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Brief Published: 28 Jul 2020

Burger King Makes New Whoppers from Reduced-Methane Cows

Burger King’s new Whopper is made from cows that produce 33% less methane (a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming) than standard cattle, thanks to a new diet incorporating lemongrass. The burgers were released in several branches in Miami, New York, Austin, Portland and Los Angeles on July 14.

The fast-food giant claims the lemongrass diet, developed for Burger King by researchers at the Autonomous University at the State of Mexico and the University of California, reduces the amount of flatulence produced by the cows in the last three to four months of their lives. The diet research and formula have been made publicly available, with the hope of inspiring change across the industry. 

Burger King’s chief marketing officer Fernando Machado said: "It's not really rocket science. Adding 100g of lemongrass can have a significant impact in terms of greenhouse emissions." However, the move has received some backlash from US scientists, who claim the change would only decrease methane emissions by 3% – significantly lower than Burger King’s claim.

Although not a perfect solution, it’s a step in the right direction for the chain, which has acknowledged the environmental impact of its practices and is seeking ways to climate-proof its products. This type of innovation is likely to appeal to consumers looking to switch up their diet for planetary wellness – see The Post-Vegan Opportunity, Post-Pandemic Food Labelling and How Soil Will Save the World for more.

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