Burger King changes cows′ diets to reduce methane output | News | DW | 14.07.2020

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Burger King changes cows' diets to reduce methane output

The fast-food chain is adding lemongrass to the diets of its cattle in a bid to cut methane emissions. The greenhouse gas is a significant contributor to global warming.

Burger King announced Tuesday that select restaurants in five US cities, New York, Miami, Portland, Los Angeles and Austin, would be serving Whoppers produced from "reduced methane emissions" beef.

The fast-food chain's efforts for a greener output stem from adding just 100 grams of lemongrass leaves to a cow's diet. By making the small addition, the cattle could could reduce their output of methane, a greenhouse gas responsible for global warming.

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Burger King methane reduction promotion

Burger King has released an advert on its new green diet for cows

Initial results from the study revealed cows produce up to 33% less methane emissions on the new diet during the last three to four months of their lives, Burger King said. The fast-food chain worked with scientists to test and develop its formula on cows' diets. 

"At Burger King, we believe that delicious, affordable, and convenient meals can also be sustainable," said global chief marketing officer Fernando Machado.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the US agriculture sector made up 9.9% of total greenhouse gas emissions from the country in 2018, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. 

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Influence on flatulence

But the fast-food outlet has said it hopes to inspire other groups to make similar moves.

"If the whole industry, from farmers, meat suppliers, and other brands join us, we can increase scale and collectively help reduce methane emissions that affect climate change," Machado said.

Last year Burger King added a vegetarian Whopper to its menu in a move to address changing tastes of customers who limit their meat intake, often for environmental reasons.

Watch video 02:47

Dieting is stressful

jsi/stb (AP, AFP)

 

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