Archive for Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Local Burger, Global impact

Sundance Channel series offers food for thought

January 17, 2007


Chowing down on a hamburger and potatoes, Levi Booth, 2, makes a face at Local Burger, 714 Vt.  The restaurant, which sells locally grown organic food, will be the focus of a new TV program series debuting on the Sundance Channel featuring earth-conscious programming.

Chowing down on a hamburger and potatoes, Levi Booth, 2, makes a face at Local Burger, 714 Vt. The restaurant, which sells locally grown organic food, will be the focus of a new TV program series debuting on the Sundance Channel featuring earth-conscious programming.

Lawrence, get ready to see your green side.

Film crews from the Sundance Channel arrived Tuesday night to begin two days of filming the folks and the food at Lawrence's Local Burger, 714 Vt., for a new series of earth-conscious programming to debut in April.

"I thought Local Burger would be a great example," Lawrence transplant Simran Sethi said. Sethi, a veteran of the eco-friendly Web site, will host the block of programming.

The series, called "Big Ideas for a Small Planet," will span 13 episodes with each showing viewers how some use their businesses and activities to help to make the environment better.

Local Burger will be featured in an episode called "Eat." All episodes will be a part of a three-hour, primetime block of programming called "The Green," featuring documentaries and original series about the Earth's ecology and "green" living. has been consulting with actor/director/producer Robert Redford on the programs for about a year, Sethi said.

The filming will begin today at the home of Local Burger owner Hilary Brown, then follow her to the shop for some lunch-rush filming and interviews.

Brown said she heard in December from producers, who asked for a press packet about the restaurant.

"So I was like: 'What's a press packet?'" Brown quipped.

Jessica Thompson drizzles balsamic vinaigrette onto a roasted veggie salad as Clinton Jackson watches the grill at Local Burger. The restaurant will be the focus of a Sundance Channel TV show.

Jessica Thompson drizzles balsamic vinaigrette onto a roasted veggie salad as Clinton Jackson watches the grill at Local Burger. The restaurant will be the focus of a Sundance Channel TV show.

A short time later, Sundance Channel folks replied, saying they'd like Local Burger to be a part of the show.

Sethi mentioned the restaurant, which features locally grown and organic burgers, salads and meals, during story-consulting for the series.

"I pushed hard for them to come to Kansas because of the wealth of farmers and amazing resources in the state," Sethi said.

The film crew today will also follow local meat producer Debbie Yarnell and her Homespun Hill farm near Baldwin City. Yarnell will prepare meat for Local Burger's Meat Market, where producers can sell locally grown meat directly to consumers.

The market will run from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. today.

Thursday, producers will begin shooting "Localize Me," Local Burger's spin-off of the documentary "Supersize Me."

Where Morgan Spurlock's "Supersize Me" featured Spurlock subjecting himself to a fast-food-only diet for a month, this version will feature Lawrence resident Daniel Fisher's quest to break his fast-food habit and get healthier by eating Local Burger meals for the next month.

Brown and others have already filmed some of the prospective show's first scenes, including Fisher getting examined by local physicians David Dunlap and Farhang Khosh to evaluate his current health.

"It was just like your basic physical, a general health assessment. I know that I'm not in the best shape," Fisher said.

Although "Localize Me" hasn't yet been picked up by the channel, Fisher said film crews will film the first bites of his quest, sitting at a table in Local Burger.

"I just hope to improve my health overall, get my blood pressure down," said Fisher, 29.

Regardless of what happens to "Localize Me," Brown said she hopes the Sundance Channel programming will show people a fun side to environmental issues - something she said is often lacking from the debate.

"I think it will be looking at new things we can do that are positive," Brown said. "My hope for the show is that in a fun and interesting way, it will educate people."

"The Green" will premiere at 8 p.m. April 17.

Local Burger

714 Vermont, Lawrence



Richard Heckler 11 years, 4 months ago

If only Douglas County would become an organic farm mecca as one of it's largest industries. Acres and Acres of crops grown without chemicals would be an awesome sight.

Local Burger has a very tasty veggie burger that is of their own design. Business is good and they have Boulevard Beer for $2 on Thursday night whoaaaaaaa.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 4 months ago

In most fast-food restaurants, the main (only?) "spice" is salt.

drake 11 years, 4 months ago

How do they stay open? Every time I drive by it is completely empty.

superduper 11 years, 4 months ago


Ditto on that. They have spiced things up some since. I think people are just too used to eating processed and fatty meats that something healthy just tastes bland. They don't have a fat flavored spice yet :))

Good Luck Local B.

Kelly Powell 11 years, 4 months ago descendant from "hamburg steak', a dish of chopped beef, pork and organ meat made in germany.

Ragingbear 11 years, 4 months ago

I tried this place when they first opened. I was not all that impressed. Their price was comparable to places like Buffalo Bob's. And although they offered some different meats to eat, I found them to be rather tasteless.

I hope they switched their burger recipe. Just a little bit of spice would have made a world of difference.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 11 years, 4 months ago

I've always had great food and service there. The turkey burgers are the best. Those who are accustomed to eating junk food and fat-laden fast food may not care for Local Burger's healthier fare, but that's no surprise.

cutny 11 years, 4 months ago

Great story. Congratulations to Hillary for daring to dream and getting some recognition in the process. Hey Delegatezero, why not try forming your own opinion for a change. Didn't anyone ever teach you to not speak about what you don't know of?

jranderson 11 years, 4 months ago

I also love their veggie burger.

I have often been there during lunch hours when it's packed. I'm just happy we have a healthy alternative to, well you know, those other places.

Hilary Morton 11 years, 4 months ago

I think what turns people off about the establishment is the price. Sure, you can get a burger for that price at Applebee's, or Chili's, but you also get tomato, onion, ketchup, mustard, pickles and any other accompaniments for free, as well as a side of fries. At local burger, all burger accompaniments must be paid for separately.

I haven't tried local burger yet, but I'd definitely be open to it. Lord knows I don't eat the burgers at Applebee's or Chili's. Just comparing prices.

grimpeur 11 years, 4 months ago

We went in for burgers about 2 weeks ago, and mine was absolutely delicious--big (and right-sized bun), juicy, perfectly cooked! With onion, pickle, mayo, mustard at no charge. Not-in-Kansas salad was excellent. I'd eaten there during their first few months, and the burger was so-so, with the wrong kind of bun. But I'd say those kinks have been worked out pretty well. Plus, Hilary is adorable! Good job, luv!

getserious 11 years, 4 months ago

Just awful, food-flavorless, service-awful, location-bad, prices-ridiculously high-doesn't forecast a good future. Will be closed within a year.

getserious 11 years, 4 months ago

also, nice health regulation picture, neither person preparing(touching) the food has on gloves and the girl doesn't have a hat or hairnet on. Mmmmmm, hair-burger.

Sigmund 11 years, 4 months ago

I will have to try the veggie burger because everything else I have had there has been dry and tasteless and the service was terrible. The only reason I went there was the rumor they had sweet potato fries but despite my repeated trips I never was able to try them (they were only available on certain days or they were being dropped from the menu, the story changed depending upon who I talked to).

Do a blind taste test with Henry T's, Jefferson's, Applebee's, Chili's, or a dozen other places and I doubt Local Burger does very well. Add in the lack of parking and metered parking IF you are lucky and Local Burger is last on my list.

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 11 years, 4 months ago

Lots of mixed reviews here today. I'd be curious to see the height, weight and bodyfat percentage of each reviewer. My guess is that most of the negative reviews came from people who are overweight or out of shape (and prefer burgers from McDonalds and Chili's), while the positive reviews came mainly from people who exercise and care about what they're putting in their stomach.

Nate Poell 11 years, 4 months ago

I haven't been there yet, but I've heard mixed things about local burger. The combo is just $1 more than the burger deal at Free State and actually 50 cents LESS than the cowboy burger at Applebees, so I don't understand why folks are calling it overpriced. Since I'll be eating downtown today I might give them a shot.

Kudos to them for trying this.

cowboy 11 years, 4 months ago

dry and tasteless is what you get with a grass finished beef. Im all for no hormones and few or no antibiotics but the taste and texture is not that great on pure grass feds. I finish mine with grains and have the burger ground very lean and it is spectacular. The stuff in the stores is really poor.

dirkleisure 11 years, 4 months ago

I thought only fat and lazy people who ate at McDonald's or Chili's wore ascots.

I would rather enjoy a well made burger from, say, Henry T's or West Coast Saloon, than a tasteless burger which is purported to be better for me. Oh, and I'm 6 feet tall and 175 lbs. Sound overweight to you?

Red meat is red meat, I don't care where the cow came from. And moderation is the key to healthy living. Go ahead, enjoy some Mickey D's every once in awhile, maybe kick back with a Taco Bell run.

It will not kill you.

Sigmund 11 years, 4 months ago

My guess is that ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie is used to stereotyping people s/he knows nothing about as s/he appears to be really good at it!

budwhysir 11 years, 4 months ago

I have found that for about $1.95 and about 10 min. I can make my own food in the comfort of my own house

Katie Van Blaricum 11 years, 4 months ago

Cows are supposed to eat grass, not corn. All that corn that is stuffed into the cows in the 3 months before they are killed makes the meat fatty and flavorful, but it makes the cows feel sick.

cowboy 11 years, 4 months ago you hang around cows that talk or are you hallucinating again ?

Emily Hadley 11 years, 4 months ago

hilary--Veggies (lettuce, pickles, tomatoes and onions) come on the burgers unless you tell them to hold something, and they are no extra charge.

The menu changed as LB has taken in customer purchases and feedback.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 4 months ago

aquakeg is right. Cows fed grains to fatten them up also have to be fed all kinds of pharmceuticals because their digestive tract is intended for consuming grass, not grain.

Bladerunner 11 years, 4 months ago

Do the words veggie and burger belong in the same sentence?

Emily Hadley 11 years, 4 months ago

The low-quality meats and products used in most restaurants have subsidies at every level, and those ultimately come down to our tax dollars paying the industry to pump in chemicals and keep prices below the cost of production. (I have noticed a lot more produce from Mexico, too.)

The food used at LB is produced without big subsidies, yet the workers involved are paid a fair price. They aren't exposed to environmental hazards or business practices that big companies get away with. (Slaughterhouse workers in America have the highest turnover AND the highest on-the-job injury rates of any job.)

Organics are actually cheaper to produce. As a farmer, if you don't agree to use a chemical brand on your crops, you don't get the serious rewards of the brand or their deals with the Dept. of Ag. Sponsorship and lobbying are replaced here by ethical business practices and fair prices. I'd love if everyone ordering a Whopper had to pay the real cost of that medicated rainforest beef, which consumes 55 square feet of rainforest for every 1/4 pound of meat that's produced.

'Organic' farmers use methods that were 'conventional' from the dawn of cultivation until after WWII (when we had lots of chemical weapon plants with lots of sway but no market) when poisons were introduced as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

~~ Tidbits ~~

*Meat imported to U.S. annually from Central and South America: 300,000,000 pounds

*Central American children under the age of five who are undernourished: 75 %

*100 million people could be adequately fed using land freed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%.

*20% of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by people, while 80% goes to livestock.

(Cattle, like humans and pets, don't do well on corn diets, and corn devastates topsoil and nutrients unless it is very carefully farmed with other crops.)

*1,000 species per year go extinct due to destruction of tropical rainforests for meat grazing and other uses.

*55% of all U.S. antibiotics are fed to livestock!!

The Dept of Ag. protects our health through meat inspection, right?
Reality: fewer than 1 out of every 250,000 slaughtered animals is tested for toxic chemical residues.

There is more to the LB vs. McDonald's argument than the weight of the burger and the menu price, and the difference comes out of our pockets on the McDonald's side. The nutrition difference, of course, is unbelievable, as well. Anyone going to McDonald's is denying their kids basic nutrition and a normal lifespan. I would recommend anyone with reservations to tour a large commercial slaughterhouse and also visit the local farms that sell meat to LB, so you see where your money goes.

tidbit source=Diet For A New America by John Robbins; all else=best of my knowledge.


ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 11 years, 4 months ago

I would rather enjoy a well made burger from, say, Henry T's or West Coast Saloon, than a tasteless burger which is purported to be better for me. Oh, and I'm 6 feet tall and 175 lbs. Sound overweight to you?

Maybe not overweight, but definitely out of shape if you're feasting on burgers from beer joints. I'll guess about 20% bodyfat. Sigmund, you seemed even more defensive...I'm guessing you're closer to 25% bodyfat.

Laura Watkins 11 years, 4 months ago

actually the guy in the back DOES have gloves on. i think local burger has made vast improvements on the way their food tastes and to be honest, the people who go to local burger know exactly what to expect and that doesn't stop them from going. i think the food is delicious-- especially the shakes!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 4 months ago

"Opinion formed. Damn hippie."

Your opinion was obviously formed long before you ever ate there.

cowboy 11 years, 4 months ago

bozo , commercial operations use the pharmaceuticals to keep the cows alive as it is a terribly stressful process on the animal regardless of feeding regimen. Cows are fragile fellas thus get your meat , if you eat meat , from a local humane farmer. you can get good meat without having to pay a fortune and know what went into it. If you don't like grass fed , find a in between , its not a complete either or formula. Yeah the money hungry commodity producers try to get every saleable pound produced and have to use the old methods. There isn't a fortune to be made in beef production anyway.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 4 months ago

"Do the words veggie and burger belong in the same sentence?"

The origin of the word "burger" has absolutely nothing to do with food, much less beef.

Atalanta 11 years, 4 months ago

Wow, it's great to see how many people are willing to spout uninformed opinions. I'm seeing a lot of "I've never tried it but it is crap" themes here.

Way to be ignorant, Lawrence!

As for LB, with any new business (less than 5 years old), there will be many things for the owners and staff to learn; the best - and often only - way to learn many of these things is through experience and observation. I've watched this restaurant evolve from infancy and have seen what has been done right and wrong. The positive far outweighs the negative, on both micro and macro levels. And most importantly, the key players in this business seem more than willing to learn from their customers.

If you ate there in the first month or week and are basing an opinion on that experience alone, I strongly encourage you to take another shot at having some delicious, healthy food that is also selected with your community, its farmers and entrepreneurs, then environment, and animals in mind.

dirkleisure 11 years, 4 months ago

"I strongly encourage you to take another shot at having some delicious, healthy food that is also selected with your community, its farmers and entrepreneurs, then environment, and animals in mind."

I see a lot of this argument. Do you seriously believe the only place in Lawrence you can do that is Local Burger?

If so, shame on Lawrence. Unfortunately for your argument, I know that not to be true.

Atalanta 11 years, 4 months ago

I never said it was the "only place in Lawrence." Just a good place doing a lot of good things.

lunacydetector 11 years, 4 months ago

which restaurants specifically charge extra for lettuce/tomato/onion/ketchup/mustard???? funny...i can't think of any.

i've never eaten at local burger but since it seems to be frequented by some of the fringe of society who also post on this website (bland is an acquired taste?), i think i'll pass.

SoupBone 11 years, 4 months ago

I'm a firm believer that where a person spends his/her dollars EVERY DAY is far more important than how one casts his/her ballot every couple of years.

I love Local Burger.

I love the concept.

I love the food.

I love the atmosphere.

I love my community.

I won't bother to argue with anybody who sees things differently. There is no point.

It's a value proposition, quite simply. If you see the value--whether it's the food, the atmosphere, the unique choices you have as a customer, or supporting local farmers and ranchers--eat at Local Burger.

I'll see ya there!

Janet Lowther 11 years, 4 months ago

I don't get these people complaining about Local Burger's food.

I've only eaten there two or three times, but each time their buffalo burgers have been vastly better than burgers from Burger King, Wendy's or Sonic.

As for McDonalds, I haven't eaten at one for decades on account of the "eat it our way or wait forever" policy. When I did put up with the interminable wait, their burgers were hopelessly bland.

The only thing I can figure is these people who don't like Local Burger accept the nearly tasteless mass market burger as what a hamburger is supposed to taste like, with what little flavor there is coming from the condiments, where Local Burger's are more like my Mother's. (Maybe even better.)

Their fried potatoes are a lot like the ones my Mother occasionally made, except even better, being cooked in olive oil instead of Crisco.

Ken Miller 11 years, 4 months ago

I have eaten at Local Burger, which qualifies me to comment on the food there. Those of you who haven't eaten there - your opinion is worthless until you do.

That said, the food was OK. The price was excessive. My daughter and I each had a cheeseburger, we split an order of potatoes, and we each had a smoothie. The tab was more than $20.

Am I going to damn or praise this place because of those facts? No. If you are in to organic foods, a different atmosphere and a generally nice dining experience, you will probably like this place, and coupled with the knowledge that it's a local joint, hey, they are that much easier to love.

Meatwad 11 years, 4 months ago

delegatezero said, "Too bad the food stinks and the service is awful. I had a friend go there and they told her to go to McDonald's because she wasn't happy with her meal!"

HMMMMMM. I think that probably says much more about your friend than Local Burger. She probably DOES belong at McDonalds. I eat there all the time and the food is FANTASTIC!! The burgers do seem small if you're used to big huge fat portions like most Americans are (maybe why we are the most obese country in the world?). But you can order other things that will give you bigger portions. You have options there. Maybe people don't know that. I'm so thankful this restaurant is here. I can't afford it ALL the time but it's where I go when I want to have a great meal that's also healthy!

Meatwad 11 years, 4 months ago

If you go into Local Burger and ask the counter people to recommend a dish that is a large portion, you'll see that there are options. The people who run it and work there are quite knowledgeable and helpful. If you get someone who isn't, just ask if you can speak to one of the kitchen people. Or to the owner, she's there about 90 hours per week. I like the steamed veggies over rice. I get it with tofu and cheese and it's big enough for TWO meals. So, hungry people, try this.
I'm anxious to see the results of the Daniel Fisher's weight loss/health experiment!! But I hope he realizes that any diet needs to also include some exercize!!

bugmenot 11 years, 4 months ago

I've eaten at Local Burger. All the people complaining about the price kept me away for a while, but I finally did go. The Veggie Burger is really quite good. The Not in Kansas Anymore salad is also really good. The steamed veggies and rice is terribly terribly bland. The menu advertises it as being like the Paradise Cafe dish... but it isn't.

So, a so-so review here. But it's a great concept, and definitely worth trying for any of you out there on the fence about going there.

LilMissy 11 years, 4 months ago

I hope LB has improved since I ate there last...buffalo burger was dry, flavorless and teeny tiny. Free lettuce/onion/tomato/mustard/ketchup? Yes, I actually got one small pickle slice and a wilted pc. of lettuce. Glad I didn't pay for that!

For the price I paid, the portions and flavor I would have much rather of gone to Mac's Steakhouse for the fat, flavor and full stomach from the dollar menu.

If improvements are made I would go back.

Emily Hadley 11 years, 4 months ago

Jefferson's is hands-down the grossest place I have been downtown.

And I often pay 25 or even 50 cents for what turns out to be a mushy, grainy slice of tasteless tomato.

Though never a dill pickle fan, I actually like the pickles on LB veggie burgers so much that I have to take them off and eat them separately.

And for god's sake, people, they have Vegenaise!! It's the best stuff on earth, wayyy better than mayo. It had been years since I could order salty fried potatoes slathered in mayo, and now I don't even get the McBrick afterwards!

Kontum1972 11 years, 4 months ago

after the show breaks on th SDC..the prices will go up...

Jeffersons use to be good about 3-4 years ago..when Cara Ingram worked it doesnt have the same atmosphere.....i have been there a few times since i dont even waste my time or it is just a place for pottie-mouthed drunks...

getserious 11 years, 4 months ago

Jefferson's if by far the best place downtown. Emily, I don't know what happened to you there but you DON'T have to pay 25 or 50 cents for a tomato. No one, anywhere charges for that.

shirinisb 11 years, 4 months ago

For a place with the most god awful service I'm surprised to see their food even sells.

Jamesaust 11 years, 4 months ago

emilyhadley -

"Meat imported to U.S. annually from Central and South America: 300,000,000 pounds Central American children under the age of five who are undernourished: 75 % tidbit source=Diet For A New America by John Robbins; all else=best of my knowledge."

A) is it John Robbins that is illiterate? What is "imported to"? Your choices are "imported from" and "exported to."

B) What logical connection exists between these two "tidbits"?

Here's a tidbit: "meat existing in Central and South America if not exported = 0 pounds; Central American children under the age of five who would be undernourished without trade: 95 %"

Jamesaust 11 years, 4 months ago

I've eaten at Local Burger. Tasteless.

Apparently exotic spices, like black pepper, aren't grown locally, or aren't grown according to someone's ideology, and therefore aren't used.

But, hey, its a semi-free country. If the local hippies want to make eating lunch a political statement, more power to them.

Atalanta 11 years, 4 months ago

Clearly some people are too lazy to walk to a condiment table to get organic pepper, sea salt seasoned with herbs, local BBQ sauces, and other tasty additions to a meal.

How sad!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 4 months ago

"Here's a tidbit: "meat existing in Central and South America if not exported = 0 pounds; Central American children under the age of five who would be undernourished without trade: 95 %"

Pure BS. Virtually none of the trade with the US in Central America is done with any intention to benefit the vast majority of inhabitants there. The "free trade" that does exist is intended to benefit only the oligarchs who have control of virtually all of the economic resources that exist there, and the megacorporations they do business with.

Intentions do matter, and the intent to exploit does result in exploitation. So while you sit here reveling in the theory of your precious ideology, millions suffer at the real results you have the luxury of denying.

SoupBone 11 years, 4 months ago

Food that has been frozen and processed, then reconstituted actually has NO inherent taste.

There is an enormous chemical industry that actually ADDS flavor to MOST of the food that we eat. If you want to read about it, here is a long article:

I suppose the more garbage you eat, the more you get used to the taste.

Food without an added chemical "flavor profile" IS different. It is not what most people are used to eating.

StirrrThePot 11 years, 4 months ago

I went there with my kids about 1.5 months ago. I second the reviews that says the food is pricey. My first thought once I began eating was, "Wow, real hippie food--at yuppie prices!". It was different, it was good but not spectacular (we had the buffalo burgers), and it is locally owned (I am trying to spend more money at localy owned businesses). Plus I want my kids to experience different things. I probably would not go there frequently, but maybe once in a awhile for something different.

brotherskeeper 11 years, 4 months ago

Tried it the first time...and was not impressed. But now I like it a lot. It is one of the few plices that I can go and eat and not feel like I have been hit by the grease monster. I worship the grease monster - we are long time pals, but the relationship has become strained since i met local burger (and I am getting too old to get away with it) Try the Elk burger. yummy.

bevy 11 years, 4 months ago

I'm with the guy who said he could make his own food at home for 1.95.

As for Local Burger, I went in there once and couldn't see paying that high a price for a burger. So I left. But this whole debate highlights one of my personal dilemmas. For many of the reasons stated above, I would LIKE to buy all organic food (at the Merc, for instance) but because I am in a lower income bracket, I cannot AFFORD it. Their produce costs 2-3 times what I buy it for at Aldi, and the meat is completely out of my reach.

I do buy some of their bulk products (whole wheat flour, couscous, granola, etc.) but there is no way I can do all of my shopping there.

I'll be attempting to grow more veggies on my own this summer, but until then - anyone have any useful tips for affordable organic eating?


brotherskeeper 11 years, 4 months ago

oh yeah... it is expensive if you are trying to feed a family so try and hit it when there are specials. It will save you some coin.

Emily Hadley 11 years, 4 months ago

The best bang for my buck there has to be the chocolate covered sweets. Small as they are, they are so rich that I have to eat them in two or three sittings.

pusscanthropus 11 years, 4 months ago

As a long time natural food person, I thought it was awful. Teeny tiny portions, high prices, bland taste. I'm surprised they are still in business being between Wheatfields and the Brewery.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 4 months ago

Valid points about tastelessness when LB first opened. I went, found it tasteless, and didn't go back for several months.

They have corrected the problem. The food now is appropriately salted and seasoned, and I find the burgers, hotdogs, and salads to be very good.

As for service, there really is none. They take your order at a counter and bring food out. Sort of like asking for service from a snack machine.

That the kitchen is staffed with hippies is of some concern, but the food is good enough to compensate.

By the way, cows evolved eating grass, not corn or ground-up cow parts. The latter gave rise to mad cow disease (known as Creutzfeldt-Jacob syndrome in humans). Corn makes cows sick and makes them prone to gastrointestinal infection, requiring more antibiotics used. Maybe in 10,000 years, cows will have evolved to eat corn efficiently, but now, it makes them sick.

planetwax 11 years, 4 months ago

emilyhadley...HOORAY! Someone finally has something significantly important to say and does so brilliantly!

To all,

Furthermore, read the "China Study" to find out why eating animal protein, and eating over 10% of it, leads to many diseases of affluence. It is the largest study explaining the coorelation between nutrition and health ever done. Perhaps one day it will be a part of text-book literature for our kids when they aren't at the doctor for some malady or another.

So what if your home-grown meat (meat does not grow, animals do) is free of antibiotics and fed properly? I suppose it's a bit healthier for humans, but not to the animal in question. Human adults are not meant to drink milk, much less milk from an animal designed to bring a small calf to a large cow in a short amount of time. Just don't go telling that to the milk producers of the world.


countrygirl 11 years, 4 months ago

What about cattle (I'm not eating a cow--yuck!) that eat milo?? You all are really hung up on this corn thing. Just how many Animal Science classes have you all had? If you feed the proper amount of roughage with the grain, the animal will be able to process both and put some muscle and fat on their frame. I've seen a carcass of an animal that had been grass fed---the fat on it was green! Not very appealing, so I doubt if you're going to see many grass fed steaks on a menu.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 4 months ago

Consumer1, I'm proud of you for eating there. And yes, you look awesome!

A friend's friend owns it and I've been there with my friend and found it quite good! And there IS a condiment table nearby. Good point, Atalanta. Isn't it better for it to come plain so all diets can eat it? You can add in your salt or whatever as your health sees fit.

Give 'er a try!

budwhysir 11 years, 4 months ago

I think the article is correct. Even local burger establishments have a global impact on our health

Atalanta 11 years, 4 months ago

Mmmm, I love the chili, too! I just went there for lunch, and it had been awhile in all honesty, though it is one of my favorite places. The staff remembered that I wanted a side of veganaise with my order and I didn't have to ask. That made my heart smile.

I'm would not be at all offended if someone slapped a "hippie" label on me for making certain choices about health and environment, but for the record, it has never happened. I guess I don't look the part, but if caring about where my food comes from, being healthy, and supporting local businesses makes me a hippie, I'll wear the label with pride.

And thanks, Gootsie. :)

MaryKatesPillStash 11 years, 4 months ago

I haven't been to Local Burger, but love the concept.

Also, the food at Jeffersons is disgusting. And, yes, as mentioned earlier, it stinks, despite the fact that the practically squirt down the tables WHILE you are eating. Not to mention the walls are covered in dollar bills. Ew.

bugmenot 11 years, 4 months ago

As long-time organic food customers and huge supporters of locally-owned businesses, my husband and I were so excited to give Local Burger a try about 2 months after it first opened. I agree that it was more expensive than most, but I don't think that's a fair argument because you're paying for grass-fed meat and locally grown organic products, which just cost more. Echoing what many have said above, it was ... okay. I'm not comparing it to other fattier burgers on taste, either. I'm just evaluating it on its own merits, and it wasn't great. I'm all for paying more for ethically raised and environmentally conscious fare, but it wasn't tasty. Maybe some of the other menu items would be better. Even so, I don't think we'd choose to eat there again because our first experience was so disappointing. It's is a shame because we really would like to see more of these sorts of restaurants in Lawrence, and we'd be willing to support them with our business. Plus, the service was pretty crappy. I know they just take your order, cook the food, and bring it out (do other restaurants do much more than this?), but everything seemed to take ten times as long as it should have and we got the feeling that we were interrupting the employees' socializing.

MaryKatesPillStash 11 years, 4 months ago

There was a restaurant in Salt Lake City that I really want to see mimicked in Lawrence...I can't remember what it was called, but it served organic, vegetarian foods (a different menu every day). The customer would walk in, look at what was being served and order however many spoonfulls he/she wanted. The customer then paid however much he/she thought to be appropriate, according to how much he/she ate. It was great--it definitely eliminated a lot of waste.

bugmenot 11 years, 4 months ago

Speaking of great Lawrence "hippie" restaurants...does anyone else miss the Glass Onion?

awayinwashington 11 years, 4 months ago

I personally find LB delicious, and I encourage people to give it a try! Yeah it's pricey, but by eating there you support a movement in food production that probably deserves more attention, research, and consideration from all consumers. So think about what you're paying for. The prices of organic and non-synthetic hormone/excess antibiotic food will probably come down once more producers get on board...but we have to make a market for it to encourage them.

No, the portions are not huge, but a serving of protein is actually the size of a deck of playing cards...It's a good idea to fill up on vegetables anyway.

In conclusion: the veggie burger is delicious and I can't wait to get back to Lawrence and eat another one, so it better stay in business.

Jamesaust 11 years, 4 months ago

"Virtually none of the trade with the US in Central America is done with any intention to benefit the vast majority of inhabitants there."

So not trading with them (somehow) does benefit the inhabitants. Huh?

MyName 11 years, 4 months ago

Okay, I've eaten there and the food is pretty tasty, but not enough to make me a regular. More like a 3-4 times a year place. The service isn't "awful". You just have to realize that you order at the counter and seat yourself. It's like La Parrilla and I think people expect it to be like Jefferson's (or most every other burger place in town). On the bright side, you don't have to tip like you would if you were served at the table.

Anyways, I like the concept, and the food is fresher than most every other place in town and you can taste the difference. That also means that you're better off eating there when some of the local type food is in season, otherwise you're not really any better off than buying your food at the Merc or someplace that imports from California.

Menazort 11 years, 4 months ago

Price: expensive. Burger: soggy. Service: pompous.

Diana Lee 11 years, 4 months ago

I'm the first to admit that I'm picky about my burgers, and Local Burger's grass fed cheeseburger is awesome. Don't knock it until you've tried it (with an open mind)!

The price complaints are just silly. It isn't more expensive than a burger & fries at an Applebee's-like establishment, and I have the satisfaction of knowing where my food came from and that the people producing it are treated and paid fairly. I also know that my food didn't guzzle up unnecessary amounts of energy to get to my plate. That just makes the dining experience better, as far as I'm concerned.

StirrrThePot 11 years, 4 months ago

"Speaking of great Lawrence "hippie" restaurants...does anyone else miss the Glass Onion?"


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 4 months ago

"So not trading with them (somehow) does benefit the inhabitants. Huh?"

The majority of citizens in Central America get considerably more economic benefit from money transfers from emigrants (legal and otherwise) to the US than they get from trade between their countries and the US.

budwhysir 11 years, 4 months ago

Speaking of food, I am a critic. I like nothing unless it tastes good to me. I very seldom eat somewhere off of another persons opinion.

I find that I am one of a kind, a recluse. Not visited by others on a regular basis. This is fine with me,

lslbison 11 years, 4 months ago

As a meat producer (buffalo) and an advocate of the benefits of grass-fed, I have enjoyed the "healthy" discussion of this blog. I applaud those consumers who have formed the correlation between what is fed or used on their food products and the impact on our health that we have just begun to realize. Local Burger certainly is not going to please everyone, and that's OK. What Hilary has accomplished and her passion for sustainable, local agriculture will accomplish far more good than trying to convince the entire community that eating healthy and affordably is attainable. For those of you who don't care about the trust and relationship that supporting local farmers and merchants provides, I hope you have job and financial security to continue going to Wal-Mart and eating at McDonald's. And, when the air and soil quality of our environment starts to diminish, may you have ample resources for transportation and gas to find that green space that no longer exists. As for Local Burger's future, I can only add that the best is yet to come and because we have such an awesome, well-educated and well-informed community, I'm confident that Hilary's future, passion and mission will succeed.

lslbison 11 years, 4 months ago

Just one more comment on the grass-fed issue. I can't speak for all animals, but on a buffalo, the majority of their fat is formed on the outside layer, not marbled in the meat. We can thank mother nature for this amazing attribute that have allowed bison to endure for thousands of years. I certainly have never observed any green tint to our meat, but would invite countrygirl to examine our steaks anytime. The color we see frequently describing bison meat is rich, red, hence the term red meat, not pink, gray or heaven forbid green. Arguably, feeding roughage/grain may be OK, but failing to acknowledge the vitamin and mineral benefits that our nutrient-rich grasses provide, i.e., Omega 3 and 6, beta carotene, not to mention the threat of E. Coli...and appealing may not be so important.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 4 months ago

An huge Rube Goldbergesque, house-of-cards industry is built up around modern factory farming, lslbison, and they find your very sensible approach very threatening.

Emily Hadley 11 years, 4 months ago

I'm not buying the green fat comment--I grew up surrounded by grazing land, I've seen the carcasses, they aren't green. And to answer a question, we even had animal science classes in my high school, but when a meager 4-5 HOURS of a doctor's ENTIRE education is on nutrition, do you really think an academic animal science class, based around USDA standards, is going to involve a lot of discussion of the holistic nutrition for cattle? I mean, c'mon, the teacher's probably pouring toxin-laden cow's milk on his cereal before school.

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