As the creator of Compassionate Man, I pay attention to the messages targeted toward men on a regular basis. Turn on the TV and you’ll hear the toughest, most manly man tell us, “Arby’s…we have the meats!” Burger King reminds men not to settle for “chick food,” whatever that is. Burgers are more fitting for men, apparently.

As sophomoric and stereotypical as those messages might seem, they are woven deeply into the fabric of our culture. Meat is masculine. Meat is tough. Men eat it. Men grill it. Burgers, sitting triumphantly at the apex of the American meat empire, represent so much more than a meal.

To get a better idea of what burgers mean to us, indulge me as I paint a little picture of a warm summer day a few months from now. This little vignette is told from the perspective of Pete, my best friend from high school who is a Republican football aficionado and has never met a grill he didn’t like.

The pool is starting to cook in the early afternoon sun, and a faint whiff of barbeque lures me out of the kitchen and into the backyard. It’s the Fourth of July and my friends are starting to filter in. Soon we’ll all raise our seasonal red, white and blue cans of Bud Light to celebrate America’s birthday.

It doesn’t get much more American than a cookout with burgers and beer.

I picture my best high school buddy casually strolling in as he normally does, handing me two thin frozen brown discs affectionately known as veggie burgers. I let this rather un-American gesture slide since he’s pretty damn American in every other way.

He brings these imposter patties every year, and every year I politely smile and nod. “Mmmmmm, veggie burgers,” I quip with a harmless chuckle. They’ve always struck me as rather dry, odorless and unappetizing, but at least they allow him to be a part of the festivities.

I jump at the sound of somebody’s masochistic child landing a perfect belly flop, and just as I look up, I catch sight of my friend rounding the corner of the house.

My little daydream from only a moment ago is shattered as he extends his hand and sets two of the most burly burger patties I’ve ever seen front and center on the grill. These are not the wimpy veggie burgers I was expecting, and as we say hello they begin to sizzle an all-American sizzle.

I stare at him in disbelief as he breaks out in a full-throttle rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

That’s a tad ridiculous.

But would you like to know what’s really ridiculous? The all-new Range-Free Burgers™ from Hungry Planet™. Ridiculously good, that is.

I had the fine fortune of landing an entire package of these brand new burgers to taste test, and was struck by how thick and meaty they were when I saw them for the first time. The patties were frozen when they arrived, and I figured that with their hefty girth, it’d take a good half hour to cook one all the way through. No problem. I had plenty of time. I cracked a beer, set my burner at a medium heat and brushed each side of the patty with olive oil before setting it in the pan.

I wanted to hear this bad boy slowly sizzle as it cooked.

The creators of these Range-Free™ Burgers wanted to know what it would look like to feed a hungry planet while feeding our deepest values. They believe they’ve found the answer in premium plant-based meats that use fewer resources from planet to production that have the hearty taste and texture people crave.

For those of us who not only love the taste of meat, but also associate burgers with family, friends, and freedom…well, there’s a new burger on the block, and this one comes with a few added benefits.

Not only are they better for the environment than beef, they’re healthier, too. Boasting 27 grams of protein, the Range-Free™ burgers check in with a mere 2.5 grams of fat. And wasn’t your doctor just telling you that you need more fiber in your diet? Beef burgers don’t have any fiber. These big boys pack in 7 grams.

Ultimately, though, what we all want is a juicy, flavorful burger. Dress the Range-Free™ burger with all the toppings; fried onions and mushrooms, Chao cheese, avocado wedges, a slice of tomato, crispy lettuce, ketchup and mustard… this meaty giant provides the base for what could become the burger to replace all others.

Hungry Planet™ recently announced its coast-to-coast launch of the Range-Free™ burger, and if you’d like your local restaurant to carry them, click here to submit your nomination.

If you’d like to learn more about Hungry Planet’s mission, visit their website here.

Nick Coughlin

Nick Coughlin is the founder and publisher of Compassionate Man. He lives in South Minneapolis with his two dogs, Onyx and Boli. You can reach him by emailing

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