Photo courtesy of Sonic Drive-In.
Sonic Drive-In is about to change the fast food game with a brand-new burger patty that no other fast food restaurant has ever attempted to produce before.
At the 2017 Menus of Change Leadership Summit in Hyde Park, New York, the fast food chain unveiled a line of new "Sonic Slingers," which will be tested as original or bacon burgers and utilize a novel "blended burger patty" that, as Sonic has confirmed to Foodbeast, will consist of beef, seasoning, and 25 to 30 percent mushrooms.
This blended burger patty has been recently taking the culinary world by storm for superior health and sustainability. A joint study between UC Davis and the Culinary Institute of America showed that cutting ground beef with mushrooms by up to 50% was shown to either be equally or more flavorsome than plain ground beef, meaning that you can reduce the meat in a burger without sacrificing flavor. By cutting beef with mushrooms, Sonic is also lowering the fat content, sodium content, and overall calories of their burgers, making the Slinger patties healthier and just as tasty as a regular beef patty.
More importantly, Sonic's new patties turn them into a sustainability leader for the fast food industry. Replacing beef with mushrooms puts a lower strain on our ecosystems and reduces greenhouse emissions from beef production. Thus, through their Slingers, Sonic is directly decreasing the land and water needed to maintain our current levels of beef production while putting out a more nutritious and equally delicious burger.
Theoretically, the Sonic Slingers could also lower cost, since mushrooms fetch for a significantly lower price than ground beef does per pound. To see if that is the case, however, we'll have to compare their price when they hit test markets, which Sonic has confirmed to Foodbeast will happen later this summer.
In the meantime, we're growing excited to see this bold and innovative step in the fast food world, and we're not alone. McDonald's executive chef Dan Coudreat was also reportedly impressed by the Sonic Slingers and will be keeping an eye on how they perform. Who knows? Maybe McDonald's will follow suit and help the fast food industry become more sustainable.