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Monday, January 16, 2006

Planting A Big One

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?”

With lots of farting, apparently. It turns out that green plants fart. A lot.

That according to research conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, in Heidelberg, Germany. Scientists were shocked to discover that plants worldwide dispense up to 236 million tons of methane into the atmosphere every year.

For generations, scientists thought that trees and plants—flora in general—were good for the environment, because they consume harmful carbon dioxide (CO2), and emit life-giving oxygen (O2).

But now it’s clear that plants produce methane, and put the “green” into greenhouse gases. Indeed, the Planck Institute’s research rattles recent international agreements that allow countries to offset greenhouse gas emissions by planting trees as credits.

Now those calculations must be completely rethought to factor in plant methane emissions. This shows how that even the most widely accepted, long-held principles can be overturned overnight.

In my world, where I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can help people who suffer with uncontrollable gas, this line of thinking leads me back to one of my core principles: Americans are the most over-medicated population, yet also the most chronically diseased.

Conventional thinking: Plants are good for the environment. New thinking: Plants are increasing greenhouse gasses, ands contributing to global warming. Conventional thinking: take medications for stomach upset, gas, bloating, heartburn, the runs, etc.

My thinking: Eat the right amounts of the right foods, and you won’t overtax your body or otherwise insult your gastrointestinal system—which leads to cramping, discomfort, and gas.

Time will prove me right.

4 Comments:

  • ~ Anonymous Noley's Mom said …

    The problem is, no one wants to eat healthy foods. Vegetables and fruits don't taste as good as a Burger King whopper and onion rings (and boy are they rough on the digestive system). Neither are fruits and veggies as easy to prepare. In our rushed society, it's hard to eat right. So while we know what we're SUPPOSED to do, actually DOING it is the hard part. I don't see it happening and I don't see us taking less medication or farting any less anytime soon. You may be waiting a while to be proved right

     
  • ~ Anonymous Anonymous said …

    I agree with Noley's mom, pizza, coffee, beer, french fries and wings are my favorite and I would consume all of this over the healthy foods. How are we all supposed to start eating healthy when all we see day in and day out is the foods that give you bloating, gas and heartburn?

     
  • ~ Anonymous Krissi Whitt said …

    Thank you Bill Downs! At least someone out there cares enough to get the message out about our country's eating habits. It's no wonder our country is the fatest ever. We're all hooked on the b-king, mcdonalds, pizza hut and kentucky fried chicken and being laughed at all over the world because we're getting so FAT. We should all start paying attention to our eating habits or else we're going to get fatter and we'll all end up walking around smelling not so good every where we go....

     
  • ~ Anonymous Desperate11Housewife said …

    I'll never look at my garden the same way again... that was a really interesting post, Bill, keep it up!

     

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