I can hear the eyes rolling from here.
Carl’s Jr recently launched an all-natural burger, and rather than health focused people seeing this as a step forward they cry ‘not good enough!’
Disclaimer – Even the healthiest foods can be calorie bombs, and a grass fed burger (even at the finest paleo, primal, or gourmet restaurant) can be deadly to the waistline when you add fries, drinks, sauces, cheese, a 380 calorie bun – whether it’s gluten free or not (it’s not) – and desserts. Use your head (or your calorie calculator) people!
The Carl’s Jr. All-Natural Burger Review
From the Carl’s Jr Web Site
“Introducing fast food’s first All-Natural Burger. A grass-fed, free-range, charbroiled beef patty with no added hormones, steriods, or antibiotics, topped with natural cheddar cheese and vine ripened tomatoes.” – source, CarlsJr.com
I, for one, see this as a step forward.
Consumers want more natural products, and Carl’s Jr is offering them what they want.
Today’s health conscious world is filled with people who will complain about the following:
- It’s not gluten free – true, but you can get it lettuce wrapped (lettuced wrapped, here)
- The bun is still full of chemicals – true, don’t eat it
- The ketchup has high fructose corn syrup – it doesn’t matter whether you eat 25 calories of sugar from sugar or from hfcs, it’s still 25 calories of sugar. More importantly, it’s only 25 calories!
- The mayo contains soybean oil – order it without mayo, but if everything else in life is good, a dab of soybean oil every once in a while isn’t much of an issue.
- People will still get it with a Coke and fries – even the finest restaurants have fries, and all the truffles and coriander in the world don’t make them healthy, just more expensive.\
…and my personal favorite,
- You can make better at home for less – That’s right, you can. And therefore what, Mr or Mrs Holier Than Thou?
All true, but all irrelevant in a world where virtually everything in the fast food world is junk food, but you might as well complain that your grass fed beef in the grocery store is junk because it’s surrounded by aisles filled with crackers, cookies, and ice cream.
Grass-fed and free range is a great start, and charbroiled is my choice when I’m having a burger. Even though I like dietary fat, I don’t like the greasiness of many pan fried burgers, especially when lettuce wrapped.
They say the cheese is natural cheddar, and it sure looked and tasted like it. It was good cheese!
My burger had slices of sweet pickles, not dill. I can only hope this is normal, but it was soooo good. I love sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish on my burger!
The bun is just a bun. It’s tasty, big, and fluffy, but it’s not in anyway healthier than a normal bun. Next time, I’ll go back to lettuce wrapped, which I love anyway. I’d rather have more meat and cheese in exchange for less bun and no mayo.
The fries (not pictured or eaten)
I didn’t have any, but I’ve had them before. These fries are called ‘natural cut,’ but are not natural fries. I think it means they aren’t extruded, but they’re still normal fast food fries of whole potatoes tossed in seasoning ‘stuff’ and fried in soybean oil.
I chose the salad instead, which isn’t perfect, but filling enough for me.
The salad and dressing
The salad is lettuce, and other greens. It’s better than most fast food salads, but also has a little shredded cheese on top, like or hate it. It come with croutons that are nothing special, but basically 60 extra calories of toasted bread.
The dressing that I choose is the light balsamic, which contains ingredients that make the sphincters of the paleo and ‘real food’ world clench up like nobody’s business, but that I find acceptable at this volume.
It’s only 35 calories per packet. How much of the bad stuff could you possibly be eating at only 35 calories? …plus, I only use about half the packet.
The bottom line…
…for me is that this gives health conscious people an ‘on the road’ option for when they want to meet a ‘normal’ friend for lunch, grab a quick bite and an iced tea for less than $10, or are baby-stepping their way from a fast food habit.
People can choose to fine tune their burger how the want, and get the All-Natural Burger, lettuce wrapped, no mayo, a side salad (or even no sides at all), and iced tea.
It’s a good first step, and maybe if people actually eat the burger and even suggest ways to make things even better, CJ’s will continue to give people even healthier alternatives.
…and there you go.
PS. I’m working on my Fast Food Survival Guide, but in the meantime, checkout my free Build-A-Bowl ebook.
It shows you how to build a great and healthy meal in fast food places like Chipotle (or any place that serves bowls) AND even how to build your own at home using pantry staples and leftovers. 😎