Esquire has been advocating that you pick up a meat grinder to start blending your own burgers, which we think is a pretty ace idea. But while looking into the pros and cons of a hand grinder, we got sidetracked by this fascinating and terrifying infographic about how burgers get made at an industrial level.
Yes, everyone’s read Fast Food Nation at this point and knows that the modern slaughterhouse is not a pretty place. But the singular focus of this graphic—i.e., the actual act of grinding cow parts and trimmings into burger patties—hammers home one kind of crazy fact: Since the grind involves a mishmash of parts and the volume is so high, each burger might contain meat that originated in anywhere between 100 and several thousand cows. Check it out below—then get to grinding your own if you’re looking for a single-origin burger.
Infographic by Katie MacLachlan