One of the nation’s largest burger chains quickly dropped its recently-released commercial targeting the cattle industry. Why the change? They figured out their ditty was out of tune.
For those of you who missed it, Burger King launched a commercial recently featuring kids dressed like cowboys and cowgirls, singing “meth-aa-aa-aane, meth-aa-aa-aane,” with pots of lemongrass on their heads. Why? Because Burger King hedged it’s latest marketing gimmick on unpublished research by the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico that “discovered” lemongrass reduced methane emissions by 33 percent. When the company jumped on the bandwagon of this “groundbreaking” research it actually jumped the gun and became yet another victim of one of the biggest hoaxes and false claims of the cattle industry. To make it worse, they planned to capitalize on this misinformation in the Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Portland markets with a specialized burger labeled “Reduced Methane Emissions Beef.” It was all a marketing ploy, just like the fake burger-like Impossible Whopper.
Bill and I saw the commercial when it debuted. He asked me what we were watching and accused me of changing the channel. At the end of the two-minute ad, Bill looked at me and said, “What did we just watch?” I admitted I wasn’t really too sure, but it wasn’t funny or cute.
We, apparently, were not the only ones who were not fans of the commercial. Agricultural organizations, agricultural scholars, farmers and ranchers, and even a few lawmakers, quickly defended the cattle industry with facts, figures and science.
According to Agweb.com, comments from Frank Mitloehner, University of California-Davis Air Quality Extension Specialist, Department of Animal Science, prompted officials from the fast-food chain to contact him. Mitloehner stated he “educated them on the facts, and they made several changes.”
“They took content out that was demeaning to farmers….and they pulled the content from all TV stations,” Mitloehner told Agweb. “So, to me, that is very positive and it is indicative that they ‘get it’ – that the mistake was made and that it needs to be corrected.”
Mitloehner went on to say he was asked by Burger King to “cooperate with them in order to infuse science-based research on the one hand and get communication out – and check it before it reaches the masses.”
I hope they listen to what Mitloehner has to say, as well as others who truly are experts. I’ve only seen the full commercial once on TV and the smaller blurbs about the company’s campaign to reduce methane have disappeared from the airways as well. Maybe BK got the hint.
Cattle and agriculture are not the causes of the world’s environmental problems, people are.
A study released in February states humans are responsible for more methane releases than previously thought. The study, published by the publication Nature, states both natural- and human-released methane emissions are responsible for about a quarter of global warming, and the human contribution is about 40 higher than previously thought.
With the world population estimated at 7.8 billion, that’s a lot of methane.
Maybe people should eat more lemongrass.
Julie Turner-Crawford is a native of Dallas County, Mo., where she grew up on her family’s farm. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Julie, call 1-866-532-1960 or by email at [email protected]