- Burger King is selling a Whopper made from cows on a low-methane diet at select locations.
- The burger chain worked with scientists to find that adding 100 grams of lemongrass to a cow's diet reduces their methane emissions by a third.
- Livestock was responsible for 3.9% of U.S. global greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Burger King on Tuesday announced a hot new diet tip: 100 grams of lemongrass a day to keep the methane away.
The Restaurant Brands International chain is rolling out a Whopper patty made from cows on the low-methane diet. The limited-time offer burger will only be available at select locations in Miami, New York, Austin, Portland and Los Angeles.
Burger King worked with scientists from the Autonomous University at the State of Mexico and the University of California, Davis to tackle the environmental impact of beef. Livestock was responsible for 3.9% of U.S. global greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Worldwide, that number is roughly 14.5%, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.
On average, the lemongrass diet reduces about a third of methane emissions per day during the last three or four months of the cow's life, according to preliminary tests.
Concerns about climate change have led some consumers to reduce their overall meat intake and switch to eating meat alternatives occasionally. Nationwide, Burger King sells meatless burgers and sausage patties made by Impossible Foods. A report commissioned by the maker of plant-based meats in 2019 found that its burgers produced 89% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a patty from cow's beef.
Burger King is not the only restaurant chain looking to make its business more environmentally friendly. Starbucks pledged to become "resource positive." As part of that promise, it's adding meat alternatives to its menu and planning to eventually shift to resusable packaging. On Thursday, rival McDonald's unveiled a new flagship location at Walt Disney World Resort that generates enough renewable energy to cover all of its energy needs on a net annual basis.