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5 Burger Stats That Will Blow Your Mind

07/05/2014 12:51 pm ET | Updated Sep 04, 2014

It's a fact: Americans eat a whole lot of burgers. But when you do the math, the sheer quantity of ground beef patties Americans consume every year is jaw-droppingly outrageous.

The burger traces its roots all the way back to the Mongol Empire, where their tradition of mincing horsemeat was passed onto the Russians, who in turn brought it to the major port of Hamburg, Germany, in the early 19th century. The most common destination for ships departing from Hamburg was New York, and by the late 1800s restaurants in New York began serving what they called Hamburg steaks, seasoned and cooked patties of ground beef, to German immigrants. According to Josh Ozersky's The Hamburger: A History, the oldest mention of a Hamburg steak on a menu was at New York's Delmonico's, a recipe developed by one of history's greatest chefs, Charles Ranhofer.

  • Meat from More Than 1,000 Cows Can Go into a Single Burger Patty
    The beef scraps that become hamburger meat are mixed communally during processing, and according to a study done in 1998, the average fast-food burger contains meat from 55 different cows, but that number can increase dramatically. And that’s not only gross, it’s dangerous: the more cows involved, the higher chance of E. coli contamination. We suggest asking your butcher to grind it fresh for you. Click Here to More Burger Stats That Will Blow Your Mind Photo Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock
  • McDonald’s Purchases More Than 1 Billion Pounds of Beef Per Year
    That equals out to millions of cattle. Photo Credit: News/ Thinkstock
  • Burgers Account for 60 Percent of All Sandwiches Sold
    Some folks forget that a burger is, after all, a sandwich. It’s also the most popular sandwich in America. Photo Credit: Media/ Thinkstock Click Here to More Burger Stats That Will Blow Your Mind
  • Americans Eat 14 Billion Burgers Every Year
    That equals out to more than 440 burgers per second. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
  • One Of The World’s Most Expensive Burger Costs $5,000
    Feel like paying $5,000 for a burger? Then head to chef Hubert Keller’s restaurant Fleur, located inside Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay, where you’ll find a creation made with Wagyu beef, foie gras, and black truffles. That seems like quite a markup, even with all those luxurious ingredients. What, no caviar and gold leaf? Click Here to More Burger Stats That Will Blow Your Mind Photo Credit: Fleur

The exact origin of the modern-day hamburger unfortunately remains a mystery, but there are several contenders. Perhaps the most well-known is Louis Lassen, who introduced a hamburger steak sandwich at his New Haven, Conn., restaurant Louis Lunch in 1900. Others claim that "Hamburger Charlie" Nagreen actually invented the dish at Wisconsin's Outagamie County Fair in 1885, and still others claim that the Menches brothers did it at an 1885 fair in Hamburg, N.Y.

Regardless of whoever first applied ground meat to bread, today the burger is one of the most beloved, comforting foods in existence, and fast food chains have done a great job of capitalizing on that. McDonald's is obviously the largest chain, with Burger King coming in second, and together they go through billions of pounds of ground beef every year.

Read on to learn 11 mind-blowing facts about burgers.

-Dan Myers, The Daily Meal

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