May 26, 2005
Here’s How to Build a Better Burger
Another grilling season is getting under way, and hamburgers likely will be on the menu.
Hamburgers are one of the most popular foods in America. The North Dakota State University Extension Service and North Dakota Beef Commission have teamed up to provide tips on building a better burger in terms of nutritional value and food safety.
“Ground beef is a nutrient-dense food,” says Julie Garden-Robinson, an NDSU Extension Service food and nutrition specialist. “It provides high-quality protein and many minerals and vitamins, compared with the number of calories.”
Here are some suggestions for enhancing a hamburger’s nutritional value:
“When it comes to summer grilling and picnic time, we want to include nutritious foods like beef, but we also want to keep all foods safe,” says Nancy Jo Bateman, executive director of the North Dakota Beef Commission. “That’s why it’s important to follow a few simple food safety guidelines as you build your burgers.”
Follow these rules when handling ground beef and other raw meats to keep them safe and reduce the risk of foodborne illness:
“Using a meat thermometer is an important step that not only helps ensure food safety, but it also means having juicier burgers and steaks because you don’t have to overcook to make sure it’s done,” Bateman says.
The Beef Commission has provided food thermometers, which the NDSU Extension Service is handing out in food safety kits to high school students throughout the state.
“The intent is to get the thermometers in the hands of families, with the teens leading the way,” Garden-Robinson says. “Teachers across North Dakota have been very enthusiastic about the hands-on education, and teens have applied their food safety knowledge both at home and for the public.”
The Extension Service already has requests for more than 500 food safety kits to be distributed next year. The goal is to hand out at least 1,500 kits. More than 1,500 were distributed last year.
For more information, check out the new U.S. dietary guidelines on the MyPyramid Web site at www.mypyramid.gov and the NDSU Extension Service Web site at www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/food.htm. For more information specifically on beef, visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com or contact the Beef Commission by phone toll free at (877) 321-BEEF or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Julie Garden-Robinson, (701) 231-7187, firstname.lastname@example.org