BURGER WARS



BURGERS ARE MANUFACTURED MEAT

SO WE START BY LEARNING WHAT GOES INTO THEM


DISCLAIMER:   This page is not about gourmet restaurants where the lack of food on the beautifully decorated plate is offset by the large amount on the bill.  This is where we all go for a meal.  And to be fair the other CORPO-GUANO giants have similar tendencies.   

Not the "experience", a meal, a belly filler, a pause in the hassle of life for sustenance and hopefully a fair shake. It is called fast food and it’s leading seller is the “BURGER”.  Burgers come from cows, (can come from horses in Europe) and then the scientists, lab rats and re-creators go work destroying mother natures handiwork and recreating some monstrosity.

CUTTING TO THE CHASE
I love a good burger and my two favorites base on quality, food safety, consistency and taste are Culvers, and Five Guys  
I pass on the others as insignificant, not good for some reason or more upscale. 

WE HAVE IN THE UNITED STATES 60% OBESITY
We have the largest number of fast food establishments in the world.  The two might have a correlation... highest obesity, corporate food... I understand it...  We have on another trend, poliitcally after some college testing affirms this some of the dumbest voters  in the world using name and facial recognition as their primary source…  We have the lowest scores in math and science worldwide in the last couple of years...  From first in the world according to PIDSA and now we are 27-38...

         CONCLUSION:   AMERICANS ARE GETTING FATTER,  LAZIER,  AND DUMBER…and not eating right



BURGERS ARE FAST FOOD
Change a letter in fast food and it is fats food...just a toss-up.  Just a place for some Hand-Bungled Hamlet Burger.  The ever popular burger is just another form of processed, altered, slaughtered, manipulated, changed, food by-product.  That meat patties aren’t just made from the muscle tissue of a single animal, but from the fibers of as many as a hundred cows, or even more. 

We mix different kinds of cow tissue like one combines colors on a palette, potentially putting animals that once grazed next to each other into tightly packed beef discs. Occasionally sick ones can enter the fray.

It shouldn’t matter how many cows go into a burger, but the number is a vivid and maybe even repulsive reminder that eating meat exposes us to a process where animals are slaughtered and mixed together for our eating pleasure.  

Hamburgers are the ultimate embodiment of modern day meat production. They are on menus practically everywhere and hamburgers are almost always a mishmash of many animals.  Few restaurants slaughter and grind their own burgers.  Why cut a filet mignon or porterhouse into a burger?

The ground beef we buy at the supermarket is made of an unknown collection of muscle tissues from several cows.  Burgers today are machine made mass produced tons of cow DNA formed into specific sizes and shapes.  How do you know one cow might have contaminated the entire batch?

THE IMPROVED BURGER AS A REAL MEAL 
My mother, never bought pre-packed Hamburger meat. The incredible cook that she was also was literally a scratch cooker and preferred to make dishes that she was familiar with the process and the ingredients. So she would go to the butcher and get one pound of round, sirloin, and one pound of chuck.  She had the butcher grind the three, took them home and mixed them with herbs and spices, garlic and onions.  

EDITOR:   For an UPSCALE BURGER PARTY, sports related, but four good friends, I went to my roots and listened to Mom.  Nothing today tastes that good so I did the same. I bought three packages of ground round, sirloin and chuck and had Publix’s butcher grind all three for me and I did the mixing adding a couple of opened heavy garlic sausages, steak sauce and Worcestershire, pinch of salt and pepper.  Voila!  Burger Heaven!


LEARN SOMETHING


MEAT THAT REACHES THE SKY IN PRICE
Meat: All meat and poultry sold commercially must, by law, be inspected. It should have a USDA seal of inspection and a code for the producing establishment.  Do you think those automated machines that slice, dice, grind and form the burgers are spotless, under supervision and control, tested for random problems.  If so, the water rights under the Brooklyn Bridge are for sale, not the Bridge itself, that too was a scam. 


JAPANESE BEEF OR KOBE
Japanese beef, or “wagyu”, is one of the most famous types of beef in the world, particularly the Kobe beef brand from Japan's Hyogo prefecture. A premium food product in and outside of Japan, wagyu beef commands a high price and promises a gourmet dining experience.

Wagyu is the name of Japanese beef cattle – wa means Japan and gyu means cow. While Kobe beef is the most well-known type of wagyu outside of Japan, there are actually many different kinds of Japanese beef and some of them are giving Kobe a run for its money.


MARBLED FAT CONTENT DETERMINES GRADE
The most important characteristic of Japanese beef is the white parts of fat in the meat, known as sashi in Japanese. The sashi is interspersed between layers of red meat and gives the beef a marbled pattern. This marbling is the most prized aspect of Japanese beef and cattle farmers go to great lengths to create intense patterns that make the meat literally melt in your mouth. In fact, the beef grading systems in most countries are directly related to how much marbled fat is present.

In the US, prime beef must have 6-8% of marbled fat to qualify for the highest USDA grade. In order to achieve the highest quality grade for wagyu (A5), on the other hand, meat must be at least 25% marbled fat. While it may make the meat more tender and flavorful, high fat content is bad for you, right? Wrong.

Fat in Japanese beef is primarily monounsaturated, which is known to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol! Monounsaturated fats also have a very low melting point, making the beef literally melt in your mouth. An steak of top quality A5 grade wagyu can cost $500 or more in Tokyo’s fine dining scene.

Great care is taken to produce marbling and, apart from the being killed and eaten thing, cows in Japan live a king’s (or emperor’s) life. They are fed high quality grains and each farmer has their own blends and secret ingredients, such as soybeans and okara (a byproduct of making tofu). Water is also an important part in the cattle diet and local mineral water is often used to ensure the best quality product.

To keep their appetite going during the hot summer months, cows are fed beer or sake to give them, well, the munchies, which kind of makes you wonder how good the beef would taste if they started mixing pot leaves in the feed. The cows are raised in stalls to help create fatty marbling, so they are taken outside for leisurely walks in the afternoon to get some sun and fresh air.

Farmers will also spit sake on their cows and rub it in with a straw hand brush, which they say helps balance the distribution of marble content in addition to keeping the lice and ticks away. In order to ensure their cows stay as relaxed as possible, some breeders are rumored to even play soothing music for them. Beer, massages, afternoon strolls, mineral water, classical music…what a life!

MATSUZAKA BEEF
Many people consider Matsuzaka beef to be the best in Japan.  Matsuzaka beef has some of the most expensive cuts and is considered by many enthusiasts to be the best kind of beef in Japan.  

Female cows raised in the quiet and serene area around Matsuzaka in Mie Prefecture are slaughtered before being bred, and this virgin meat is said to be the tenderest in the world. Known for its high fat content and characteristic marbling patterns that border on fine art, Matsuzaka beef has a rich, meaty flavor and begins to melt as soon as it enters your mouth.

This beef can be hard to find outside of big cities as only a limited number of the cows are slaughtered every year. Check for it in department stores and expect to pay around $50 for 100 grams ($500 per kilo; $225 per pound) for cuts of sirloin. If you live in Japan and want to order some Matsuzaka beef, this Japanese website sells various grades for up to 10,000 yen for 150 grams of A5.



GRINGO KOBE is “ PRIME

“Prime” is the highest grade beef,  just a small percent of all graded beef is available mostly in fancy restaurants and upscale grocers and not really wasted on burgers.  Prime is usually reserved for high end, high scale establishments. Like a Peter Lugers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and other great steak houses of  America who raise their own or control their meat quality levels.

“Choice” makes up two-thirds of all graded beef ( beef that is rated and certified  and is generally less marbled than prime and a lot cheaper, sometimes even mixed with one more lower grade. Costco’s meat is all choice. 

And after grinding , no one can tell what grade it was.   Beef claimed to be naturally raised meat is a USDA verified claim describing meat from an animal raised entirely without growth hormones or antibiotics and that has never been fed animal byproducts.  In the trade, this is often referred to as “Never Ever 3.”  


READ CAREFULLY :  There is also a subset of naturally raised meat certified by the USDA organic label. These animals must have access to pasture, in addition to the requirements above. So, all organic beef is naturally raised, but not all naturally raised beef is organic. 

While in a sense, every cow and steer is grass-fed (after weaning, nearly all cows graze on grass), beef labeled “grass-fed” means that the animal has received 100 percent of its energy outside of weaning from grass or forage, and not from grains such as corn.         This does not tell you if antibiotics or hormones were administered.



THE GOOD GUYS  ARE HARD TO FIND

DRIVEN BY ECONOMICS


  • Good restaurants that grind their beef in house, mixing the cuts of only one animal at once, serve them.  Very rare though, as I said, too expensive.   Those who raise their own cattle, and then slaughter them for food, can have them too. But the single cow burger is a rarity.  

  • Last year, McDonald's confirmed that its beef patties can contain the meat of more than 100 different cows.  But it isn’t just the world’s largest purveyor of hamburgers that has trouble keeping track of the animals in its meat.

  • At a local Costco,  an honest butcher with forty years experience, who shall remain anonymous said that there is no way to tell how many cows contribute to a single packet of ground beef.  Costco grinds the beef in house, but does it by bulk.  “Single sourcing is the best way to do things, it's the handmade way, but it would increase the cost," he said.
    "More isn't worse. I would probably just worry about the cheaper end bulk grinders, the ones that make the meat for McDonald's and Wendy's and other fast food joints. That’s where price plays too big of a role.”  And no one is watching 24/7.

  • In Publix Supermarkets steaks hitting their day of doom are automatically transferred to the hamburger cut me up department and mixed with other stuff.  New life, the resurrection... it may also wind up as a burger mixed with all kinds of garlic, cheese,, old sneakers, whatever and also reborn.  They don’t pitch steaks.  Dying dated produce goes to charities, not steaks.  No one is fooling no one anymore and thats why two burgers in a package mixed with herbs at Publix can cost as much as a steak.

  • From an efficiency standpoint, hamburgers might, in fact, be one of the more ethical uses of meat there is. After all, they make use of disparate scraps, many of which would otherwise be discarded.  Somehow thoughts of balls, eyes and only God knows what are prohibited by law and some morality.  Rat meat was found in Chinese Imports.

  • There are many reasons to be skeptical of the hamburgers that McDonald’s serves, but the number of animals packed into each is among the least of them. In 2002, PBS ran a short documentary called  “Modern Meat,’ which explored the contours of the American meat industry through the lens of its favorite child: the commercial hamburger.  Little has changed since that report.

  • The confinement of thousands of cows on single farms, the film argued, was compromising the safety of American beef.  The reason that people feel so uncomfortable when they think about hamburgers being comprised of hundreds of animals is pretty simple: We are thoroughly detached from the process that allows everyone to eat meat.


THE BETTER BURGER JOINTS

The next tier in burger fast food or counter fast foods (there is a slightly higher level) without or with table service when your food is ready includes the following:

🤗  CULVERS, OUT OF WISCONSIN AND MY GO TO FOR A BURGER, AND I AM IMPRESSED… 

🤗 FIVE GUYS FOR BURGERS,  FRESH COOKED TO ORDER, LESS LAB TIME, REAL THING

THESE mentioned are a notch over the fast food joints like Mickey Dee and Burger king who are “ Menu-izing”  their products, same crap,  new name,  and coverings.  CULVERS is rated very high and they do bring the food to the table. Another point is that these stores are only a dollar or so more than the junk food.  And the quality of what they serve is five dollars better.  Look for coupons, we found some and they were great.

Successful chains and more upscale serving as restaurants and not so concerned with Clowns, Kings, and Little Girls, do a better job with the burger but it’s just presentation and an ounce or two here and there.  The cost of the clown show and the playgrounds in a food establishment is eventually going to hurt them.

🤗  Our last tasting by accident changed the game,  I-HOP which are slightly higher in cost but the features and benefits made it even better,  better quality food, a more mature restaurant setting and they still have  guidelines, a nice word for heavy corporate controls and pressure both on the products and services to do it right.   The burgers we had there were excellent, tasty, not quite fine dining but a lot better,  and way above the others


MAGIC - HAMBURGER  STYLING- TRICKS OF THE TRADE

Ever wonder what you gets served is not in the pictures?  A professional food photographer or food stylists  job is to make food that looks enticing enough for you to drop any thoughts of your diet and succumb to — culinary pleasure.   Most likely the picture is too good to be true.  The burger business is at the forefront of food camouflage.  From an article I read on line, and I do Photograph food for menus,  here are tips and how they made that burger look good

  1. Fry  the burger on a hot skillet or pan to brown the outside, leaving the meat rare and the patty un-shrunk. 
  2. Blot it on paper towels and brush on a mixture of caramel color and clear pastry piping gel that gives the burger a meatier shiny appearance.
  3. Follow that up with grill marks burned on with a hot skewer or electric charcoal lighter.
  4. Take the best bun, build everything toward the front, so all the ingredients are seen. that all the elements can be visible in one shot.
  5. If there’s cheese, you might want to melt it by spreading Pine-sol on it, which breaks it down chemically without overly browning it.
  6. Apply a little bit of Fixodent to hold the lettuce in place  and secure the tomato and onion with toothpicks.
  7. Apply condiments last, using a plastic syringe without a needle.
  8. Go to library or on line and buy Food Styling for Photographers, a sham, a scam, and a slam.


WHERES THE BEEF  WHATS IT CALLED



ANSWERS TO A HIGHER ORDER

In a test scientific experiment, personally conducted with a college lab.   We put a Steak and Shake patty against a Hebrew National Hotdog.   The Hebrew National hotdog won, and tested better in the quality of what was in them.  No added processing and chemicals, just Paprika,  Garlic and a required preservative by law.  

Nothing else, no filler, no nothings as Jewish dietary rules called Kashrut is a set of Jewish religious dietary laws.  Food that may be consumed according to Jewish law is termed kosher.  Even Hotdogs are subject to strict supervision and dietary law.

Among the numerous laws that form part of kashrut are the prohibitions on the consumption of certain animals such as pork, shellfish, mixtures of meat and milk, and the commandment to slaughter mammals and birds according to a process known as shechita.  Over the past century, many rabbinical organizations have started to certify products, manufacturers, and restaurants as kosher, usually using a symbol called a hechsher ( basically a U in a circle) to indicate their support.  

Heres the point, Kosher meat from a strictly Kosher source, is from the neck down Chuck, Brisket and no further south or east ( from left to right) than past the rib cage, flank, ribs and sirloin.  Just like on the airlines first class up front, economy in the rear using a lot of the rear.


YOU STEAK AND SHAKE FANS GET THE ASS END and calls them “ Steakburgers” ?

That explains why strictly kosher meat costs more.  Only the best cuts of meat are used for kosher steaks and the animal was slaughtered, according to the civil laws of Kashrut.  Generally the rest of the cow is sold off for burger chain suppliers.  And at what percentage?   Thats why my mother, always bought meat from a KOSHER butcher.

'Steakburger', in some circles, is interpreted as a hamburger with delusions of grandeur. That’s actually not the case - a steakburger is a hamburger made with steak - leaner, pouncer meat, as opposed to the mangled cow bits that compose 'hamburger'. 

A burger made from steak is much more dense - meatier - but also less flavorful. The taste difference actually comes from the quality of the meat. Just as the full taste of a sirloin comes from the marbling, the taste of a burger comes from the fat. And you simply get more if it with the cheap stuff. 

So, while a steakburger is still a good burger, it's not a hamburger. 

It's worth keeping this in mind at the supermarket - despite being three times the price, that '99% Lean Ground Steak' really won't make the best burgers. (Incidentally, it’s still worth shelling out extra for free range and organic... just because you want to keep the fat doesn't mean you need to keep the extra chemicals).


A FINAL WORD ON STEAKHOUSE BURGERS
It’s no wonder that Angus burger recipes have become so popular the past couple of years. Burgers made from steak can take on a variety of flavors and are typically leaner than hamburger patties. So, not only do they taste great, but they’re a bit healthier, too. Check out the awesome selection of STEAK BURGERS FROM CHICAGO STEAK COMPANY,  like Premium Angus and Half-Pound Gourmet burgers. If you have a steak burgers recipe to share, let us know


WE START WITH MICKEE DEE