Drive-in fast-food restaurant chain Sonic has recently made the decision to add two healthier and more environmentally friendly burger options to their menu. The change came this past Monday, March 5, and is a huge deal to environmentalists everywhere.
It is no secret that global warming is the biggest issue facing our planet right now, although some people blatantly choose to believe that it does not exist. According to research, “greenhouse gases from human activities are the most significant driver of observed climate change since the mid-20th century." It is our job, as inhabitants of this planet, to do all we can to make sure that it stays around for as long as possible. Our way of living is draining the life out of Earth. People need to stop putting off the issue for the next generation to handle and enact change before it is too late to act.
These new blended burgers contain 25 percent mushroom to reduce the amount of hamburger used in the Sonic restaurants. According to the The New Food Economy, “it takes 1,800 times less water to raise a pound of mushrooms as a pound of beef."
Sonic Drive-In has refrained from publicly tying their choice to include the blended burgers to global warming. Instead, Sonic advertised them by saying, “eating the burger will get all this flavor but ‘none of the guilt.'” However, Sonic refrains from saying if this reduction of guilt will be due to the decrease in calorie intake or the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Although I wish the drive to save our planet was as strong as the drive to cut a few calories, this is an extremely smart way to advertise the blended burger. Ultimately, the reason why people choose to eat this burger is not as important as the change it is going to cause for our planet.
Many school cafeterias have jumped on the bandwagon of replacing their all-meat burgers with blended burgers, including UConn. However, the response to the change was less than positive. One UConn student reacted by saying, “You get your hopes up grabbing the burger, but when you bite into it, you are completely let down by the taste and texture of mushroom." Most students complained about the lack of notice that came along with the change, and a lot of students said they would prefer having the option for the blended burgers as well as regular all-beef burgers. It seems selfish that the flavor of our dinner is more important to people than saving our planet.
This lack of interest appears to stem from a shortage of knowledge about what is really happening to our planet. According to the World Resources Institute, “if 30 percent of the beef in every burger in America were replaced by mushrooms, it would reduce greenhouse emissions by the same amount as taking 2.3 million vehicles off of our roads." Given the circumstances, the two choices we have as inhabitants of Earth are very clear. We can either make the minimal sacrifice of adding mushrooms to our burgers to reduce the amount of hamburger needed, or we can continue eating as much hamburger as we are whilst slowly killing the place we live. Hopefully, the choice seems as clear to you as it does to me.
Kaitlyn Pierce is a staff columnist for The Daily Campus. She can be reached be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.