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On Tuesday, Burger King, in a seeming attempt to seem as politically correct as possible, issued a tweet asserting that they were feeding their cows lemongrass in their diet so methane emissions from cow farts leading to climate change would be reduced.
Burger King tweeted, “cow farts & burps are no laughing matter. they release methane, contributing to climate change. that’s why we’re working to change our cows’ diet by adding lemongrass to reduce their emissions by approximately 33%.”
cow farts & burps are no laughing matter. they release methane, contributing to climate change. that’s why we’re working to change our cows’ diet by adding lemongrass to reduce their emissions by approximately 33%. learn about our ongoing study: https://t.co/kPCXpjfbGL #CowsMenu pic.twitter.com/DnmF8gVVL0
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) July 14, 2020
Burger King linked to a site from its parent company, Restaurant Brands International, which also owns the restaurant chains Tim Hortons and Popeyes, in which the site stated:
Livestock is responsible for 14.5% of all human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and beef production accounts for 41% of those emissions …
Cows have a complex digestive system consisting of four stomachs, which enables them to eat and digest food that we cannot – such as grass – through a process called enteric fermentation. As the cows digest their feed, they produce a lot of methane. This greenhouse gas is released every time the cows burp and fart the methane gas out. Methane is considered a high contributor to global warming, making it a key area for us to tackle in pursuit of the 2016 Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. …
We teamed up with top level scientists in the US and Mexico to study different herbs, like chamomile, cosmos bipinnatus and lemongrass, in order to find a solution that could potentially benefit the environment and the millions of people that simply love meat. As a result, we found that by adding 100 grams of dried lemongrass leaves to the cows’ daily feed, we were able to see a reduction of up to 33% on average of methane emissions during the period the diet was fed (the last three-to-four months of the cow’s life in the case of our research).
In the “frequently asked questions” document appended to the “Green New Deal” proposal espoused by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (R-NY), there was this section dealing with “farting cows”:
We are calling for a full transition o fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases. Anyone who has read the resolution sees that we spell this out through a plan that calls for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from every sector of the economy. Simply banning fossil fuels immediately won’t build the new economy to replace it – this is the plan to build that new economy and spells out how to do it technically. We do this through a huge mobilization to create the renewable energy economy as fast as possible. We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.
Ocasio-Cortez later blamed a staffer for the document, protesting, “I definitely had a staffer that had a very bad day at work.”