Episode 125: Chem-moo-stry

Porthole cow.

What happens when cows swallow grass? With porthole cows, you can take a look yourself! Image courtesy of Flickr user twbuckner.

Over a billion cows are currently grazing on lands across the world, but what do we actually know about them? They're big. They moo. They give us milk. But what else? On today's show Distillations is answering some long-standing questions about cattle. First, we find out why the effects of dairy are nonexistent for some and unbearable for others. Then, producer Zoe Sullivan takes us to a research farm at the University of Wisconsin where scientists are exploring the mechanisms of cow digestion—with a little help from the clear, removable "portholes" implanted into its research cows.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:41 Introduction
01:31 Lactose Intolerance
05:40 Porthole Cows
12:50 Closing Credits


Special thanks to Sarah Hunter for researching this show. 

Our theme music is composed by Dave Kaufman. Additional music from Music Alley includes "Dustbowl Cowboy," by Troy Sinister and the Cemetery Men. Audio from the 1948 informational film "Triple Goodness: Foremost Dairies," courtesy of the Prelinger Archives.

Image courtesy of Flickr user twbuckner.

Posted In: History | Medicine | Society

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