The hamburger

According to Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, the hamburger, a ground meat patty between two slices of bread, was first created in America in 1900 by Louis Lassen, a Danish immigrant, owner of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven. It has since gained popularity as the go-to meal for most people, especially for young people. The common belief is that the American hamburger borrowed its name from a dish called “Hamburg Style Beef” or “Hamburg Steak” which arrived in the United States from the German city of Hamburg in the 19th century. The dish was nothing more than chopped meat eaten raw.

A hamburger is not made of ham but of ground-up beef, shaped into a patty, which is then grilled and placed between the two halves of a sesame seed bun.

It takes a lot of cows to provide the world’s hamburgers, and turning so many cattle into so much beef meat needs an industrial process. Cattle eat grass at pasture or on the range, but in many countries are specially fattened up for their last three months before slaughter.

The first and most obvious answer to the question of why we’re so obsessed with burgers is: burgers are cheap. It’s not just that burgers are cheap, it’s that they’re easy to eat. Because the meat is ground up, you don’t have to do much chewing. Because it’s served on a bun, it’s easy to eat. The fact that it can be done in less than 10 minutes adds to our obsession.

Why burgers are unhealthy- The burger is a diet rich in cholesterol and saturated fat. This raises the level of cholesterol in the blood hence increasing risks for heart diseases. Double hamburgers contain a considerable amount of cholesterol making burgers unhealthy. Good news is that healthier options are now available, instead of the buns you can have a  bunless burger or lettuce as the “buns”, there are the lean meat or vegan options. Vegans, Vegetarians and Pescatarians can have burgers too specifically made for their diets.

Most popular burgers

Beef Burger:

A traditional ground beef burger can be a good, high-protein meal—especially if it’s grass-finished beef.  Beef is one of the best sources of B12, a vitamin essential to the production of red blood cells and energy.

Elk Burgers:

Elk burger > beef burger and here’s why: An elk burger not only has more protein than traditional ground beef, but it’s also significantly lower in fat. The lean meat is also tender and high in B12 vitamins and iron, like other meats.

Portobello Mushroom Burgers:

You might be pleasantly surprised by the meaty texture of a portobello mushroom burger. Plus, they have a robust, umami flavor. But along with allowing you to partake in Meatless Mondays, the polyphenols in mushrooms also elevate them to superstar status.

Turkey Burgers:

Consider a turkey burger a stunt double for your ground beef patty. If you choose a turkey burger made from ground breast meat, it will be ultra-lean, low in calories, and low in artery-clogging fat.

Veggie Burgers:

Traditional veggie burgers are typically satisfying and a great way to slash artery-clogging saturated fat when used to replace hamburgers.

Bison Burgers:

Flavour-wise, bison is just about as close as you can get to the beef. It’s tender and even a bit sweet. But its nutritional profile makes it a much healthier option than a par-for-the-course ground beef burger. Even though it’s not plant-based, bison earned its rank higher up on the list because you can truly satisfy your burger craving with a healthy doppelgänger.

Wild Salmon Burgers:

A salmon burger could be just what your doctor orders. More specifically, what your cardiologist orders. That’s because, when it comes to proteins, wild salmon is an MVP: It’s rich in omega-3’s, the healthy fatty acids you find in fish oils that can help lower your risk for heart disease and that fend off metabolism-slowing inflammation.

Black Bean Burgers:

From a healthy eating standpoint, they’ve got everything you’d want in a burger: Black beans pack 8 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fibre in a 1/2-cup serving, but they’re low in calories and free of saturated fat. Don’t let their all-black exterior fool you, either. Even though they’re not as colourful as traditionally antioxidant-rich fruits, they’re still full of them. Black beans are a great source of anthocyanins, which are antioxidant compounds that can boost your brainpower.