Barn to Bun: How many miles do the ingredients in your burger travel?

We charted the distances of 9 burgers. How do they stack up?
504
Illustration by Jungyeon Roh
Illustration by Jungyeon Roh

We thought this would be easy: Call a restaurant, ask them where they source their ingredients, and tally the miles. Turns out, tracing the farm-to-table distance of several of Atlanta’s “local” burgers isn’t so simple. See how they stack up.

burger

Farm Burger
410 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, Decatur, GA
Bun: H&F Bread Co.; 1401 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, Atlanta, GA; 8.8 miles
Meat: Cooke Cattle Company; Madison, GA; 55.7 miles
Cheese: Cabot Creamery; 193 Home Farm Way, Waitsfield, VT; 1,155 miles
Lettuce: N/A
Tomato: N/A
Onion: Love Is Love Farm; 900 Dancing Fox Road, Decatur, GA; 3.2 miles
Pickle: N/A
Condiment: FB Sauce made in-house from Duke’s mayonnaise; 211 Pine Road, Easley, SC; 133 miles
Total cost: $8
Total distance: 1,355.7 miles
*Information is for the Farm Burger menu option

Flip Burger Boutique
1587 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA
Bun: La Baguette; 1810 Auger Drive, Tucker, GA; 15.4 miles
Meat: White Oak Pastures; 22775 Highway 27, Bluffton, GA; 186 miles
Cheese: Sweet Grass Dairy; 19635 Highway 19 North, Thomasville, GA; 226 miles
Lettuce: Stone Creek Hydroponics; Hartwell, GA; 107 miles
Tomato: William L. Brown Farms; 4334 Highway 49 North, Montezuma, GA; 121 miles
Onion: Stanley Farms; Lyons, GA; 183 miles
Pickle: Made in-house with cucumbers from J&J Family of Farms; 1750 Garden Village Drive, White Pine, TN; 235 miles
Condiments: Flip sauce made in-house. Ketchup from Heinz; 1200 North Fifth Street, Fremont, OH; 664 miles.
Total cost: $7.50
Total distance: 1,737.4 miles
*Information is for the Classic menu option

Yeah! Burger
1168 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA
Bun: H&F Bread Co.; 1401 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, Atlanta, GA; 1.3 miles
Meat: White Oak Pastures; 22775 Highway 27, Bluffton, GA; 185 miles
Cheese: Organic Valley; 1 Organic Way, La Farge, WI; 943 miles
Lettuce: Tucker Farms; Thomas Bluff Road, Rome, GA; 66.6 miles
Tomato: N/A
Onion: Walker Organic Farm; 6810 Savannah Highway, Sylvania, GA; 212 miles
Pickle: Doux South; Decatur, GA; 7.9 miles
Condiment: Yeah! Sauce; restaurant would not disclose ingredients; add 1,000 miles
Total cost: $10.49
Total distance: 2,415.8 miles
*Information is for the Yeah! Burger menu option

Holeman and Finch Public House
2277 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA
Bun: H&F Bread Co.; 1401 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, Atlanta, GA; 3.8 miles
Meat: Southeast Family Farms; Florence, AL; 247 miles
Cheese: Kraft American cheese, from Champaign, IL; New Ulm, MN; or Springfield, MO. Average distance, 788.3 miles
Lettuce: N/A
Tomato: N/A
Onion: Green Ola Acres; 1126 North Ola Road, McDonough, GA; 41 miles
Pickle: Made in-house with cucumbers from Dillwood Farms; 4000 Brushy Fork Road, Loganville, GA; 29.4 miles
Condiment: Mustard and ketchup made in-house
Total cost: $12
Total distance: 1,109.5 miles

The Optimist
914 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA
Bun: Alon’s Bakery; 4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA; 13.4 miles
Meat: Brasstown Beef; 1960 Brasstown Road, Brasstown, NC; 116 miles
Cheese: Boar’s Head; does not disclose plant locations; apply 1,000 miles
Lettuce: N/A
Tomato: N/A
Onion: Green Ola Acres; 1126 North Ola Road, McDonough, GA; 38.8 miles
Pickle: Made in-house with cucumbers from Dillwood Farms; 4000 Brushy Fork Road, Loganville, GA; 32.7 miles
Condiment: “Comeback Sauce” made in-house
Total cost: $13
Total distance: 1,200.9 miles

Miller Union
999 Brady Avenue, Atlanta, GA
Bun: H&F Bread Co.; 1401 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, Atlanta, GA; 1.6 miles
Meat: White Oak Pastures; 22775 Highway 27, Bluffton, GA; 185 miles
Cheese: Cabot Creamery; 193 Home Farm Way, Waitsfield, VT; 1,158 miles
Lettuce: Crystal Organic Farm; 425 North Johnson Street, Newborn, GA; 54 miles
Tomato: Woodland Gardens Organic Farm; 1355 Athens Road, Winterville, GA; 73.2 miles
Onion: Green Ola Acres; 1126 North Ola Road, McDonough, GA; 39.6 miles
Pickle: Made in-house with cucumbers from Woodland Gardens Organic Farm; 73.2 miles
Condiment: Mayo made in-house. Eggs from Evie’s Country Garden; 951 Barge-Tallapoosa Road, Waco, GA; 56.5 miles.
Total cost: $12
Total distance: 1,641.1 miles

Bocado
887 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA
Bun: H&F Bread Co.; 1401 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, Atlanta, GA; 1.8 miles
Meat: Unnamed distributor in Arkansas City, Kansas; 882 miles
Cheese: Kraft American cheese, from Champaign, IL; New Ulm, MN; or Springfield, MO. Average distance, 786 miles
Lettuce: N/A
Tomato: N/A
Pickle: Made in-house with cucumbers from Green Ola Acres; 1126 North Ola Road, McDonough, GA; 38.7 miles
Condiment: N/A
Total cost: $13
Total distance: 1,708.5

The General Muir
1540 Avenue Place, Atlanta, GA
Bun: Baked in-house
Meat: Certified Angus Beef; distributor uses multiple sources across the U.S.; apply 1,000 miles
Cheese: Sysco Atlanta; does not disclose plant locations; apply 1,000 miles
Lettuce: BJ’s Produce; 185 Paradise Boulevard, Athens, GA; 63.6 miles
Tomato: N/A
Onion: Turnip Truck; 190 Ottley Drive, Atlanta, GA; 4.4 miles
Pickle: Made in-house with cucumbers from Hughes Farm; 711 Sparta Drive, Crossville, TN; 197 miles
Condiment: Russian dressing from Admiration; 66 Grand Avenue, Englewood, NJ; 850 miles
Total cost: $8.75
Total distance: 3,115 miles

One Eared Stag
1029 Edgewood Avenue, Atlanta, GA
Bun: Alon’s Bakery; 4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA; 15.7 miles
Meat: Painted Hills; Fossil, OR; 2,457 miles
Bacon (ground into meat): Berkwood Farms; 515 Northeast Broadway Avenue, Des Moines, IA; 905 miles
Cheese: Kraft American cheese, from Champaign, IL; New Ulm, MN; or Springfield, MO. Average distance, 790 miles
Lettuce: N/A
Tomato: N/A
Onion: White Oak Pastures; 22775 Highway 27, Bluffton, GA; 183 miles
Pickle: Woodland Gardens Organic Farms; 1355 Athens Road, Winterville, GA; 70.7 miles
Condiment: N/A
Total cost: $12
Total distance: 4,421.4 miles

We calculated 1,000 miles for ingredients whose sources could not be identified. Neither Boar’s Head nor Sysco would reveal the locations of their plants.

This article originally appeared in our September 2014 issue.

Advertisement