McDonalds investigates cows' asses

Posted by Emma Woollacott

In its latest attempt to show us just how much it cares about our welfare, McDonalds is to carry out a three-year study into methane emissions from cattle.

The study on 350 British farms will be carried out by independent energy consulting firm ECO2 , which will measure emissions on each farm and advise on ways to reduce them.

ECO2 will use a greenhouse gas calculator to work out just how regularly the cows are farting. Techniques for minimising methane emission include making dietary changes - no beans, presumably - and improving grazing management.

The first test results are expected in April, and the company plans to extend the initiative to other European countries.

Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, warming the atmosphere by some 23 times more than carbon dioxide. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), livestock form the largest source of methane worldwide - about 80 million metric tons per year.

MacDonalds is the world's largest user of beef, chucking 350,000 cattle into the grinders every year.