MasterChef Australia under fire for claiming show is ‘greener’ for using biomethane and grey hydrogen gas

MasterChef Australia is under fire over claims the show is “greener” for using renewable gas, leading to a complaint being lodged with the consumer watchdog.

The complaint made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) were lodged by a climate communications group Comms Declare, with particular aim at one of the show’s sponsors.

The specific claim that caught their attention came from MasterChef host Andy Allen, who in episode 4 stated that “I’m excited to say this year, MasterChef is going greener with renewable gas”.

Comms Declare founder Belinda Noble took particular aim at the show’s sponsor, the Australian Gas Network (AGN).

“We believe that hundreds of thousands of MasterChef fans are being deceived into thinking that the gas used in the program is good for the planet,” she said.

“The biomethane and grey hydrogen used in the MasterChef kitchen is not renewable, not low emissions, not commercially viable and not available in ordinary Australian homes.

“We call on MasterChef producers to drop this polluting sponsor and move to induction cooking, like their counterparts around the world.”

MasterChef has been slammed for having AGN as a sponsor when the news broke in earlier this year.

It was revealed that the show would use biomethane-run open flame cooktops in general competition, and use hydrogen for grills when competing in barbecue challenges.

While chemically the same as fossil fuel-driven gas, Biomethane is created from organic waste such as humans or animals or food. The argument made is that this is more environmentally friendly as it’s not extracted from the ground, but it part of the biological cycle.

As the show is filmed in Victoria, Joy Toose from Environment Victoria’s Climate Campaign slammed the move as “an impractical fantasy”.

“We couldn’t make anywhere near enough biomethane to cover our needs, and hydrogen is far too expensive for household use. It would require a complete overhaul of the gas network and the replacement of every single gas appliance.”

A spokesperson for the ACCC confirmed they have received the complaint but “doesn’t comment on potential investigations or individual businesses”.

EndemolShine Australia, which is the company that films the TV show, have been contacted for comment.

Leave a Comment