Brewer’s yeast used to make beer is typically discarded once it’s no longer needed. Sometimes, though, the leftover yeast is mixed into livestock feed as a source of protein and vitamins. Now, there may be even more reason to continue this practice, according to findings by a team of scientists with the Agricultural Research Service. Laboratory results suggest that using leftover brewer’s yeast as a feed additive may benefit the environment by helping cows belch less methane into the air as a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. Although spent brewer’s yeast is sometimes used as a livestock feed additive, further cow feeding trials are necessary to fully assess its potential to reduce methane and ammonia on a farm scale, according to the researchers. Those results should give a better idea of the yeast’s potential role as part of a larger, integrated approach to making animal agriculture more environmentally sustainable.
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