As well as being a delicious addition to pizzas and a drug dealers’ favourite ‘sub’ for cannabis, it turns out oregano could be a key ingredient in lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
A new study has revealed that feeding cows oregano could stop them burping and cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to a quarter.
According to the Mirror cows produce between 70-120kg of methane – one of the most prevalent greenhouse gases – each year.
Methane is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in terms of its greenhouse effect and agriculture contributes to around 4.5 per cent of all UK greenhouse gas emissions.
As a result, the UK government has urged framers to change their cows’ diets -adding fat or nitrate to their feed can reduce methane missions – however organic farmers cannot use these methods.
However, researchers from Aarhus University and Organic Denmark suggested that oregano could be used as a natural tool to the same effect and previous studies indicate that oregano can improve the milk’s fatty acid composition.
A four year experiment will test the effects of adding differing amounts of oregano to feed.
If trials are successful it is thought the herb could be used by conventional dairy farmers too, as oregano is known for both its high content of essential oils and its antimicrobial effect.
Senior researcher Kai Grevsen tsaid:
We hope that in the project we will have a good and balanced dialogue with consumers about the climate and cattle production.
Should the results be positive, they can be implemented on all cattle farms, conventional and organic, so there is a really large potential.
Let’s hope it pans out then…