In this file:
· Stop blaming cows for climate change
· UN responds to removal of ‘meat worse than oil’ tweet
· B.K.'s fart ad full of hot air
Stop blaming cows for climate change
By Chris Sullivan, MyNorthwest (WA)
July 31, 2020
Burger King stepped in a big controversy this month with its new ad campaign claiming that cow farts are to blame for climate change. The company had to pull the ad because it just isn’t true.
Burger King used 13-year-old Mason Ramsey to push the cow fart myth in the ad. Unfortunately for Burger King, most of what Ramsey sang about is wrong.
First things first: The methane produced by cows comes from the front, not the back.
“It is really the burps of these animals, the belching, that causes the methane,” said Frank Mitloeher, an air quality specialist in the animal science department at UC Davis. “That is the number one contribution of ruminant livestock.”
Mitleoher was called-in by Burger King to help the company better understand how animal methane and industrial methane are quite different.
While the methane created by cow burps is the same chemically as the methane created by extracting oil, coal, and gas, there is a huge difference in what happens with that methane when it’s released.
“The carbon in this biogenic carbon cycle of a cow is just that — a cycle,” Mitloeher said. “It is a recycled carbon. It’s not new, additional carbon.”
The methane created by cow burps disappears in 10 years and becomes carbon dioxide, which feeds the plants that the cows eat, and the cycle continues. The CO-2 created by burning fossil fuels is a new emission, not a recycled one.
That is what most people, Mitloehner told the Ag Information Network, don’t understand.
“People don’t understand the nuances, and even many scientists don’t understand the nuances,” he said.
Mitloeher said the major formulas calculating the impact of cow methane don’t tell us anything about the warming impact of this, and that needs to change.
“Methane from livestock is not just produced, it’s also destroyed at almost the same rate,” he said. “This is something that is not currently being appreciated in public policy or in the public discussion on livestock’s impact on the environment.”
Plain and simple. In the United States, the methane produced by cows is not the problem, nor are the emissions created by raising them.
“The beef sector emits 3% of all greenhouse gases,” he said. “The dairy sector emits 2% of all greenhouse gases. Then there are three sectors — transportation, energy production, and cement industry — these three combined emit 80% of all greenhouse gases.”
Myth one: cow farts. Busted. It’s burps.
Myth two: Cows are largely responsible for climate change. Busted.
UN responds to removal of ‘meat worse than oil’ tweet
Beef Central (AU)
July 30, 2020
A United Nations spokesperson has told Beef Central that its tweet stating the meat industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s biggest oil companies was withdrawn earlier this week, not because it contained misinformation, but because it did not come from a UN source.
As reported yesterday the United Nations on Thursday afternoon removed without explanation a tweet which had stated the meat industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s biggest oil companies. “Meat production contributes to the depletion of water resources & drives deforestation,” the United Nations official account tweeted.
A range of international scientists challenged the United Nations on Twitter, describing the claim as misinformation and challening the organisation to produce evidence to support its statement or remove its tweet.
The UN also accounts regular statements on its own website warning internet users against posting misinformation and unverified statements.
Yesterday afternoon (see below) the UN quietly removed the offending post from its twitter account:
UPDATE: The @UN has deleted their tweet claiming meat is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s largest oil companies. It was the appropriate thing to do. Slowly but surely, we're starting to put the toothpaste back into the tube.
11:18 PM · Jul 29, 2020
Beef Central asked the United Nations if it could indicate why it removed the tweet and whether it accepted the claim in its tweet amounted to misinformation.
In response a United Nations spokesperson overnight responded with the following statement, which denied the tweet contained misinformation:
“The material in the tweet was deleted because it did not come from a UN source,” the spokesperson said.
“This does not mean we regard it as misinformation; we simply take care to use UN sources for the information in our tweets and that did not happen with this tweet, so it was withdrawn”...
B.K.'s fart ad full of hot air
Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, Opinion
via The Durango Telegraph (CO) - 07/30/2020
Are you as tired of hypocritical companies who make millions off a product and then slam the very people who produce that commodity as I am? They butcher the cash cow and happily serve it up on a bun with a side of fries, all the while denouncing the very ranchers responsible for raising their beef.
Yes, I am talking about fast food joints –specifically Burger King and its new ad on cow farts. This marketing ploy will undoubtedly alienate a number of consumers, but will it attract more than are lost? In rural areas, probably not.
Burger King’s new marketing scheme blames cow farts for climate change, when in fact the UNFAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) states that less than 6 percent of global GHG emissions come from beef cattle. Of that, the U.S. is responsible for less than 0.5 percent, and roughly 5 percent of those gases come from cow farts. From those numbers, cow farts from American rancher-produced cattle contribute 0.025 percent of global emissions – seems like quite a stretch to pin global climate change on bovine flatulence.
But that is not really the point of the ad, is it? Such tactics are intended to play on your emotions and convince you that they are looking out for your best interests – when in fact the intention is to keep you from visiting the drive-through down the street rather than their own.
If the idea that Burger King is seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions seems a little hollow, their claims about caring for consumer health are almost laughable. Burger King’s website claims 100 percent of their meat is free from artificial colors and flavors, yet the ingredients of their so-called “healthy” Impossible Burger are water, textured wheat protein, potato protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil, natural flavors, leghemoglobin, yeast extract, salt, konjac gum, xanthan gum, soy protein isolate and a number of vitamins. Sounds all-natural to me.
Emily Gelsomin, with Harvard Health Publishing, says, “Since diets higher in saturated fat are associated with increased rates of both heart disease and premature death, (plant-based burgers) may not be the type to opt for if your ambitions are purely health-related. They are also a significant source of sodium, particularly for those on salt-restricted diets.”
Does anyone really believe they care? If the environment and consumer health were important to Burger King, it stands to reason they would reflect that in their business model and their menu. Why the big public showing, the moralizing, the blame-shifting?
If, as C.S. Lewis once said, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching,” then one’s actions outside of the spotlight define them. Highlighting their conscientiousness in this new ad appears to be nothing more than another publicity stunt with misinformation to garner attention.
Well, they got my attention, and I won’t be back.
Why have I chosen this hill to die on? I am tired of the misinformation spread against family agriculture. Someone needs to set the record straight and if not me, then who?
I don’t patronize businesses that I don’t trust, and I will not support those that continue to attack the families who produce the food, fiber and energy this country depends on.