Friday, December 7, 2007

Of kangaroos and cows

To put it bluntly: kangaroo farts could ease global warming. According to the article, "Thanks to special bacteria in their stomachs, kangaroo flatulence contains no methane and scientists want to transfer that bacteria to cattle and sheep who emit large quantities of the harmful gas." Mmm...tasty! (Aurora, have you heard of this yet?) It solves this dilemma, apparently:

"Fourteen per cent of emissions from all sources in Australia is from enteric methane from cattle and sheep,'' said Athol Klieve, a senior research scientist with the Queensland Government.

"And if you look at another country such as New Zealand, which has got a much higher agricultural base, they're actually up around 50 per cent,'' he said...

Even farmers who laugh at the idea of environmentally friendly kangaroo farts say that's nothing to joke about, particularly given the devastating drought Australia is suffering.

"In a tight year like a drought situation, 15 per cent would be a considerable sum,'' said farmer Michael Mitton.


But it will take researchers at least three years to isolate the bacteria, before they can even start to develop a way of transferring it to cattle and sheep.

Here's a solution: Forget about patriotism, just eat the animal already!

Another group of scientists, meanwhile, has suggested Australians should farm fewer cattle and sheep and just eat more kangaroos.

The idea is controversial, but about 20 per cent of health-conscious Australians are believed to eat the national symbol already.

"It's low in fat, it's got high protein levels it's very clean in the sense that basically it's the ultimate free range animal,'' said Peter Ampt of the University of New South Wales's institute of environmental studies.

"It doesn't get drenched, it doesn't get vaccinated, it utilises food right across the landscape, it moves around to where the food is good, so yes, it's a good food.''

It might take a while for kangaroos to become popular barbecue fare, but with concern over global warming growing in the world's driest inhabited continent, Australians could soon be ready to try almost anything to cut emissions.


Aurora said...

Mmm...tasty! (Aurora, have you heard of this yet?) It solves this dilemma, apparently

Hannah, no I haven't actually...LOL
Firstly, I ate kangaroo once and believe me, it would take some getting used to for me to make that kind of a switch.
Secondly, Australia actually has a huge supply of water (and this is very little mentioned or known but I've got the link somewhere). All its water is in the North and if we were as resourceful as the Israelis we could pipe the water down to the farming areas of the South, or move the farmers north. Australians have been lazy or ill-informed or both about this.
Australian Christians prayed for rain a couple of months ago and our dams are now 60-70 percent full! So actually our water restrictions may soon be lifted.
Finally, I don't believe that GW is man-made due to the many well-argued articles I've read by scientists who explain the phases of the planet. The graphs I've seen and the other figures. I believe it to be a political issue and one that is going to cost Australia its economy thanks to the efforts of our new prime minister in signing us up to the Kyoto hoax.

Anonymous said...

I say we load the roos up on beans. Lol!

Thanks for visiting my place and putting me on your blogroll. I've done the same. :) I can probably learn something here, since science is not my cup of tea. Therefore, I've added you to my reader too.

Merry Christmas!

Hannah said...

Glad to be of help, Tammi!

"I say we load the roos up on beans."

We could probably balance out the effect(s) of that by being *responsible* with the resources we have (good points, Aurora).

MathewK said...

Yeah i've had roo meat once, tough and stinks like hell. Haven't tried it on the barbecue, maybe it's worth a shot..

KG said...

Hi Hannah. Thanks for visiting--I've put you on the blogroll. Love the site. :-) I'm afraid Rabbit doesn't have the same standards regarding language....
As far as eating 'roo goes, after years of living in places where it was the only meat available (especially during the Wet) I learned to shoot only young ones and to cool the meat as soon as possible.
But wallabies still taste better in any case.
MK--have you tried casseroled roo? Much better.