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Rachael Ray’s Book On Burgers Renews Old Classic

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Where’s the beef? While some consumer magazines opt for turkey and bean burgers, Rachael Ray celebrates classic beef burgers in new book.

I got a text last night from a dear friend and fellow Limousin breeder from Colorado, Cassidy Woodard. She asked me if I had seen the June issue of Women’s Health (WH) magazine. On page 82, they had an article titled, “Be A Burger Queen.” Admittedly, I hadn’t seen the piece yet, but I looked it up online and was disappointed at what I read.

The article, which was aligned next to a beef checkoff advertisement in the magazine, offered readers six “bikini-friendly” burger recipes, with the burgers consisting of turkey, quinoa, black beans, salmon, mushrooms and chicken. As Clara Peller asked in the famous TV commercial of the 1970s, “Where’s the beef?”

Woodard says she is planning to write a letter to the magazine, and I intend to do the same. Here’s what I put together:

Dear WH,

I was disappointed to read your article “Be A Burger Queen” and the accompanying bikini-friendly recipes in your June issue. I have to wonder why you didn’t include the classic beef burger as one of your recipes.

Did you know there are 29 cuts of beef that meet the government labeling guidelines for lean? Many are cuts you are probably familiar with, such as flank steak, sirloin steak and 95% lean ground beef.

When I want to lean up for bikini season, I don’t skip the beef, which is a major contributor of protein, zinc and vitamin B12, vitamin B6, iron and niacin in my diet, as well as monunsaturated fats, the same heart-healthy fats found in olive oil. Instead, I skip the bun and condiments, which are far less nutrient-dense than healthy, filling beef!

One of my favorite burgers is 95% lean ground beef with diced onion and green chiles, topped with pepperjack cheese. Another great one is ground sirloin topped with sauteed mushrooms and blue cheese. The possibilities are endless!

I encourage you to check out www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com for additional nutrition information and recipe ideas that are both healthy and delicious.

Thanks for your consideration.

Amanda Radke
South Dakota beef producer


While WH missed the mark on its article this month, I would like to congratulate celebrity chef and TV personality Rachael Ray on her new book, “The Book Of Burger,” which was released earlier this month.

The book is described as “The ultimate collection with over 200 recipes for burgers, sliders, sloppies, fries, and sides. The Queen of Burgers has drawn together her tastiest recipes for the ultimate between-the-buns experience. Whether you're cooking for one or for 100 in your own backyard burger bash, The Book of Burger has you covered for bringing family and friends together for the love of burgers!”

Sure, Ray offers burger recipes that are vegetarian-friendly and also includes alternatives using lamb, pork and chicken, but she also renews the old classic cheeseburger. And, as beef prices continue to climb, this cookbook is sure to be a hit among consumers, as they opt for budget-friendly ground beef instead of more expensive steak cuts.

Although Ray is usually an outstanding beef advocate, she is getting some negative feedback from a few comments she made recently on The View. While promoting her book, she made some erroneous statements about beef, citing that grinding your own meat from an organic, grass-fed source is a safer choice than conventionally raised beef.

"I think that everybody should be better educated about where their food comes from. If you want to eat meat, buy it once in awhile, and make sure you are buying good quality meat and know where it comes from. I think that people get nervous about the beef scares we have had, and I think they come from pre-made patties and mass-produced burgers," said Ray in the segment.

Unfortunately, many of Ray's fans will take these claims at face value, and will be leery of buying anything but organic and grass-fed beef. Travis Arp does a great job of breaking down the segment and discussing how celebrities have a huge impact on consumers' purchasing decisions. Check out his thoughts on this topic here.

Will you take a minute to write to WH and let them know your thoughts? Perhaps, you can share a favorite beef burger recipe with the magazine, as well. What do you think of Ray’s new cookbook? Is the burger going to make a comeback? And, how about The View segment on burgers? Your thoughts?

Discuss this Blog Entry 6

Terry (not verified)
on Jun 21, 2012

I operate a large cow calf operation and an avid supporter of producing the very best beef product we can. Rachel Ray is one of the few chefs in the food network venue that will cook with and promote beef and meats. She is a tremendous asset to the beef industry. I would like to see her in a role as spokesperson for us beef producers perhaps funded by the Beef Council.

Nicole (not verified)
on Jun 21, 2012

She is a great advocate. I know a lot of people don't like or care for her but still, she's a lot like Pioneer Woman, loves beef and promotes it. Hate to say it, but we need more people like her to stand up for beef and meat in general... we're getting too many crazies out there!

Nicole (not verified)
on Jun 21, 2012

oh btw, there are scares even in crop production and a lot of people are leery there, yet they make more of a hubbub about beef... crazy! Just sayin :)

Sarah (not verified)
on Jun 21, 2012

Great letter! Here are my thoughts on the Rachael Ray segment: http://www.meatingplace.com/Industry/Blogs/Details/33748?allowguest=true.

on Jun 21, 2012

If it's not beef, it's not a burger!

on Jun 23, 2012

As usual ABC has their head in the dark, spewing misinformation trying to create consumer hysteria.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”

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Amanda Radke

A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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