Portrait of a Burger

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Years ago, a young man working as the clown Ronald MacDonald is briefed by the bosses. “What do I tell the kids,” he asks, “when they want to know where Big Macs really come from?” “Tell ‘em they grow in the hamburger patch,” he’s told.

The truth behind the ‘burger patch’ is what Peter Lovenheim probes as he examines the deep disconnect between what we eat and where it comes from. He buys two calves, determined to see them from ‘conception to consumption,’ looking to make sense of the widening gap between city folk and country people.

It’s a two-year journey through the dairy farms, auction barns, county fairs and slaughterhouses of upstate New York. It’s a Portrait of a Burger as Young Calf. I’ll have ketchup, mustard, pickles and controversy. Thanks.


Peter Lovenheim, author of “Portrait Of A Burger As A Young Calf”