Burger King modified the diet of some of its cows so that they emit less gas, adding the cymbopogon grass, in an attempt to limit the contributions of cattle to climate change. The change in diet can reduce daily methane emissions by 33%, the chain said today.
The emission of methane, a by-product of bovine digestion, has become a potential obstacle to public relations for large hamburger chains.
Emissions of Greenhouse gas from the agricultural sector made up 9.9% of total U.S. emissions in 2018, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA for its acronym in English). Of that total, Methane emissions from livestock (so-called enteric fermentation) made up more than a quarter of emissions from the agricultural sector.
With a thunderous social media campaign that oscillates between vulgarity and science (with an addition of more vulgarity), Burger King is betting on the growing awareness of climate change and its responsibility to limit its own role.
According to a recent survey of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, two out of three Americans say companies have a responsibility to fight climate change. The gravitational pull of climate change is increasingly infiltrating the American political scene.
Potential customers are also reducing their meat intake for both environmental and health reasons. Burger King and the rival McDonald’s They have added meat alternatives to their menus.
Two years ago, McDonald’s said it was taking steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. He modified the meat production for his Big Macs and Quarter Pounds. The company said at the time that hoped to prevent the emission of 150 million tons of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere by 2030.
Burger King, with the collaboration of scientists from the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico and the University of California at Davis, tested and developed his formula of adding 100 grams of the herb, known for its lemon scent, to his cows’ daily diet. Preliminary tests indicate that the leaves of lemongrass help cows release less methane by digesting their feed.
Today, Burger King introduced its Whopper made from beef that reduced their methane emissions at select restaurants in Miami, New York, Austin, Portland and Los Angeles.