Don't think the U.S. has a monopoly on social and political correctness gone berserk, or on oddball research to answer questions that no one cares about enough to ask. Britain is right there with us. Earlier this month, global restaurant giant McDonald's announced it is embarking on a three-year study to determine the amount of methane emissions produced by the 350,000 or so cattle it buys each year in Britain to become hamburgers. Seriously. The announcement follows a request by Britain's Environmental Secretary that the entire food industry look for ways to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, which the government has made a goal in 2030. Livestock have previously been estimated to produce four percent of Britain's total carbon emissions. Needless to say, the McDonald's announcement brought a windfall of new creative material for British newspaper headline writers and illustrators. Do a Google search with the words "McDonald's" and either "flatulence" or "flatulent" and you'll see what we mean. Our favorite is the photo at the end of this commentary (but be forewarned; it is not socially correct): http://www.thepiratescove.us/2010/01/10/mcdonalds-is-not-loving-the-cow-flatulence-in-britain/ Because McDonald's is obviously so concerned about methane emissions and the environment, we have a suggestion for its next research study: With approximately 47 million customers served each day around the world, what is the environmental impact of their greenhouse gas emissions that result from eating its food?