The No. 6 Burger: A Burger to Restore the NW Region, one bite at a time

The No. 6 Burger: A Burger to Restore the NW Region, one bite at a time

In 2019, we set ourselves a challenge: could we build a burger based on our company vision of making our region the healthiest region on the planet, one bite at a time? We literally mean the bite part. In other words, could we build a better burger: better taste, better nutrition, better for our regional economy, and better for our planet? We wanted to find ingredients that were raised, grown, produced or milled in ways that support this vision. Since we launched the No. 6 Burger in 2019, it’s been a runaway  hit with Burgerville customers of all ages. So much so that this Fall, you can find the No.6 in 8 new Burgerville locations.

Soil burger. Dirt burger. Carbon burger. These were just a few of the names we considered when creating the No. 6 burger. We gave those names a hard pass for obvious reasons.  “I’d like a Soil burger, please,” said no one ever.  The number 6 is however, the atomic number for carbon.  You may remember from high school chemistry that carbon is the key ingredient in soil that’s needed to sustain all forms of life.

Healthy, fertile soil is rich in organic matter and has a remarkable capacity to store carbon rather than release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere where it contributes to warming our climate. You know, climate change. Which is a real thing, by the way. Healthy soil makes for nutrient-rich grass, which leads of course, to beef and cheeses that are packed with big nutrition and big flavor. Practices like these are part of regenerative agriculture, a set of organic farming principles that minimize or eliminate the need for tilling, protects the soil, and increases biodiversity.

This idea of regeneration includes community as well as the land, and it’s exactly what we are trying to foster through all our partnerships with local ranchers, farmers, and bakers.

We chose 100 % grass-fed, grass-finished beef from Carmen Ranch in Oregon. No hormones, drugs, corn or grains, no indoor pens or feedlots, no bad tv or pizza. Just cows grazing from birth on sweet, delicious NW grass. Surprise, surprise: it tasted better.  And it’s much more nutritious.

Well-fed cows also figure into the 2-year aged cheddar we get from Face Rock Creamery in Bandon, OR. They source milk from cows who feed on coastal grasses within a 15-mile circumference of the dairy. Hyper-local at its best.  We also love Face Rock for their story. They took over the abandoned Bandon Dairy in 2013, reviving not just a 100-year industry, but a local community as well. Their cheeses are crazy-good.

A burger is really only as good as the bun it stands on. We approached local favorite Grand Central Bakery to help create a brioche bun that would be lofty yet sturdy enough to stand up to the rich flavors of the meat and cheese, and by the way, it needed to made of wheat grown and milled in the NW.  Smalls Family Farm in Walla Walla, WA has been growing wheat and caring for the land for five generations. Their wheat was milled for us at Camas Country Mill, a Junction City-based operation dedicated to reviving local milling.

With partners chosen, our chef went to work, experimenting with countless combinations of every detail from the right grind for the beef patty to the crumble of the cheese.  And the result is delicious.

But even more delicious for us is this:  we’re able to build and share a burger that actually fights climate change through practices that capture and store carbon AND supports our regional NW economy through buying directly from independent farmers, ranchers and producers. And that tastes absolutely fantastic.