gas 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide—is released by the country's 55 million bovines. Researchers from Argentina's National Institute of Agricultural Technology connected inflatable tanks to the cows' first stomach, where methane is made, through a small hole between their ribs.
Lost in drive-by country? Look for a cow. It will probably be pointing north—or south.
After analyzing satellite photos of 8,000 cows in 308 different locations, German scientists have found that the milk-makers usually confront the world in a north-south direction. This preference isn’t an indication of the cows sunning themselves, researchers say—it shows that they can sense the Earth’s magnetic field.
Cow dung could generate enough electricity for millions of homes and offices, and considerably cut down on greenhouse gases
By Jaya JiwatramPosted 07.28.2008 at 4:03 pm 7 Comments
It's mostly bad news when it gets under your shoes, but scientists now believe cow dung may be more of a blessing in disguise than previously believed. According to a team at the University of Texas Austin, if the manure from hundreds of millions of livestock in the U.S. were to go through anaerobic digestion—a fermentation process similar to one to create compost—it could turn into an energy-rich biogas. The gas would be efficient enough to produce 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity; that could meet about 3 percent of North America's entire consumption needs.