The staple of traditional summer cookouts is celebrating a major milestone this year. Grabbing a burger from a fast-food place, or throwing one on the grill is second nature to most Iowans. It was something new though 100 years ago. Nancy Degner of the Iowa Beef Industry Council says the hamburger was used in the 1800’s, but the first commercial use of hamburger came at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Degner says thousands of buns, pickles and gallons of mustard and ketchup later — we’re still frying and grilling the burger. She says Americans consumed more thirteen-BILLION burgers in 2003, and she says we average around 30 pounds of ground beef per person per year. Degner says the research shows hamburgers are the most popular food for the grill, followed by steak and chicken. Degner says the Iowa Beef Industry Council will hold events around the state to celebrate the 100th birthday of the burger.She says the Iowa Beef Industry Council has information about ground beef, and 100 ideas for building a better burger on its website. You can visit the website at www.iabeef.org.
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