Burger King's new climate change effort: Altering cows' diet to reduce emissions
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Fast food giant Burger King announced Tuesday that it is changing the diet of some of the cows it uses to create burgers in an effort to reduce methane gas, a major contributor to climate change.  

In a Tuesday statement, Burger Kind claimed that by adding 100 grams of dried lemongrass leaves to a cow’s daily feed, the company was able to see a reduction of up to 33 percent in methane emissions in the last three to four months of a cow's life. 

“The good news is that this reduction was powered by a natural plant that grows from Mexico to India,” Burger King said in a Tuesday statement. The fast food chain said it worked with researchers from the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico and University of California-Davis to conduct research on creating the new menu for cattle.

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The company said that it is making the “Cows Menu formula” free for all beef and cattle producers to use in hopes that other farms and suppliers can test the initiative and also reduce methane emissions. 

“By working together and getting the whole industry to adopt the open source formula, we can potentially reduce methane emissions,” the company said.

“Burger King recognizes that global beef production and consumption have considerable climate impact. But we equally know that farmers and ranchers around the world care deeply for their land and their animals,” it added.

The agricultural economic sector contributes more than 9 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and methane from livestock makes up more than a quarter of the emissions from the sector, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

Burger King said that it is currently working with partners in Ireland, Austria, Mexico and Brazil to expand the initiative and perform additional tests on the use of lemongrass. 

The “reduced methane emissions beef” is set to be available for customers at Burger King locations beginning Tuesday. It will be used for the Whopper and other burgers served at select restaurants in Miami, New York, Austin, Los Angeles and Portland.

Burger King also offers the plant-based "Impossible" Whopper, which contains no meat.

The company released a video Tuesday featuring children singing a country song previewing the new initiative.

“When cows fart and burp and splatter, well it ain’t no laughing matter. They’re releasing methane every time they do, and that methane from their rear goes up to the atmosphere and pollutes our planet warming me and you,” the children sing.