Committed to the simple principle of doing what’s right, as one of the world’s largest and fastest growing quick service restaurants, Burger King will work to help address a core industry challenge: the environmental impact of beef.
According to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock is responsible for approximately 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cows release methane, a greenhouse gas that traps the sun's heat and warms the planet, as a by-product of their digestion.
To help tackle this environmental issue, the Burger King brand partnered with top scientists to develop and test a new diet for cows, which according to initial study results, reduces up to 33% per day, on average, of cows' daily methane emissions during the last three to four months of their lives.
The formula for this new diet is open source and fairly simple to implement. Preliminary tests suggest that adding 100 grams of lemongrass leaves to the cows’ daily veterinary prescribed diet during their last four months, helps them release less methane as they digest their food.
"This initiative is part of our Restaurant Brands for Good framework. At Burger King, we believe that delicious, affordable, and convenient meals can also be sustainable,” said Fernando Machado, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Restaurant Brands International. “We are making all our findings public. This an open source approach to a real problem. 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.”
To test and develop the formula, the brand collaborated with globally renowned scientists, Octavio Castelan, Ph.D, Professor at the Autonomous University at the State of Mexico and Ermias Kebreab, Ph.D, Professor at the University of California, Davis throughout the process.
“The Burger King brand has taken the right step to initiate mitigation of enteric fermentation methane emissions originating from the beef cattle industry showing the path to follow by other companies in the food sector,” said Octavio Castelan, PhD, Professor at the Autonomous University at the State of Mexico.
Starting on July 14, select Burger King restaurants in Miami, New York, Austin, Portland, and Los Angeles will offer the Reduced Methane Emissions Beef Whopper sandwich, made with beef sourced from cows that emit reduced methane, while supplies last.
Source: Burger King