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Burger King wants its cows to emit less gas

The burger chain will start selling Whoppers made from cattle fed a special diet that cuts its greenhouse gas emissions.
BK cow farts
Photograph courtesy of Burger King

Burger King is giving its cows lemongrass to help with their digestion.

The Miami-based burger chain said on Tuesday that some of its locations will start selling Whoppers that are made with beef fed a special diet that helps them fart and belch less often to help reduce global warming.

The company worked with scientists to develop the new diet, which adds 100 grams of lemongrass leaves to cows’ daily diet for their last four months, helps them release less gas as they digest their food.

Burger King says the formula is relatively easy to implement and cuts back on cows’ methane emissions by a third during that time.

The company is also sharing its findings with the public. “This is an open-source approach to a real problem,” Fernando Machado, global chief marketing officer for Burger King parent company Restaurant Brands International, said in a statement. “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.”

Livestock is responsible for about 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Methane is a byproduct of cows’ digestion.

To test and develop its formula, Burger King worked with Octavio Castelan, professor at the Autonomous University at the State of Mexico, and Ermias Kebreab, professor at the University of California, Davis.

Starting on Tuesday, Burger King restaurants will sell the Reduced Methane Emissions Beef Whopper made from beef sourced from cows fed that diet. The Whopper will be sold while supplies last.

And, because it is Burger King, the company has released a fun video featuring children singing and farting cows.

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