Burger King reveals Reduced Methane Whopper from cows on special diet

Fast-food company Burger King is back with another environmentally-friendly Whopper — and unlike the Impossible Whopper, this new burger features real beef, not a plant-based product. What makes it unique? The beef is sourced from cows that were fed a unique diet intended to reduce methane emissions, one of the multiple concerns associated with raising cattle for meat.

The Whopper is Burger King's primary beef-based sandwich, one that had popular attention drawn to it when the company introduced a then-limited product called the Impossible Whopper, which featured a plant-based patty from Impossible Foods. This time around, Burger King has introduced the Reduced Methane Emissions Beef Whopper (yes, that's what it's called) as of July 14.

According to the company, the cows used for its new Whopper product are fed a unique diet that includes 100 grams of lemongrass leaves daily over the last four months of their lives. Based on testing, this dietary addition was found to cut up to 33-percent of daily methane emissions from the cattle — a greenhouse gas that contributes to the warming of our planet.

Livestock plays a major role in these greenhouse emissions, being responsible for around 14.5-percent of the global greenhouse gas production. Methane is a by-product of cow digestion, but past studies have found that various dietary additives may reduce how much methane is produced. In addition to lemongrass, seaweed has been identified as another promising option.

Burger King says the diet used is open source and pretty simple to use; in addition, the company plans to make all the findings from its experiment available to the public, potentially helping beef producers and other companies reduce the methane resulting from their products. The new Whopper is available in certain markets, including LA, Portland, New York, Miami, and Austin.