What better time than National Burger Day to highlight the James Beard Foundation and Mushroom Council’s “Better Burger Project?” With so many ways to be creative when it comes to making a burger, the foundation wants to see what chefs and restaurants around the country can do with finely chopped mushrooms blended with ground meat. The Better Burger Project is an in-restaurant promotion from now until July 31 that strives to improve the burger with a ground meat and mushroom blend that introduces a more delicious, healthier and sustainable burger.

As the “Fight for $15” continued Wednesday with a group of about 2,000 protestors who gathered about a half a mile west of McDonald’s headquarters in a Chicago suburb, I can’t help but continue to be annoyed by the demonstrations. Why should front-line workers be making $15 an hour? I attended a four-year university to become a journalist and my first job out of college didn’t even pay that! Sure there are other fields of study that pay more, but I can speak to my first-hand experience in this industry.

What does your food defense strategy entail? If your eyes just glazed over from this question I dare to say you are not alone. Although it seems we have yet to develop a clear picture of what a food defense plan should look like, industry leaders are working together to figure it out. Tyco Integrated Security, a company specializing in electronic security products, installation and services, hosted the 6th Annual Food Defense Strategy Exchange (FDSE) last week in Chicago.

Ardent Mills literally drives innovation to its customers with the Mobile Innovation Center – a fully functional bakery, culinary kitchen and meeting space designed to deliver onsite culinary and R&D creativity. The premier flour-milling and ingredient company offered an exclusive look into its Mobile Innovation Center Monday before the National Restaurant Association Hotel-Motel Show began. Coming up to the Ardent Mills booth, I couldn’t help but close my eyes and breathe in the smell of freshly baked bread – which was then followed by a wide-eyed reaction to the giant trailer that was parked before me.

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