“When cows fart and burp and splatter, well it ain’t no laughing matter—they’re releasing methane every time they do.”
Wow, what an opening line to a song. The fact that it’s a song for BK makes it even weirder. Cows are the source of their hamburgers, so portraying them as disgusting polluters in a unique twist, to say the least.
Why would BK do this? At the end of the video, this line appears on screen:
Since we’re part of the problem, we’re working to be part of the solution.
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, Burger King 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.
Fernando Machado, global chief marketing officer, says, “We are making all our findings public (see bk.com/sustainability). 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.”
Secret Ingredient: Lemongrass
Burger King worked with scientists at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México and at the University of California, Davis to test and develop its formula of adding 100 grams of lemongrass leaves to the cows’ daily diets. Preliminary tests indicate that the lemongrass leaves help the cows release less methane as they digest their food.
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, while supplies last.
According to Time, two years ago McDonald’s said it was taking steps to cut the greenhouse gases it emits. It tweaked the manner in which the beef in its Big Macs and Quarter Pounders was produced. The company said at the time that it expected the changes to prevent 150 million metric tons (165 million tons) of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere by 2030.
On the Set with the “Cows Menu” Crew
BK provides an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the production and how the crew took extra care to lessen its carbon footprint.
On a side note, I don’t know when this video was made, but from the total masklessness and close proximity of crew members, it appears to have been shot prior to la pandemia.
Whenever it was shot, it’s all so cute. Adorable even. But is it also just another stunt in BK’s long line of attention grabbers?