created over 2 years ago | Tagged:
Where “everyone loves burgers” trend intersects with the “better-for-you foods” movement, a growing number of chains are appealing both to happiness and healthfulness. In this “ethical burgers” category, quality is defined by much more than whether beef is “fresh, never frozen.
Chef-owner Hilary Brown’s Local Burger in Lawrence, Kan., is among the burger joints arguing that “fast food” needn’t be unhealthful food. “At Local Burger, we can pronounce all of our ingredients. Our food is good for you, good for the community, and good for the environment,” its website proclaims. Its beef, bison, elk, pork and turkey all are sourced from Kansas ranches where they are raised without hormones and antibiotics.
Edwards, Colo.-based Larkburger not only purchases additive-free Angus beef and makes all sauces in-house, it cooks its burgers on energy-efficient equipment and uses eco-friendly packaging, utensils and cups. Elevation Burger, UFood Grill, Plan B Burger Bar, Mojo Burger and others also are trying to do the right thing with burgers and other foods.
Hartford, Conn.-based Locals 8 Restaurant Holdings-operator of three Plan B Burger Bar locations-last year was the first restaurant group to be 100% Certified Humane Raised & Handled by the nonprofit Humane Farm Animal Care organization. Certification is not easily achieved. “It’s an incredibly strict process; more strict than for ‘certified organic’ [certification],” says Lena DiGenti, Locals 8 brand manager. “None of the animals can have any antibiotics or hormones. It looks from birth to slaughter to see that animals are treated humanely; it considers environmental impact and farmers have to limit environmental impact. They checked all our records to verify that we didn’t bring in any beef that wasn’t certified humane, that our suppliers were certified.”