History of Favorite American Food Hamburger Part 2

About the history of the favorite American food hamburger, information about the nutritional value and more.

FAVORITE AMERICAN FOODS

Hamburger

Kroc used Henry Ford's refinement of produce uniformity and the merchandising methods of Richard Sears of Sears and Roebuck to spread the hamburger gospel all over the world. He built McDonald's--without the brothers, whom he bought out in 1960--into one of America's most successful empires by planting the golden arches at nearly every important intersection and crossroads. He moved his headquarters to Meat City (Chicago), home of the White Castle, the first hamburger chain. The profits from McDonald's hamburgers built an ultramodern eight-story Hamburger Central in Oak Brook, a Chicago suburb. The need for an army of management brought about a $2 million Hamburger University, which specialized in Hamburger Sciences and offered degrees in Hamburgerology, with a minor in French fries.

Of course, there are other successful hamburger franchises, like General Food's Burger Chef and Pillsbury's Burger King, each of which sells over a million hamburger patties every day. But McDonald's sells some 8 million patties a day from more than 4,300 stores on five continents that ring up over $3.1 billion each year. By September, 1978, those stores had sold over 27 billion hamburgers.

Despite these astronomical figures, the domestic hamburger as we know it has fallen on bad times. Nutritionists are now warning us that eating hamburgers can be hazardous to health, thanks to the adulteration of American meat. "Probably no article in the American diet," says writer William Longgood, "is as thoroughly tampered with as meat."

This tampering begins with the cow. It is conceived by artificial insemination, raised on carcinogenic (cancer-causing) sex hormones, fed antibiotics and pesticides, and shot up with a steady diet of tranquilizers to slow down its metabolism and help it gain weight. The sex hormones, which are given to an estimated 90% of all commercial cattle, are perhaps the most dangerous to humans. Of the 15 synthetic antibiotic (against life) hormones, called stilbestrol, used to treat cattle, 11 have long been known to be carcinogenic. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was actually banned by the FDA from cattle feed, yet it can still be implanted in the ears of cattle to make them grow faster and fatter on less feed. This artificial fattening not only poisons the meat but also makes it fatty, watery, and nutritionally inferior.

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