Burger King teams up with California animal science expert after he criticizes #CowsMenu campaign


After new Burger King campaign drew backlash from the ag community, BK is now getting help from the ag community.

Frank Mitloehner, a University of California-Davis air quality Extension specialist in the department of animal science, was one of many to heap criticism of the campaign, which announced BK would begin feeding its livestock lemongrass to in an attempt to reduce emissions by 33 percent.

In a blog post on UC Davis’ website, Mitloehner first acknowledged that his colleague, Ermias Kebreab, worked on the U.S. research for the campaign and had publicly stated that results were inconclusive on whether or not lemongrass actually lead to a 33 percent reduction.

Mitloehner also pointed out that although many have found the “cow farts cause climate change” propaganda funny, it is scientifically incorrect.

“Cow flatulence might be humorous to humans, but it’s not the problem. Nearly all enteric emissions come from the front end of a cow, in the form of burps,” he wrote. “Overall, 60 percent come from belching and 40 percent manure. Not only is it factually inaccurate to suggest otherwise, it’s a bit juvenile. OK, a lot juvenile.”

Burger King took notice of Mitloehner’s rebuttals and officials from the company contacted him and expressed their surprise to his response.

He told Agweb that he then educated the officials on the facts at hand, discussed why the content was demeaning to farmers, and what mistakes should be corrected.

Mitloehner says the content he said was demeaning to farmers was removed from all TV spots, which he saw as step in the right direction. Mitloehner applauded the fast good giant for caring about climate change and emissions and says he will be working with the company in the future on its research.

“They have asked me to cooperate with them in order to infuse science-based research on the one hand and get communication out,” he said, “and check it before it reaches the masses.”