On an aside, don't you just love the picture of the cute, healthy looking cows roaming freely in a grass field? Here's a little 411 - unless you buy free range, grass-fed beef, these are the living conditions of the cows you're eating, whether you buy them from a fast food chain or your local grocery store.
- Fast food chain McDonald's is to investigate the methane produced by cattle used for its burger meat as part of a project to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions
The chain, which uses beef from 350,000 cattle a year and is one of Europe's largest beef buyers, has launched a study into emissions from cattle on 350 farms across Britain.
Gas produced by flatulent livestock accounts for four per cent of Britain's total carbon emissions and is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse agent.
McDonald's believes it can use the results of its study, the first of which are due in April, to help suppliers reduce methane through changes to farming practices.
It is also thought the move will help the chain's efforts to reposition itself as a socially responsible corporation.
Hilary Benn, the environment secretary, has already called for the food industry to look at ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"We have been working successfully for some time now to reduce carbon emissions in many areas of our business," said Steve Easterbrook, chief executive of McDonald's UK.
"We are very excited by the development of this ground breaking project which we are piloting in the UK and which will help drive further reductions in our beef supply chain. At the same time it should also deliver real financial benefits to the farmer."
It will be the first project of its kind that can provide accurate data from working farms, and has been developed with the help of energy audit consultancy, E-CO2 Project.
“There has been a lot of discussion and speculation about the greenhouse gas emissions associated with livestock production," said Peter Darlington, a Director of The Eco2 Project.
"This model will for the first time bring transparent data from real farms to accurately inform that debate."
McDonald's buys beef from more than 16,000 British and Irish farmers.