News

Burger King Just Debuted a Whopper With 'Reduced Methane Emissions Beef'

"When cows fart and burp and splatter, well it ain't no laughing matter."

Courtesy of BK
Courtesy of Burger King

Starting on July 14, Burger King restaurants in a handful of big cities will offer an aptly named, limited-edition Reduced Methane Emissions Beef Whopper sandwich to celebrate its hopefully-unlimited commitment to sustainability. 

The company announced Tuesday that it's working with scientists and other experts to address "the environmental impact of beef," by giving its cows a diet that cuts up to 33% of cow toots and burps (fun fact: 90-95% of cow methane is from burps). The diet? According to this fever dream campaign video (shown below), featuring "yodel boy" Mason Ramsey and other children singing about how the world is ending (but Burger King will save us!), the secret ingredient is lemongrass. 

"We embrace the opportunity to drive meaningful progress together with our suppliers and restaurant owners, and we remain committed to continuous improvement as we grow our brands around the world," said José Cil, CEO of Burger King's holding company Restaurant Brands International Inc., in a statement on the company's website. 

The new Whopper will available at select Burger King restaurants in Miami, New York, Austin, Portland, and Los Angeles "while supplies last," according to a press release. It's exciting stuff, but before we dub the franchise Sustainability King, let's get this clear: a chain of this size and scale leaves a disturbing environmental footprint in order to produce our free Whoppers and $1 shakes, and reducing methane production by 33% earns Burger King approximately one clap. In other words, you're better off getting an Impossible Whopper right now if you're worried about how corporate farming is impacting the environment. 

Companies like BK have been feeling pressure to step up their sustainability game for a while now. In 2019, the global investor network FAIRR partnered with the sustainability non-profit organization to push major fast food companies towards reducing emissions, incorporating science-based sustainability goals, and conducting water risk assessments. Even though Burger King has talked about doing water risk assessments, only McDonalds has publicly disclosed that information, according to Forbes.

"This process identified our ten priority topics, which form the three key pillars of Food, Planet, and People & Communities," Burger King said on its website. "We will focus on these pillars as we work to make an impact in the industry and bring our sustainability vision to life."

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Ruby Anderson is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send your tips to randerson@thrillist.com.