Summer time and the living is not easy today so I thought I would give you some amusing information that I didn’t put in my Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives or my Consumer’s Dictionary Cosmetic Ingredients both published by Three Rivers/Crown.

You think you have intestinal gas, consider poor Bessie. When cows burp, the experts say, it is the equivalent to emissions from more than half a million cars on the road.

Stonyfield Farm—a US-based supplier of organic products like yogurt—began piloting a ‘Greener Cow’ effort last year. One of a number of groups researching the problem of burping, farting cows, Stonyfield is trying to reduce the output of greenhouse gasses such as methane from livestock.

Stonyfield says that it has fed cows at 15 Vermont Organic Valley farms with diets high in natural omega-3 sources like flax and grasses, a process it claims can cut saturated fats in milk and ‘re-balances’ a cow’s main stomach.

As a result of this diet plan, citing research from the University of Vermont, Stonyfield claims it has been able to reduce gas emissions from the cows by as much as 18 per cent.

And what about those slow motion creatures that secret not gas but serum? Andes Natural Skin Care says it has come up with a topical treatment using secretion from snails to treat acne as well as the disfiguring scars the lesions may cause. The company says its research shows that the snail serum has molecules, structures and cells that are very similar to the human skin. The serum is also a powerful antioxidant while also being regenerative to act on acne scars. According to Andes Natural Skin Care, the complex nature of the serum cannot be replicated under laboratory conditions, which is why the natural secretion of the snail has to be harvested in an organic manner.

If the tale of the snail doesn’t amuse you, how about chickens who are “chicken”?
When chickens are afraid, they release higher levels of hormone noradrenalin, according to research by the University of Bristol, England. The noradrenalin helps Campylobacter and Salmonella grow and spread more quickly. The results of their research, the Bristol investigators said, provides vital information to enable the control of infection in the production environment, making chicken safer and decreasing cases of food poisoning.

In my Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, I pointed out that pigs, which are very intelligent and aware become upset on their last ride to the slaughter house. The animals may be given Thorazine to calm then down. How do you make chicken less fearful when they are on their way to slaughter? Would Valium be of value? Will you be residually tranquilized when eating wings and drumsticks?