A recent study in the UK found that adding oregano to cattle feed could potentially prevent them from burping, thus reducing their methane emissions. It’s no secret that the livestock industry is the largest contributor of global greenhouse gases, so while they’re doing the right thing by examining how we can fix that problem … this is far from the easiest way to go about it.

Research on the effectiveness of this method will be done by Aarhus University in cooperation with Organic Denmark, over the course of the next four years.  According to a report in Mirror, if the study shows a positive outcome, then adding oregano to cattle feed could become a widespread practice throughout the UK. Should it be successful, consumers will be reassured that “their milk, cheese, butter and yoghurt was produced in the most environmentally friendly way.”

But we have to ask if this is really the MOST “environmentally friendly” way to produce cheese, yogurt, and milk … and we do we have to wait four whole years to even get an inkling of whether or not this is effective? Also, even if the greenhouse gas emissions from cows were reduced, it still wouldn’t lessen the amount of land or water needed to feed these animals. It is estimated that it takes 27 days worth of showers just to produce one gallon of milk. So while cutting down on the cow burps might be great, until they also find a way to minimize the amount of land and water used – oh, and waste produced – we can’t really call cow products “plant-friendly.”

Well, we’re here to tell you that there’s an easier way to help the planet. You can reduce the impact of your diet – and cut our carbon footprint in half by doing one thing … choosing plant-based options over meat and dairy.

Yes, you can have your proverbial (cheese)cake — and yes, milk, butter, and yogurt — and eat it, too. There are numerous dairy-free options available that you can make at home, or buy from the store. Don’t believe us, check out 20 Mad Awesome Vegan Cheesecake Recipes20 Amazing Vegan Cheeses You Can Make at Home, and How to Make Dairy-Free Yogurt at Home.

One Green Planet believes that our global food system dominated by industrial animal agriculture is at the heart of our environmental crisis.

This destructive industry currently occupies over half of the world’s arable land resources, uses the majority of our freshwater stores, and drives greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, this system causes rampant air and water pollution, land degradation, deforestation and is pushing countless species to the brink of extinction. And yet, one in eight people still suffer from food scarcity.

“The real war against climate change is being fought on our plates, multiple times a day with every food choice we make,” says Nil Zacharias, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of One Green Planet, ”one of the biggest challenges facing our planet, and our species is that we are knowingly eating ourselves into extinction, and doing very little about it.”

As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, it is One Green Planet’s view that our food choices have the power to heal our broken food system, give species a fighting chance for survival, and pave the way for a truly sustainable future.

So, while we could wait four years – and spend who knows how much money – to see whether or not feeding cows oregano helps reduce their methane emissions, it seems absolutely irresponsible to do so when there is a much easier … and tastier, option right in front of our faces.

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Lead image source: Marc Dalmulder/Flickr