Better Diet, Better Microbiome, Better Health
January 4, 2018
Taxing Cows to Lower Greenhouse Gases
March 11, 2018
Methane

Big Bets On Red Meat –
A Methane Nose in Space

It can’t be easy to measure methane gas on earth – from miles above the planet’s surface. But the potential value of such measurement is significant. Since the consumption of red meat is increasing world-wide, it is important for some investors and governments to track today’s cow methane odor to ascertain tomorrow’s steak costs. Measuring methane with a series of geosychronous satellites, and calculating herd-size by analyzing the data by high-process computers informs environmentalists, governments, stock traders and commodity brokers about upcoming steak prices.

California-based Bluefield Technologies plans to launch a flock of satellites for such measurements. The company believes that its methane-sensing satellite detectors can improve speed and effectiveness in commodity trading, catch oil and gas leaks, and monitor climate change.

Methane is produced by bacteria as a cow’s stomach breaks down food, and the amount of methane gas can predict herd sizes and exact locations, while providing near-real-time data that affects meat price fluctuations and the cost of feed-stock. “You can see the full life-cycle of a cow,” says Yotam Ariel, found and CEO of Bluefield. “You can index the whole beef landscape in China as it changes daily, and see the cycle long before the government reports.”

Since cattle futures are the most heavily traded livestock derivative on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, well-informed traders can use timely information for successful trading.

While Bluefield is a few years away from deploying its convoy of methane-sniffing satellites, a methane sensor is already located on the international space station.

There are two key items to be learned from this development. First, global proliferation of red meat is increasing substantially, even as U.S. consumption may be declining; and second, that money, and red meat commodities, may have a new smell: the odor of flatulence.

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