Community Members

Welcome to the Better Burger Challenge.

Our local food sheds are vital. Food does so much more than give us energy. It has the power to do good  to protect the environment, fight disease, boost moods and bring people together. Conversely, it has the power to cause great harm.

Take the Challenge and help transform the iconic hamburger into a force for a healthier, more humane and more environmentally responsible food system.

Your Challenge

As an advocate for the Better Burger Challenge, you can start by bringing a better burger into your home.

Why Make a Better Burger?

By replacing a factory farm grain-fed burger with a better burger, you will:


  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as water, pesticide and fertilizer use.
  • Reject factory farming and reduce profits of big meat companies.
  • Create new markets for local and regional farmers and ranchers that use regenerative, climate-friendly practices that build healthy soil and protect habitat for bees and other critters.
  • Provide a healthier and more humane beef or veggie option for you and your family. Grass-fed beef has less fat and higher levels of omega 3s, beta-carotene, conjugated linoleic acid and Vitamin E.

Action Steps

  1. Educate yourself on how the meat that you’ve been buying is produced. Food labels are important. They give us a deeper understanding of the ethics, integrity and values behind our food. However, sometimes it’s hard to decipher what certain labels mean. Words like “natural” can be misleading because they do not have legal definitions.

  2. Learn and understand food terms and labels, looking for third-party certifications like USDA Certified Organic and getting to know your local farmers and ranchers can help us make informed and impactful decisions. Here are a two resources to help get you started: Friends of the Earth Guide to Avoiding Factory-Farmed Meat & Dairy and A Greener World’s Food Labels Exposed.

  3. Decide if you will prepare a better beef or better veggie burger or both. Send us this form to let us know you are making a better burger.

  4. Develop your own better burger recipe. Send us this form to let us know you are making a better burger or use one of the recipes listed on the BBC Website.
  5. Go Shopping! Head to your local supermarket, green grocer, or co-op. Think about what you learned in Step 1. Do they have the kind of products that you need to complete the challenge? If so, thank them for carrying the ingredients that you need to build a better burger. If not, ask them to consider carrying the products that you’re looking for. In the meantime, you can visit LocalHarvest.org, EatWild.com, eatwellguide.org or your local farmers market to buy directly from producers or find sustainable ingredients near you.

  6. Make your better burger and enjoy! (If you haven’t cooked with grass-fed meat before, here are a few tips to ensure success.) How does the burger taste different than the burger you are used to eating? How does it feel to eat a burger when you deeply consider and are a part of the journey from seed to plate?

  7. Now that you’ve experienced a better burger, consider sharing it. Now that you’ve experienced a better burger, try one of the next levels of the Challenge. Host a better burger party for your friends and family, or advocate for one of your favorite local burger joints to join the BBC.

  8. Seek out support. Friends of the Earth and Turning Green are here to help you navigate challenges and answer any questions. Contact us at info@betterburgerchallenge.org with any questions and check out our resources at betterburgerchallenge.org

  9. Spread the word. Let’s get people talking about the Challenge across social media. Here is a link to pre-fab tweets and Facebook posts to amplify the message. Tag @FOE_US, @TurningGreenOrg and @betterburgernow. Join our Facebook group here to stay up to date.
  10. Don’t forget to send sign up to let us know you are with us for the Challenge. For more information about the Better Burger Challenge, visit www.betterburgerchallenge.org or follow us on twitter at @betterburgernow or on facebook at /betterburgerchallenge.

Your Challenge

As an advocate for the Better Burger Challenge, we ask you to host a better burger party with your friends and family between Earth Week 2017 (April 17-23) and Fourth of July — and beyond.

Why Host a Better Burger Party?

  • By replacing a factory farm grain-fed burger with a better burger, you reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save water, and limit the use of pesticide and fertilizers. it’s also healthier for you!
  • Grass-fed beef and dairy provide higher levels of Omega-3 fats, known to reduce inflammation and prevent heart disease. Grass-fed beef has less fat and higher levels of beta-carotene, conjugated linoleic acid and Vitamin E.
  • By increasing demand for grass-fed meat, you help create new markets for local and regional farmers and ranchers that use more humane, regenerative, climate-friendly practices, which in turn build healthy soil and habitats for bees and other critters.

What’s a better way to build community then sharing a delicious, healthier, and more responsible burger with your friends and family? Food does so much more than give us energy. It has the power to do good -fight disease, boost moods and bring people together.  

Action Steps

  1. Decide if you will serve a better beef or better veggie burger or both. Looking for inspiration? Check out our suggested recipes here. Make a few di erent kinds and have a taste test to see which one you and your guests like best.
  2. Source better, healthier ingredients. Shop for local grass-fed beef and organic veggies at your local farmers’ market or look for these meaningful labels at your local co-op, natural foods store or supermarket:
     

    Visit EatWellGuide.org, LocalHarvest.org, or EatWild.com to find quality ingredients and suppliers.

  3. Set the date and invite your friends and family to your better burger BBQ!
  4. Think about how you will engage your guests around the better burger. A better burger party is a festive occasion, but it’s also an opportunity to get your friends and community to think more deeply about the food we eat. Tell them about where your meat and veggies come from; print out this downloadable Guide to Avoiding Factory Farmed Meat and Dairy; share a short video on the topic (suggestions here) and/or start a conversation:
    • Why is it important to source meat and veggies from local and regional sustainable farmers and ranchers? If you are making a veggie burger, why is that important to you? How is a veggie burger better for you and the planet?
    • Would they make better burgers in the future? Do they already source better meat? If so, what labels do they look for? What qualities are most important to them?
    • Is anyone interested in volunteering with Friends of the Earth and Turning Green to promote better meat or plant based foods in their communities by hosting another better burger party or engaing local chefs or food service about serving a better veggie or blended beef burger? We are looking for volunteers and would love to sign you up! Contact us at info@betterburgerchallenge.org.
  5. Get grilling! Grassfed beef behaves di erently than conventional meat. The veggie-beef blend will make the burger juicier but make sure not to overcook the burger as leaner beef cooks more quickly. Check out these grassfed grilling tips and how to cook with grassfed beef.
  6. Spread the word. Let’s get people talking about the Challenge across social media. We encourage you to post pics of your party on social media. Join the conversation by tagging @FOE_US, @TurningGreenOrg, @betterburgernow, #BetterBurgerNow. If you send us your pictures to info@betterburgerchallenge.org, we can feature them in our communications too!
  7. Need Help? Friends of the Earth and Turning Green are here to help you navigate challenges and answer any questions. Contact us at info@betterburgerchallenge.org. We’d also love to hear about your experience!
  8. Enjoy!

Your Challenge

Consider where you eat burgers outside of your home? Is there a local restaurant or regional chain that is your go to spot? There may be an opportunity for you to convince your favorite burger stop to help not only satisfy your craving, but also your desire to eat healthier, more sustainable food. As an advocate for the Better Burger Challenge, we ask you to enlist your local restaurant to serve a tastier, healthier, better burger between Earth Week 2017 (April 17-23) and the Fourth of July  and beyond.

Why Advocate for Better Burgers?

By replacing a factory farm burger with a better burger, you will:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as water, pesticide and fertilizer use.
  • Reject factory farming and reduce profits of big meat companies while creating new markets for local and regional farmers and ranchers that use regenerative, climate-friendly practices.
  • Get healthier beef or veggie options on the menu and support higher animal welfare practices.
  • Boost sales at your local restaurant. A recent study found that 43% of consumers want more grass-fed burgers on restaurant menus.

Action Steps

  1. Decide if you will advocate for the better beef or better veggie burger or both. Send in this form to let us know you are working on it.

  2. Invite a few friends to help you plan. Ask yourselves, which restaurants in your area are supporting the local foodshed? Which restaurants could undergo a major transformation? Decide amongst yourselves which restaurant you’d like to challenge.

  3. Request a meeting with the Executive Chef or manager at a local restaurant. Here is a sample email message you can adapt. You can call and ask for the manager’s email.

  4. Be prepared and familiar with the restaurant’s operation. Prep for the meeting by anticipating questions and reviewing current menus and food offerings. Review the FAQs, download our infographic and contact us with any questions. Arrive with a list of local suppliers and recipes.

  5. Implement the Challenge. Ask your local restaurant to prepare and serve a better burger on at least one day between Earth Week (between 4/17 and 4/23) and the 4th of July. If the restaurant already serves some meat from sustainable sources, this will be an easy transition. Make sure the restaurant signs up on the website, so that we recognize their participation in the challenge. Schedule a follow up meeting to ensure things are moving forward.

  6. Share resources. Our Tips for Chefs and infographic provide a good overview and benefits of the Challenge for the teams at your local restaurant. Here are sample recipes and a guide to local suppliers that meet our criteria.

  7. Be persistent. Follow up with a call, or two if you don’t hear back. If you can’t reach the Executive Chef, identify another member of the team for follow up. If all else fails, stop by the restaurant.

  8. Seek out support. Friends of the Earth and Turning Green are here to help you navigate challenges and answer any questions. Contact us at info@betterburgerchallenge.org with any questions and check out our resources at betterburgerchallenge.org and use #betterburgernow.
  9. Spread the word. Let’s get people talking about the Challenge across social media. Here is a link to pre-fab tweets and Facebook posts to amplify the message. Tag @FOE_US, @TurningGreenOrg and @betterburgernow. Join our Facebook group or post on social media using #betterburgernow.

  10. Host or organize an educational event; a movie night or presentation by a local farmer or rancher. Start a better burger book club using our suggested resources on less and better meat.
  11. Don’t forget to send this form to let us know you are with us for the Challenge. For more information about the Better Burger Challenge, visit www.betterburgerchallenge.org or follow us on twitter at @betterburgernow or on facebook at /betterburgerchallenge.