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 Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'?

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tamandmik

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Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 5:15 PM (permalink)
There is another thread about what constitutes roadfood, and while reading it, I thought about the specific nature of "American" cuisine, of which I think of hamburgers, and hot dogs. Many have made the case for hot dogs having a regional element to them: namely, a 'Chicago Style Hot Dog', a 'Texas Weiner' in New Jersey, etc. However, when it comes to hamburgers, can any one geographical area of the United States give the hamburger a regional element? Suggested in another way, if one is subscribing to eating with regional cuisines in mind, is there any one place you would go out of your way to eat a hamburger that contains a regional flare? Reading some of the Stern's books, the only such cases I can make are 1)the onion burger in Western Oklahoma and 2) the green chile cheeseburger in New Mexico. Are there any other types of burgers in the U.S. that are prepared in a manner in which you would classify it as 'Roadfood'?
 
#1
    UncleVic

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    RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 5:28 PM (permalink)
    Olive burgers are popular around Michigan.. (Sliced green olives, normally with bacon and melted American cheese on top)..
    There's another thread somewhere in the archives discussing regional burgers... Believe it's a couple years old now..
    Edit: Found that thread: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1815
     
    #2
      divefl

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      RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 5:30 PM (permalink)
      I've heard of a few places with a fried egg on burgers? Is that regional or just the idea that there are only so many topping that work with a burger?
       
      #3
        UncleVic

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        RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 5:41 PM (permalink)
        My buddy that was stationed in Hawaii during the Vietnam war told me about egg on a burger. I've seen them on menus around here the last couple years also (Michigan). But your probably right, unlimited ways to dress up a burger nowdays..
         
        #4
          doggydaddy

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          RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 6:07 PM (permalink)
          quote:
          Originally posted by UncleVic

          My buddy that was stationed in Hawaii during the Vietnam war told me about egg on a burger. I've seen them on menus around here the last couple years also (Michigan). But your probably right, unlimited ways to dress up a burger nowdays..

          Edit: Found that thread: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1815


          I found out about fried eggs on a burger when I was recently in Hawaii. Checking back to that thread, I mention that I have followed suit and will put an egg on it now.

          mark
           
          #5
            ken8038

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            RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 6:11 PM (permalink)
            I didn't read thru the whole thread that's linked above, so forgive me if this is mentioned there, but the Central Connecticut area is noted for thier "steamed" cheeseburgers. --Ken
             
            #6
              wanderingjew

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              RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 6:17 PM (permalink)
              I'm not sure if this relates to toppings or types of burgers.

              But Bison or Buffalo Burgers are very popular in the Rocky Mountain States and of course many of the Midwestern Steakhouses will ground up their steak and serve "Steak Burgers".
               
              #7
                Michael Hoffman

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                RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 6:32 PM (permalink)
                Well, all I can say is the Onion burger, the Beanie burger and the Crabill's burger are certainly not regional. They're merely hamburgers, and you can get those anywhere -- even, sometimes, along roads.
                 
                #8
                  MilwFoodlovers

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                  RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 6:54 PM (permalink)
                  Large parts of Michigan calls them Hamburgs!
                   
                  #9
                    Davydd

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                    RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 7:41 PM (permalink)
                    Minneapolis/St. Paul has three bar/pubs pretty much battling over who has the best Jucy Lucy supposedly started by Matt's Bar eons ago in Minneapolis. The Jucy Lucy is two slabs of hamburger with cheese between and the edges pinched down to totally encase the cheese when grilled. You have to be very careful when biting down on one because the hot molten cheese has a tendency to squirt out or drip down your hands. Jucy Lucy is the correct spelling. It is not Juicey Lucy. The other two bars that have a stake in the Jucy Lucy are the 5-8 Club in Minneapolis and Casper and Runyon's the Nook in St. Paul.

                    Anyway, if a restaurant serves sandwiches, the hamburger seems universal everywhere in the United States. I don't think any region can claim it more over another. Often a menu will distinguish between burgers and sandwiches. It is the Sandwich lineup that varies much more regionally.
                     
                    #10
                      EdSails

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                      RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 9:21 PM (permalink)
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by divefl

                      I've heard of a few places with a fried egg on burgers? Is that regional or just the idea that there are only so many topping that work with a burger?


                      Fatburger here in SoCal has always been known for their burgers with a fried egg on them.

                      http://www.fatburger.com/home/
                       
                      #11
                        enginecapt

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                        RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 9:39 PM (permalink)
                        Southern Cal gave us the avocado burger and the Ortega chile burger. That's chile as in green chile pepper, not chili, although the Chili Size (an open face hamburger smothered in chili) was invented in Los Angeles.
                         
                        #12
                          wanderingjew

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                          RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 10:00 PM (permalink)
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by enginecapt

                          the Chili Size (an open face hamburger smothered in chili) was invented in Los Angeles.


                          Any proof of that?
                          I say it was invented on Long Island. Many people back on the Island have told me it's been around there for at least 50 years or longer
                           
                          #13
                            saps

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                            RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 10:39 PM (permalink)
                            quote:
                            Originally posted by wanderingjew

                            quote:
                            Originally posted by enginecapt

                            the Chili Size (an open face hamburger smothered in chili) was invented in Los Angeles.


                            Any proof of that?
                            I say it was invented on Long Island. Many people back on the Island have told me it's been around there for at least 50 years or longer


                            There seem to be a lot of citations that is was invented in LA in the 1920's at a place named "Ptomaine Tommy's".
                             
                            #14
                              wanderingjew

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                              RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 10:45 PM (permalink)
                              quote:
                              Originally posted by saps

                              quote:
                              Originally posted by wanderingjew

                              quote:
                              Originally posted by enginecapt

                              the Chili Size (an open face hamburger smothered in chili) was invented in Los Angeles.


                              Any proof of that?
                              I say it was invented on Long Island. Many people back on the Island have told me it's been around there for at least 50 years or longer


                              There seem to be a lot of citations that is was invented in LA in the 1920's at a place named "Ptomaine Tommy's".


                              Any relation to Typhoid Mary??
                               
                              #15
                                1bbqboy

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                                RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 10:56 PM (permalink)
                                http://www.chilicookoff.com/History/History_Started.asp
                                "....As for Southern California, my friend Fred Beck, a gourmet and semi-professional wine taster, adduces evidence to suggest that Los Angeles is the chili capital of the world. (The title, by the way, is claimed by San Antonio and by the little town of Terlingua in the Big Bend country, and lately by Dallas.)

                                Mr. Beck tells me that chili was once called “size” in the town known to him as Lil-ole-ell-ay. “Size” came into usage by way of one Ptomaine Tommy, once proprietor of the largest and best known chili parlor in the city. Ptomaine Tommy served straight chili and an epical Southwestern variation, a hamburger smothered with chili. He had two ladles, a large and a small. When a customer ordered straight chili, he got out the large ladle. When he wanted the other, he usually said “Hamburger size.” So Ptomaine Tommy put up one sign that read HAMBURGER SIZE 15¢, and another that read CHILI SIZE 20¢. Other chili joints followed suit and before long chili was know throughout Los Angeles as “size”. They’d say, “Just gimme a bowl of size.”

                                Mr. Beck speaks, too, of the era when the architecture went kooky in Los Angeles and commercial structures were designed to suggest the nature of trade conducted within. There was a building on Pico shaped like a coffeepot, with steam issuing from its spout. A weenie stand on La Cienaga was a large hideous representation of a frankfurter. Then came the chain of Chili Bowls. It was quickly noted by the always perceptive Angelenos that these structures were shaped like giant chamberpots, san handles, so it became customary to say, “Let’s drive over to the pot for a bowl of chili.”
                                http://books.google.com/books?id=tew3QnfcWdMC&pg=PA170&lpg=PA170&dq=chili+size&source=web&ots=f7sHBNfXSo&sig=CvOHEpAcqiZloiFAKC1XYrvZC0Y#PPA169,M1
                                 
                                #16
                                  Davydd

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                                  RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Mon, 10/29/07 11:16 PM (permalink)
                                  California is trying its damndest to claim wild rice and milk now too. I wonder how long it will be before they claim the deep-fried breaded pork tenderloin sandwich.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Oneiron339

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                                    RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 7:28 AM (permalink)
                                    quote:
                                    Originally posted by Davydd

                                    California is trying its damndest to claim wild rice and milk now too. I wonder how long it will be before they claim the deep-fried breaded pork tenderloin sandwich.

                                    Soon as the fire dies down and the smoke clears.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      brisketboy

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                                      RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 7:56 AM (permalink)
                                      Here in Austin Tx, we have an IHOP across form where I work and occasionally one of my coworkers gets theirburger with an egg on top. Having been placed on a low-fat diet by my curmudgeon of a doctor I can't say I've tried one, but I sure do envy him as he gulps one down.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        UncleVic

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                                        RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 8:21 AM (permalink)
                                        California has it's happy cows.. Too bad they didn't have happy pigs. As Oneiron mentions smoke, it makes me think these pigs could have been half way smoked saving some of our fellow BBQ'rs some valuable time.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          divefl

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                                          RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 9:15 AM (permalink)
                                          OK, so an egg is nothing special. Neither is a buffalo burger. They have bison farms on the east coast and even sit down chains are selling them. Toppings seem to be everywhere as well - chili, chilis, avocado. They only thing I geard that I can not easily get is a steamed burger.

                                          So, burgers not so regional.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            Ashphalt

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                                            RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 9:35 AM (permalink)
                                            This thread is making me think that there are some regional burgers, or some that were regional and spread outside of their original region, but the most common difference is in toppings, not in the burger itself.

                                            IMO the popularity of burgers is that they are so predicatable. Americans in much of the last century could go to most places in the country and get a reasonable hamburger that was not too different from what they would get at home. Hot dogs vary in their basic makeup, not to mention toppings, but a burger is essentially grilled ground beef.

                                            The only regional complaint about a burger I remember was from a college friend from Colorado. A boyfriend took her for the best cheeseburger in Connecticut. As a native Coloradan she was raised to believe that beef should be cooked until almost dry and she was appalled that the thing was steamed. She refused to be in any establishment (other than fast food) in the entire state that served hamburgers for years because she thought that's how they make them in Connecticut.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              wanderingjew

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                                              RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 9:35 AM (permalink)
                                              quote:
                                              Originally posted by divefl

                                              Neither is a buffalo burger. They have bison farms on the east coast and even sit down chains are selling them. So, burgers not so regional.


                                              Yes, and they're also serving Buffalo Wings in San Diego, Pizza in Omaha and Burritos in Providence. Doesn't mean they're just as good or better.
                                              It seems like you're going completely against the grind of the Stern's take of what roadfood is about. I'll quote them from one their books later regarding this.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                essvee

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                                                RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 10:14 AM (permalink)
                                                WJ, not sure where you are going with your reply to divefl. The question was- are there are any truly regional differences between burgers, not what is Roadfood? Seems to me that divefl is saying no, there doesn't seem to be, excepting the steamed cheeseburger, a treat not often (or ever?) found outside CT.

                                                What's that have to do with "what roadfood is about?"
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  ConeyIslandLou

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                                                  RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 10:22 AM (permalink)
                                                  This thread has shown that there ARE regional differences in burgers - what about the burgers in Wisconsin where they put gobs of butter on them? The little burgers that show up in Kansas at places like the Cozy Inn in Salina? Bob's Big Boy was basically a California burger before they went big - the same for White Castle and Kewpees...all regional burgers that went 'big'....
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    wanderingjew

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                                                    RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 10:25 AM (permalink)
                                                    quote:
                                                    Originally posted by essvee

                                                    WJ, not sure where you are going with your reply to divefl. The question was- are there are any truly regional differences between burgers, not what is Roadfood? Seems to me that divefl is saying no, there doesn't seem to be, excepting the steamed cheeseburger, a treat not often (or ever?) found outside CT.

                                                    What's that have to do with "what roadfood is about?"


                                                    I'm making an analogy. Divefl's adversarial tone carries over from a comment he/she made on the other thread.

                                                    quote:
                                                    Originally posted by divefl

                                                    People do not stay in one place, anymore. I've taken to thinking of regional as a historical reference. And, I want to know where good pizza is outside of NY, or where I can find traditional tacos on the east coast. Roadfood is comfort food to me. What's more comforting than finding the food of your region done well in a different state. Can I say pork ternderloin sandwiches are not roadfood outside the midwest? Heck no, if someone is doing them well along I-95 I want to know. I may not want to go to roadfood indian (Well, there is no may...I don't want to go) but if someone has a roadside stand with $1 samosas I'd have to think it's roadfood - I kind of think of roadfood more by price personally, but I also love to read the forums that tell me where to get a nice expensive steak. I never know where I will travel. My only gripe is that I can not travel to all the places.


                                                    Divefl is trying to argue no regional differences, because regional burgers have been copied/duplicated elsewhere, and my argument is so have many other items, but regardless, they're still regional whether or not they have found a place on a menu in a different part of the country.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      divefl

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                                                      RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 10:44 AM (permalink)
                                                      I discuss, offer up my own opinions, or debate, not argue. There is no emotion in it, and that is a good way to treat most discussions. Come on. It's a food thread, don't read "adversarial" inclinations into my actions. I come here to have fun. I am not attacking anyone by disagreeing with them, so don't attack me. Here was how I saw the burger thing. If Stern didn't welcome differing opinions, he would not have put a forum on the website. I have not argued with anyone recently, so I don't know what I am being accused of inciting this cross thread rivalry.

                                                      And honestly, of all the thing you could quote, you are choosing to call me out because Bison are available widely? Sorry. I know they were very western in the 1800s when they were pretty much slaughtered to near extinction and left in the fields by pioneers, but they are pretty common now. And they weren't made into burgers then. Blame Fudruckers and Trader Joes, I didn't do it. I like seeing buffalo farms on the side of the road in the east. Also, the east coast also has pig farms and cows in case someone wanted to claim their meat as regional. WJ, I have no animosity towards you and am not going to go search other threads to find it. Email can be dangerous if you try place intent and emotions behind other peoples written words. Too many misunderstandings happen that way.

                                                      Thread related: Someone mentioned the differences in hotdog make up. Does this make it easier to think of dogs as regional? I know Chicago is totally toppings.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        wanderingjew

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                                                        RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 10:50 AM (permalink)
                                                        quote:
                                                        Originally posted by divefl

                                                        I discuss, offer up my own opinions, or debate, not argue. There i no emotion in it, and that is a good way to treat this. Here was how I saw the burger thing. If Stern didn't welcome differing opinions, he would not have put a forum on the website. I have not argued with anyone recently, so I don't know what I am being accused of inciting this cross thread rivalry.

                                                        And honestly, of all the thing you could quote, you are choosing to call me out because Bison are available widely? Sorry. I know they were very western in the 1800s when they were pretty much slaughtered to near extinction and left in the fields by pioneers, but they are pretty common now. And they weren't made into burgers then. Blame Fudruckers and Trader Joes, I didn't do it. I like seeing buffalo farms on the side of the road in the east. Also, the east coast also has pig farms and cows in case someone wanted to claim their meat as regional. WJ, I have no animosity towards you and am not going to go search other threads to find it.

                                                        Thread related: Someone mentioned the differences in hotdog make up. Does this make it easier to think of dogs as regional? I know Chicago is totally toppings.


                                                        divefl,

                                                        Wasn't trying to place being "adversarial" in a negative context. Actually that's a good thing, I'm the same way as it brings up some good discussions.

                                                        They've been serving up Bison Burgers in Colorado long before anyone on the east coast even realized that they weren't extinct!
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          divefl

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                                                          RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 10:54 AM (permalink)
                                                          Cool, thanks for the follow up. I guess I am the guilty one of reading intent behind words when it wasn't there.

                                                          I still say you can't claim most meats as regional. I will allow for Gooey Duct and Black chicken as exceptions among others.
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            1bbqboy

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                                                            RE: Hamburgers: are they 'distinctly regional'? Tue, 10/30/07 10:57 AM (permalink)
                                                            Well, a burger is pretty much a burger but the TOPPINGS are regional, so you're both right.
                                                            My only problem with WJ's approach has always been that there has to be some fixed time slot where and when this regionalism occured.
                                                            This approach works in older parts of the country, but in the Sunbelt and the West, things are changing before our very eyes.
                                                            Interesting article here:
                                                            http://www.hpj.com/archives/2007/oct07/oct8/MeatpackingremakesruralUSto.cfm
                                                            Meatpacking remakes rural U.S. towns in new immigration frontier

                                                            DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP)--This is the home of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson, of Boot Hill and the Long Branch Saloon, of cattle drives, buffalo hunters and the romance of the American West.

                                                            But that's the Dodge City of yesteryear.

                                                            Today, downtown has Mexican restaurants and stores more reminiscent of shops south of the border than Main Street Kansas. The city of 25,176 even has a new nickname: "Little Mexico."

                                                            Signs advertising "Envios a Mexico"--retail outlets where workers send hard-earned wages back home to Mexico and other countries--hang outside many Dodge City stores. Houses occasionally fly Mexican flags, whipped hard by the prairie winds.

                                                            Dodge City ... Cactus, Texas ... Fort Morgan, Colo. ... Postville, Iowa: For more than a hundred years, this region provided a bucolic idyll and a ready example of American life and values. Today, iconic farm towns struggle with a new economic model, one that requires a workforce that is poor and overwhelmingly Hispanic.

                                                            It's not easy. The immigrants who have flooded these communities are stretching schools and law enforcement. Still, at a time when other rural towns are slowly dying, Dodge City and meatpacking towns like it boast thriving economies.

                                                            "If these people can get past the gauntlet of the border, we welcome them here with open arms," said Ford County Sheriff Dean Bush, Dodge City's modern-day counterpart to Wyatt Earp.

                                                            But many of his fellow citizens seem lost. Randy Ford and his wife, Betty, have lived in Dodge City for 35 years. They no longer attend the city's Independence Day events. They can't understand what the singers--Spanish crooners singing Latin favorites--are saying.

                                                            "We don't go anymore because we don't want to be Mexican," he said. "We want to be American."

                                                            In Washington, the debate over immigration sometimes seems to be a clash of extremes. But here, in the wide-open spaces where one-dimensional economies stoke small towns, there is plenty of room for ambivalence.

                                                            How it got this way

                                                            Just as the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad here in 1872 brought white settlers to populate the dusty towns and farms of a fledging country, the relocation and consolidation of the meatpacking industry has transformed these icons of the American West. The result: diverse, multicultural communities that challenge breadbasket notions of wheat fields, white fences and even whiter demographics.

                                                            The transformation of the nation's meatpacking industry began in 1960 when plants began moving out of cities in favor of their livestock sources in right-to-work states like Kansas. The first big slaughterhouse came to Emporia in the 1960s, followed by plants near Garden City and in Dodge City in the 1980s.

                                                            For Dodge City--famed as the "Queen of the Cowtowns" during its cowboy heyday--the advent of the slaughter plants seemed a natural fit. Locals have long recognized that the odor of manure here is the smell of money.

                                                            "They are a major hub of business and economic activity and a huge employer," said Ted Schroeder, agricultural economist at Kansas State University. "You can't go into those communities without sensing the presence and importance of those large economic facilities. Everything around there is either working with, complementing or part of that industry."

                                                            Eventually, mom-and-pop meatpackers were swallowed up by giants like Tyson Foods Inc., Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., Swift & Co. and National Beef Packing Co.

                                                            Their massive slaughter plants today routinely sit on the outskirts of rural towns. Huge feedlots stretching at times beyond the horizon now dot the wind-swept prairie where buffalo once grazed.

                                                            When the wind blows just so, the stench can be overpowering.

                                                            continued.....
                                                             
                                                            #30
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