Burger King addresses climate change by changing cows' diets

This image provided by Burger King shows a video by Burger King addressing greenhouse gas emissions. Burger King is announcing its work to help address a core industry challenge: the environmental impact of beef. To help tackle this environmental issue, the Burger King brand partnered with top scientists to develop and test a new diet for cows, which according to initial study results, on average reduces up to 33% of cows' daily methane emissions. (Burger King via AP)

Burger King is staging an intervention with its cows.

The chain has rebalanced the diet of some of the cows by adding lemon grass in a bid to limit bovine contributions to climate change. By tweaking their diet, Burger King said Tuesday that it believes it can reduce a cow's daily methane emissions by about 33%.

Cows emit methane as a by-product of their digestion, and that has become a potential public relations hurdle for major burger chains.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector made up 9.9% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Of that amount, methane emissions from livestock (called enteric fermentation) comprised more than a quarter of the emissions from the agriculture sector.

With an over-the-top social media campaign that teeters between vulgarity and science (sprinkled with more vulgarity), Burger King is banking on the heightened awareness of climate change and its responsibility to limit its own role.

According