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BK To Feed Cattle Lemongrass, Positive Or No?


Oct 21, 2013
tweet from Burger King today - I'm suspicious that just adding one substance to the diet can decrease emissions by 33% - that seems disproportionate.

Lemongrass is an herb, probably cows would eat it anyway, but are they just going to be fed the plant? Or will it be some extract/lemongrass oil added to their grain diet? And then there was this study,
The scope for manipulating the polyunsaturated fatty acid content of beef: a review which seems to imply that grass fed beef is higher in PUFA?

...The quantity and composition of PUFA-BHP in beef is very much dependent on the supply of PUFA in the diet, and associated dietary and animal factors (e.g., feeding behavior and rumen conditions) which influence the degree of biohydrogenation [37]

...Cattle feeding practices most frequently associated with increased proportions of PUFA in beef, particularly n-3 fatty acids, are grazing or feeding preserved forages [36, 52]. From a human nutrition perspective, grazing or feeding cattle forages compared to concentrate is appealing as it reduces the fat content of beef and provides several potential improvements in beef fatty acid composition. Forage finishing can increase the percentage of n-3 fatty acids [53], reduce the n-6 to n-3 ratio, reduce the SFA/PUFA ratio, and increase the percentages of specific PUFA-BHP such as VA and RA [23].

...Beyond strategies to increase amounts of UFA in beef by feeding forage, a more direct possibility can be through supplementing diets with PUFA rich oils or oilseeds. Nevertheless, this dietary strategy is not without difficulty because of the high efficiency of microbial biohydrogenation of PUFA in the rumen, and the influence of diet on routes of biohydrogenation. Supplementing PUFA in cattle diets has, therefore, frequently led to only minor changes in the PUFA or PUFA-BHP content of beef. For example, Gonzalez et al. [56] found very limited accumulation of PUFA or PUFA-BHP in beef when adding 4.5% sunflower, linseed or soybean oil to a concentrate-based diet, and concluded finding ways to protect PUFA from ruminal biohydrogenation would be an important step to increase the PUFA content of beef.

There was also a study done with cottonseed and cattle, Methane mitigation and ruminal fermentation changes in cows fed cottonseed and vitamin E, looking for the same effects.

...The inhibitory effect of lipids on enteric methane emissions has been widely reported in studies, although the extent of inhibition appears to be variable (Brask et al., 2013; Grainger and Beauchemin, 2011). Several mechanisms have been recognized for their inhibitory effects of lipids on methane emissions. Lipids inhibit methanogenesis by reducing the metabolic activity and the numbers of ruminal methanogens and protozoa.

...Lipids are not fermented in the rumen, and, thus, they do not produce a surplus of free hydrogen. Among the SCFA, acetate production releases the highest amount of ruminal free hydrogen; therefore, by decreasing the acetate production, the free hydrogen concentration will be reduced. Consequently, methane production could decline directly, either by reducing the methanogen numbers and/or activity - or indirectly - by production and/or concentration of less hydrogen, when higher cottonseed levels are included in the diets.
Isn't Ruminal Fermentation the very basis of what makes beef healthy? So it looks like BK is going to high-PUFA beef, for the environment of course.

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