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The Future of Cow Farts and Climate Change – The Meaning of Methane

Ujwal Arkalgud, EVP & Group Director at Lux Research

Ujwal Arkalgud

EVP & Group Director, Anthropology

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Jason Partridge photo

Jason Partridge

VP, Client Success

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Welcome to “Why Meaning Matters”—a Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

Erin, Jason and Ujwal have tackled some heavy topics up to this point but in today’s episode of Why Meaning Matters, they discuss the topic to end all topics: Cow farts. Join giggling children everywhere as they dive into the meaning and value we place on methane and climate change.

Consumers have been led to believe that grass-fed tastes better, is better for your health and is better for the environment, often paying a hefty premium for grass-fed products. As it turns out, that’s only partially true.

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Erin, Jason and Ujwal have tackled some heavy topics up to this point but in today’s episode of Why Meaning Matters, they discuss the topic to end all topics: Cow farts. Join giggling children everywhere as they dive into the meaning and value we place on methane and climate change.

Consumers have been led to believe that grass-fed tastes better, is better for your health and is better for the environment, often paying a hefty premium for grass-fed products. As it turns out, that’s only partially true.

Welcome to Why Meaning Matters. A Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

What we’re now discovering is a grass diet promotes increased methane gas production; a huge problem from an environmental justice and climate change standpoint.

UJWAL [00:04:31] “So if you’re one of those people that’s trying to be environmentally sustainable, suddenly one discovers that, ‘Hey, all this symbolic capital, all this symbolic currency that we had thrown towards grass-fed, we’re taking some of that back and we’re checking it back towards grains.”

There is some truth, and a gourmet chef will agree, grass-fed tastes better. But, as flavor and animal welfare remain culturally meaningful, the meaning of methane is becoming more important to consumers at a very fast rate.

JASON [00:09:05] “So, as this becomes more and more kind of dominant in culture and more people become aware of it, does this shape a new benefit? Does this shape a new reason to believe in a brand or a product because they are ahead of the curve in solving for this [methane] problem, which separates them from all the other beef products that are on the market?”

According to MotivBase research, culturally, cows and beef consumption aren’t going anywhere. So, what does the future of farming look like?

UJWAL [00:09:54] “I think Erin, the key here is where we’re headed toward, and this is already happening from a technology standpoint, we’re headed towards carbon-neutral farms.”

And for the individual consumer who is looking to have an impact the approach can be similar. For example, composting is one way to influence the environmental outcome.

UJWAL [00:12:12] “So a very direct relationship there in terms of what I do in my home and what the farm does because it’s pretty much the same thing in a way.”

Next week on Why Meaning Matters, we open wide to explore the meaning of healthy teeth and oral health

Why Meaning Matters is a podcast produced by Story Studio Network and iContact Productions for MotivBase- Decoding implicit meaning behind what people talk about.

If you want to contribute to the conversation, make sure you drop us an email at hello [at] storystudionetwork [dot] com. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to SHARE it, RATE it, and SUBSCRIBE to the show!

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