From left: A WWF promotion leader poses with representatives of It Balls -shibuya bar-, GOOD MUNCHIES and Cafe & Dining hanami in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: CHINAMI TAKEICHI

'Earth Burger' project launched in Tokyo

By Chinami Takeichi

Wildlife conservation NGO World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has launched a project called “Earth Burger,” where environmentally friendly hamburgers are sold in local burger shops to raise awareness toward protecting our forests.

These “Earth Burgers” greatly contribute to forest preservation in both the process of being made and the process of being sold. Firstly, the buns are baked using sustainable palm oil that is certified by the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). Behind the production of palm oil used in many hamburgers lies the harsh realities of deforestation and labor exploitation. Burgers that are qualified as “Earth Burgers” use either sustainable palm oil or butter as shortening.


“Earth Burgers” use not only palm oil but also beef whose production is eco-friendly. The burgers use beef from Japan, the United States, Canada and New Zealand, as an alternative to Australian beef that comes from cattle raised on land that takes away the habitats of koalas and other animals.

The burgers also use special paper wrappers and toothpicks with FSC certification. When customers buy a burger, 100 yen per burger automatically goes to a fund to be used for forest preservation.

As of now, there are 20 stores around Japan that have partnered with WWF to sell “Earth Burgers” in their stores. Owners of three shops, Cafe & Dining hanami, GOOD MUNCHIES, and It Balls -shibuya bar- displayed their burgers in Tokyo on Wednesday. They emphasized that with just a small effort, burgers can be both tasty and helpful toward protecting the environment.

WWF also hopes to gather attention and raise awareness among major fast food chains through their project. On their website, they have a forum where people can send their own messages to places like MOS Burger and Lotteria, encouraging them to use more eco-friendly ingredients.

For those interested, you can customize your own message at

The “Earth Burger” campaign is being held until March 31.

© Japan Today

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Looking forward to chewing on an ア-ス burger at It-balls...

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A step in the right direction. More vegan and vegetarian options would be better for the earth of course, but that's quite a thing to ask of a country like Japan (actually for most countries and people). Anything to help at this point!

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Nothing is written in English , if we go to the link. WHY ???

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Vignatius, just replace the ".jp" with ".com". ".jp" is a japanese extension.

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as an alternative to Australian beef that comes from cattle raised on land

One catch,

Pasture raised grass fed meat is much healthier than stockade raised grain fed meat.

I'll stick with the healthy stuff thanks.

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Pasture raised grass fed meat is much healthier than stockade raised grain fed meat.

I'll stick with the healthy stuff thanks.

Nonsense. Prove it.

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Nonsense. Prove it.

Grass is green, grain is yellowish brown. Everyone knows green is healthier silly.

In all seriousness, a quick google search delivers the following results:

Looks like the difference is minimal.

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Raising cattle for meat is extremely wasteful and environmentally destructive!

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This article incorrectly implies that a burger made from Australian beef comes from deforested land, and makes the erroneous suggestion that forest protection is the only environmental indicator of food production.  


Meanwhile Australian beef is for the most part produced on native grasslands and Australian cattle farmers work with all stakeholders - including WWF - as part of our commitment to maintaining the natural environment – with active projects across a whole host of areas such as greenhouse gas, water use, biodiversity and healthy grasslands.


While there is some land clearing in Australia for a variety of agricultural, industrial and residential purposes, all Australian states have legislation to prevent widespread clearing and offer protection for native animal species including koalas. 

Many Australian farmers also proactively participate in additional programs that protect wildlife, and engage in carbon and biodiversity markets which both protect and add trees to the landscape.


More widely, the Australian Beef industry has a very strong track record on sustainability. We are the only beef exporting nation to have set an industry goal of carbon neutrality (by 2030) and we have reduced water consumption by 65% since 1980. Just last week we launched the Japanese language version of our ‘Australian Beef Sustainability Framework’, which outlines the many ways our industry is working to improve our ecological footprint and animal welfare outcomes. WWF were consulted during the production of this framework. 


It is extremely disappointing that WWF Japan have chosen to single out and discredit Australian Beef when we are working constructively with WWF globally on sustainable production. We welcome the opportunity to work in a similarly constructive way in Japan.


I encourage readers - and staff - of Japan Today to grab a delicious burger made from Aussie beef from MOS burger, Lotteria or any number of establishments across Japan, and take some time to conduct their own enquiries. 


Andrew Cox

Meat and Livestock Australia

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