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The James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project™ for a more sustainable food system

Photograph courtesy of Blended Burger Project™

America is a burger-loving country, consuming approximately 10 billion burgers annually. However, there is a demand to change the burger landscape due to the growing interest in more plant-forward options. Many Americans do not want to give up their classic meat sandwich, but what if we told you there was a way to give guests what they want? A blend that boosts the meaty flavor customers crave, with a reduced environmental impact. Meat, meet mushrooms.

Mushrooms are healthy on the plate and gentle on the planet. Researchers have noted mushrooms are considered one of the most sustainably produced foods in the United States. The production of mushrooms uses less water than most foods and generates only 0.7 pounds of CO2 equivalent emissions, making them the perfect partner for burgers. The Blend is a way to create a more delicious, nutritious and sustainable burger, without forfeiting flavor and creativity. 

The rise in consumer demand for a more sustainable food system has been the driving force behind the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project™.Now in its fifth year, this movement strives to make burgers better by blending at least 25 percent finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat — The Blend — creating an incredibly delicious patty that will meet the changing needs of your guests. This initiative is backed by the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs which is committed to establishing a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy and thought leadership. Let’s make a difference in the food we eat and the menus we create by reinventing what a “classic burger” means to America.

To participate in the fifth annual Blended Burger Project™, simply create your own take on a blended burger that consists of at least 25 percent fresh mushrooms and menu it throughout the promotion period, May 27 through July 31, 2019. The 25 chefs with the most online votes will be judged by a panel of food experts based on “culinary creativity, flavor profile and presentation.” The grand prize? Since this is the fifth year of the project, five chefs will win $5,000 (each!) and get the chance to serve their burgers at the James Beard House in New York City.

Visit jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerprojectto read the contest’s official rules, including eligibility requirements and voting and judging criteria.

This post is sponsored by The James Beard Foundation

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