Did you know that 99 per cent of methane released by cows is not from their backsides but from their belch-sides? Well, apparently Ben & Jerry’s do. The world famous ice-cream company is bending over backwards, not backsides, to curb their dairy cows’ emissions. They are calling it Battle Against the Belch and claiming to be the first climate neutral ice-cream. Whilst carbon dioxide is thought to be the biggest contributor to climate change, methane apparently has 23 times the warming potential of CO2. If you think this is all hot air and another company milking a cheap eco-stunt, Ben & Jerry’s is investing a minimum of €2.4 million across a five year period to become Climate Neutral.
The company that has recently brought out a fairtrade ice-cream as well as one which raises money to fight Aids, has joined a climate neutral initiative developed by a consortium of 38 NGOs in the Netherlands. Their efforts also include reducing what they call their carbon hoofprint right across their manufacturing process. But their main focus is dealing with their Friesian friends, and are trying a different sort of animal fodder which helps them reduce their belching. Although cows’ gaseous exchanges are natural one could argue that human intervention in the way of mass farming and unnatural animal feed is wildly exaggerating methane emissions. In Scotland, for example, cows produce 46% of all methane emissions, so this could well be a real climate saver.