Livestock is responsible for about 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, because the animals release methane as a by-product of their digestion, according to the group of the United Nations for food and agriculture. To combat this problem, Burger King has just launched a new version of his sandwich and iconic, a “Whopper” to methane emissions reduced. For this, the chain of fast food has used the research to develop a diet cattle less polluting, reducing gas rich in methane from cows. An original strategy, but paradoxical, because diet is more healthy and more sustainable means not only a meat that is more “green”.
Put to the diet of cows to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
According to a study published in the american journal Carbon Balance and Management of greenhouse gas emissions are directly related to the phenomena of fermentation during the digestion process of livestock, but also to the modes of storage and treatment of excreta.
To meet the growing demand around the world, we raise more cows and more large ingérent a larger volume of food, which exacerbates the problem of methane emissions, in the form of flatulence or belching. Many research projects are exploring solutions to reduce the methane emissions of cattle, mainly thanks to the modification of their diet.
Burger King, aware of being part of the problem is therefore announcing a plan made from the leaf of lemon grass for his cows.
The menu at lemongrass will reduce emissions by 33%
Burger King has worked with scientists from the national autonomous University of Mexico city (Mexico) and the University of California (USA) to combat the environmental impact of the beef. According to preliminary tests, on average, the recipe diet lemon developed by researchers would reduce approximately one-third of the emissions of methane per day. Sandwiches “Whoppers” eco-responsible from this new diet of the cows are already available in the United States since Tuesday.
According to the statements of the chain of fast-food, the research has been carried out in open source, so that the rest of the agri-food industry to use these innovations.
Other initiatives to address the flatulence of cattle
Other players have opted for the new technologies to reduce methane emissions from cows. Starting from the principle that 95% of the methane emissions from cows come from the nose and mouth, a start-up, called Zelp, has devised a mask attached to the cattle that aims to reduce between 32 % and 60% of methane emissions.
A mobile application that communicates with the mask used to detect diseases early by measuring the temperature of the animal. It also has a GPS tracker and is easily. “The cow gets used to in five minutes,” assures Francisco Norris in an email to Futura. According to the creators of Zelp, if all cows in the world were equipped with this device, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be 1.5 times more important than if we were to withdraw from circulation all the cars on the planet.
We eat 3 times too much meat
The food industry must continue to innovate to improve the production of meat, because it has been singled out for its large environmental footprint. A small increase in the consumption of meat without improved practices in production would put in danger (according to a report from Eat Lancet) the objectives of the fight against global warming to keep the increase below 2°C.
In addition to the models of production, the amount of consumption of meat must be questioned, to finally move to a sustainable food. According to the same report, in the world, we eat three times too much meat in the recommendations for a balanced diet. In comparison, in the United States, consumers eat up to 7 times of too much meat of cow… logic would dictate, therefore, that we may go to a decrease in the production of meat to go to a balanced diet and sustainable.