Complicated journey from hoof to tailgate

For many MU Tiger fans, their favorite time of the year has finally arrived. Football season is back at Mizzou! We can all go back to tailgating, wearing excessive amounts of black and gold, and doing the best part, enjoying a delicious game-day burger.

“I love a good cheeseburger with ketchup on game day, it’s a classic that everyone can enjoy,” said Kristen King, a Mizzou business student, from Columbia.

When you finally receive your first burger of the season and load it with all the toppings that make your mouth water, does the question of where that burger came from cross your mind? For most of us probably not, so let’s take a look at how that football favorite makes its way onto your plate.

According to the Missouri Beef Industry Council the journey of the burger starts in a pasture with, you guessed it, cattle. The farmer fattens the cattle so the burger can have that distinctive flavor beef eaters love. The typical cow diet consists mostly of corn and grass, Eating this diet helps the cattle fatten up faster. Cattle also spend about eight hours a day eating and grazing in the pasture.

After being fattened up enough, the cattle ultimately arrive at the butcher or processing plant. The hamburger we eat usually comes from chuck steak, the cut from the back of the neck of the cow. The chuck steak from the cow is then cut down into smaller sections.

Finally, the meat is sorted, inspected and turned into patties that consumers will throw on their grills. Some of those grills are at tiger tailgates where fans enjoy feasting before games.

Of course, what is a tailgate without the perfect side dishes? A few, traditional SEC Conference tailgate foods include boiled peanuts, chili, nachos, seven-layer dip, and deviled eggs as ranked by MyRecipes.com.

“Even though we are new to the SEC, Mizzou tailgates already are packed with typical southern food, and my favorite side to a burger is seven-layer dip and chips,” said Riley Mussman, a Mizzou freshman and biochemistry major from Albion, Illinois. “The food at tailgating is so delicious it keeps me coming out every weekend”.

Next game day when you bite into that mouth-watering burger think about the process your burger has gone through to make it to the plate with your SEC sides dishes. A lot of hard work went into providing you with that little patty.

Olivia Hoelting

About the Author Olivia Hoelting

From a young age I can remember sitting with my dad at our family’s kitchen table looking over various agriculture magazines and newspapers. At the time, I was too young to understand most of the stories, but my dad would spend hours reading aloud to me. When I learned to read the stories myself, my dad helped me sound out some of the difficult terms myself. Little did I know, those small moments would be the first glance into my future career that I am now working towards. I am currently a junior studying science and agricultural journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia. I have an emphasis in agricultural marketing. I am also working towards a double minor in agricultural economics and political science.