Nov. 1, 2021

Sea Forest's seaweed to stop cows burping

Today’s episode with Sam Elsom from Sea Forest continues our discussion on sustainable protein - can we have our steak and eat it too? 

We all know that our obsession with meat is not sustainable. The livestock sector accounts for around 15% of all emissions and in Australia alone we eat 120kg of meat per person per annum (the equivalent of eating Dwayne the Rock Johnson in steaks and sausages)! 

So far we’ve discussed plant based meat with Nick Hazell from V2Foods and cultured meat with the co-founders of Vow but what about carbon neutral steaks? 

Sam Elsom from Sea Forest grows a unique type of seaweed called asparagopsis. It’s native to Australia and an Australian researcher, Professor Rocky De Nys discovered that when you feed it to ruminants (i.e. cows, sheep and even giraffes!) it eliminates the methane they emit when burping. 

In this episode we cover: 

  • How we discovered that seaweed can actually stop cows burping
  • How the seaweed supplement is fed to the cows, do they like it and does it have any impacts on their health? 
  • How asparagopsis could result in a carbon neutral steak future
  • Why Sam went from working in fashion for some leading brands to now running a seaweed business in beautiful Tasmania, Australia 

Sam is super passionate about this sector and rightly so - if just 10% of the world’s livestock producers adopted the technology we’ll be talking about today, that would be like taking 100 million cars off the road. 

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Music by the late, great Nick Weaver

Production by our hero Mark Spencer from Here.Media

Socials by the legend Rebecca Sather Jenkins


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About the podcast

Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity. The consequences are so dire that the media usually focuses on the negative and many of us have no idea where to begin.

To flip the script, clean tech experts Alex McIntosh and Nick Zeltzer host A Positive Climate, an uplifting podcast focused on ways to tackle climate change.

If you want to be inspired by interviews with some of Australia’s most innovative people, if you want to learn a lot (and laugh a little) and if you want a way to leave your climate related existential crises at bay, this podcast is for you.

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