Walmart Knows If Your State Loves Hot Dogs Or Burgers (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

Between elections, politics, statistics and more, we’ve seen plenty of divides among states. Now it’s time to talk about one that’s especially interesting (and relevant during grilling season): our great nation’s inclinations for hamburgers versus hot dogs.

Walmart has rung in the summer with an interesting state-by-state study of meat preferences, tracking its nationwide sales of burgers and dogs for one month. The results show that only 11 states prefer wieners to patties, according to Brand Eating.

Among those states who pledged allegiance to the dog were Alaska, Hawaii, Michigan and Alabama.

Out of 39 burger-loving states, Texas (unsurprisingly) bought the most hamburger and hot dog buns for its meaty endeavors. Florida came in a close second.

Hawaii showed the most equal preference out of all the states for hamburgers and hot dogs, but the condiment battle was not nearly as close. Across the country, ketchup clearly beat mustard for America’s favorite spread.

Walmart also kept an eye on side-dish sales and found that each state likes to pile plenty of potato salad and coleslaw onto their plates of grilled goods.

The store did not provide much commentary with their study, so I’ll contemplate some of the underlying implications of these results.

It makes sense that burgers lead the nation in grilling purchases, as the burger is an even more versatile palette than the hot dog. While hot dogs can be piled to the sky with kraut, relish, chili and more, burgers have the luxury of being much more malleable. For one, their flavor profiles can be completely changed with various types of seasoning, cheese, vegetables, proteins and breads. You can stack meat, avocado, red onion, bacon, lettuce, tomato, an egg and mayo on a burger, but you just can’t do the same for a dog.

It’s only fitting that ketchup trumps mustard, as only a brave minority can tolerate the horseradish quality of the yellow condiment. And coleslaw and potato salad are refreshing yet indulgent, so it’s no surprise they’re two favorites.

If this post has you yearning for the grill, check out this recipe for bacon-wrapped hot dogs and cheeseburger sliders, and have a happy and safe Fourth of July.

Source: Brand Eating / Photo credit: Pixabay, Walmart via Brand Eating

Tags: hamburgers, hot dogs, states, surveys, Walmart
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Guy Breaks The Record For Largest Hamburger Collection (Video)

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By Cooking Panda

This guy has taken his passion for hamburgers to a whole new level!

Grubstreet reports that one Florida man, called “Hamburger Harry”, has finally won the Guinness World Record for the largest “Collection of Hamburger-Related Items.” Harry says his hamburger obsession started about 26 years ago when he bought some fake hamburgers to display on a vintage drive-in car tray that he was trying to sell. When asked if he was collecting hamburgers he said no, but then realized it was a good idea. Take a peek into his collection via the video below. You won’t be disappointed.

The collection includes 3,724 hamburger items. These include watches, plastic replicas, a waterbed and even a motorcycle. The motorcycle is actually a 1987 Harley, and Harry told Florida’s UPI News that it’s one of his favorite collection pieces, because he can “take it out and show it off.”

He claims that the reason he loves burgers and burger memorabilia so much is because he believes the hamburger represents the core of American culture. I’m not sure if we should be proud or worried about that?

When you take a look around his hamburger room, not only will you see walls covered in shelf after shelf of hamburger merchandise, but you’ll see a life-size Ronald McDonald as well. This guy has everything! Hamburger Harry’s next “project” will be constructing a hamburger museum so that his prized collection and passion can be shared with the world.

Who wouldn’t want to go to a burger museum, especially in the U.S., where a burger is apparently such a strong part of our core? I’m sure this museum will also make the Guinness Book of World Records, since there probably aren’t too many hamburger museums around, either.

It’s nice to have a passion, and this kind of collecting is A-OK in my book. I look forward to seeing an article in the future about a giant hamburger-themed  museum. Check out the video below if you’re interested in virtually walking around in a burger-obsessed man’s burger room.

Sources: Grubstreet, UPI, Guinness World Records / Photo Credit: Guinness World Records via Grubstreet

Tags: Collections, Guinness Book of World Records, Hamburger Harry, hamburgers
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These Pokemon Burgers Are Almost Too Adorable To Eat

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By Cooking Panda

A restaurant chain called Down N’Out in Sydney, Australia, has introduced the most adorable Poke-burgers! While not everyone has a love for Pokemon, pretty much everyone does love burgers. The three Pokemon available are Pikachu, Charmander and Bulbasaur, the three major favorites.

According to Metro News, each burger comes with a trading card listing the ingredients, and each burger’s ingredients are meant to represent the character itself. The Charmander burger is spicy, the Bulbasaur burger grassy and the Pikachu burger silly. Trainers, or eaters if you aren’t into that, can order a burger and then receive a randomly selected character. After all, when you’re playing you don’t get to choose what kind of Pokemon you’ll catch, right?

Metro reports that the burgers will be available starting August 22 and will cost about $12 each.

Sources: Metro News, CNBC / Photo credit: Hashtag Burgers via Mashable

Tags: Australia, Down N'Out, hamburgers, pokemon
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Veggie Burgers Might Not Be So Healthy After All

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By Cooking Panda

A recent analysis has demonstrated that vegetarian burgers have a higher rate of food quality issues than their beefy counterparts.

Food analytics organization Clear Labs examined 258 samples of burgers from 79 brands and 22 retailers. While all of the patties were obtained in California, the types of samples were varied and included frozen, fresh, meat, and vegetarian patties as well as samples from fast-food restaurants and higher-end establishments.

Contamination and hygiene issues were “fairly evenly distributed” throughout the patties, regardless of how expensive they were.

“One piece of good news that came out of [the study] was that the rate of serious problems was lower than we anticipated in such a high-risk category,” says Clear Labs co-founder Mahni Ghorashi, according to Eater.

Regarding the more serious issues detected in the samples, 13.6 percent of the meat patties had issues such as missing ingredients, pathogens, product substitutions, and hygiene problems. Furthermore, 23.6 percent of the vegetarian samples demonstrated these severe problems, almost twice that of the meat samples.

“Consumers tend to move to veggie burgers as a safer alternative but in reality there are potentially high risks in that category,” explained Ghorashi. “In that category we found things like [two instances of] beef in veggie burgers, and a black bean burger that had no black beans in it whatsoever.”

In 16 samples, substitutions consisted of ingredients observed that weren’t on the ingredients label, such as rye, beef DNA, and pork DNA. All of the 14 samples that were missing ingredients were vegetarian samples. About 4 percent of the products contained pathogens, including a vegetarian product that tested positive for E. coli. Three samples contained rat DNA, which is “probably not that dangerous for you,” as stated by food safety experts.

“Safe cooking is the one thing that’s in the control of the consumer — as long as you cook it properly, you likely won’t get sick because you’d at least be eating cooked rat DNA,” said Shelley Feist, executive director of Temperature Partnership for Food Safety. “The element might still be in the food, but the bacteria and pathogens will be killed.”

Interestingly enough, the biggest problem observed in the food samples, as stated by the researchers, was nutrition.

“There is a significant delta between the amount of calories, fat, and carbs you thought you were consuming, and the amounts actually in the burgers,” explained Ghorashi.

Sources: Eater, Clear Labs / Photo credit: Recipes Hubs

Tags: hamburgers, pathogens, research, veggie burgers
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Watch Out For Wire Bristles When Eating Your Next Burger

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By Cooking Panda

The next time you’re eating a hamburger, you may want to take a closer look before you put it in your mouth. It might save you a visit to the emergency room.

A recent report published in the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery journal stated that over 1,690 Americans were sent to the hospital for injuries associated with accidentally ingesting wire bristles from grilled meat products, as reported by Cosmopolitan.

In most cases, the bristles had accidentally become lodged within the food after having broken off the wire brushes frequently used to clean griddles and grills. Although mouths, tonsils, and throats were the most common parts of the body to be injured by unintentional bristle consumption, internal abdominal injures were also a concern.

Dr. C.W. David Chang, the principal author of the study, explained that most people do not inspect hamburgers and other grilled meats prior to eating them, which leads to bristle ingestion.

“The issue is likely under reported and thus underappreciated,” Chang said.

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised emergency room physicians to be aware of the possibility of internal injuries that may be caused by ingesting wire bristles, as reported by CBS News.

“Awareness among emergency department physicians, radiologists, and otolaryngologists is particularly important so that appropriate tests and examinations can be conducted,” said Chang, as reported by Science Daily.

In the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from July 6, 2012, the CDC documented six cases of unintentional bristle ingestion that occurred at a hospital in Rhode Island. The resulting injuries ranged from a puncture in the neck tissue to perforation in the gastrointestinal tract.  

“It is important to carefully inspect the grill surface for any remaining wire bristles that may have separated from the grill brush and could penetrate into the grilled food prior to grilling,” advised Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

He recommended using a paper towel or moist cloth instead of wire brushes in order to clean surfaces upon which meat is grilled.

Prior to eating a burger, look a bit closer before eating, take smaller bites, and do not hesitate to spit out something sharp. 

Sources: Cosmopolitan, CBS News, Science Daily / Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan 

Tags: accidental ingestion, emergency room, food safety, hamburgers, wire grill bristles
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